Certain Disability Payments and Workers’ Compensation May Affect Your Social Security Benefits

January 17, 2020 • By

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Last Updated: January 17, 2020

" "Many people working nowadays have more than one job. This means they have several sources of income. It’s important to keep in mind that having multiple sources of income can sometimes affect your Social Security benefits; but, it depends on the source.

Disability payments from private sources, such as private pensions or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits, however, may reduce what you receive from Social Security. Workers’ compensation benefits are paid to a worker because of a job-related injury or illness. These benefits may be paid by federal or state workers’ compensation agencies, employers, or by insurance companies on behalf of employers.

Public disability payments that may affect your Social Security benefits are those paid from a federal, state, or local government for disabling medical conditions that are not job-related. Examples of these are civil service disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability.

Some public benefits don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. If you receive Social Security disability benefits, and one of the following types of public benefits, your Social Security benefits will not be reduced:

  • Veterans Administration benefits;
  • State and local government benefits, if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings; or
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

You can read How Workers’ Compensation and Other Disability Payments May Affect Your Benefits to find out about the possible ways your benefits might be reduced.

Please be sure to report changes. If there is a change in the amount of your other disability payment, or if those benefits stop, please notify us right away. Tell us if the amount of your workers’ compensation or public disability payment increases or decreases. Any change in the amount or frequency of these benefits is likely to affect the amount of your Social Security benefits.

An unexpected change in benefits can have unintended consequences. You can be better prepared if you’re informed and have financially prepared yourself. Visit our benefits planner for information about your options for securing your future.

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About the Author

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications

Mike Korbey, Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. Victoria

    Does a monetary bequest/inheritance) jeopardize Social Security Disability Income? Is there a cap on how much a family member can leave to an ssdi recipient? What is that cap?

  2. Victoria N.

    Does a monetary bequest/inheritance) jeopardize Social Security Disability Income? Is there a cap on how much a family member can leave to an ssdi recipient? What is that cap?

    • V.V.

      Hi Victoria, thanks for using our blog. If you’re receiving Social Security disability (SSDI), an inheritance will not affect your benefits. However, if you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits, a change in your household income and assets can affect your benefits. This is because the amount of an SSI benefit is based, in part, on the income and resources available to the individual receiving SSI benefits and the income and resources of his or her spouse. Check out our Understanding SSI web page for additional details regarding income. We hope you find this information helpful.

  3. Carol D.

    Will social security offset my survivor benefits based on husbands work if getting workers comp based on my part time employment? I am receiving survival benefits based on caring for a disabled adult child since his death in 2002. I live in New York.

    • V.V.

      Hi Carol, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on worker’s compensation and disability benefits.

      To report your worker’s compensation, you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  4. George D.

    Can I still earn an income when on SSI Disability, I thought I saw that it can $1220 a month and it would not effect my disability payment.
    Thank You

  5. Sheryl L.

    I am receiving an inheritance in the few months. Not sure how much yet. Will this affect my survivor benefits I receive?

    • V.V.

      Hi Sheryl, thanks for using our blog. Social Security survivor benefits are not affected by an inheritance.

  6. alvin f.

    i am on disabilty…..i lost my insurance. i cant get on medicare till july 1. can i get a part time job to help with my perscriptions ? and how much am i allowed to make ? thank you.

    • V.V.

      Hi Alvin, thank you for your question. Social Security has special rules that make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments. These are called work incentives.

      For SSDI beneficiaries, there is a Trial Work Period (TWP) and then an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. During this period, you will receive your full disability benefit regardless of how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2021, any month in which earnings exceed $940 is considered a month of the 9-month trial work period.

      Once you’ve completed your TWP, you get a 36-month safety net called the EPE. During the EPE, you get benefits for all months your earnings or work activities are below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment. Social Security will suspend cash benefits for months earnings are over SGA and start benefits again if earnings fall below the SGA level. In 2021, you are earning SGA if your earnings, after any allowable deductions, are more than $1,310 in a month.

      Check out Social Security’s Red Book for descriptions of the many work incentives.

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