If you are already collecting public disability benefits you could still be eligible for Social Security disability, but possibly at a reduced rate.
The U.S. Social Security Administration notes that disability payments from private sources, such as private pension or insurance benefits, will not affect your SSDI. However, benefits from federal or state government programs can potentially reduce your disability check under Social Security.
Some benefits that may have an impact on the amount of your Social Security disability include:
- Workers’ compensation for job-related injuries or illnesses
- Civil service disability benefits
- State temporary disability benefits
- State or local government retirement benefits that are based on disability
Public benefits that will not impact the amount of your Social Security include:
- Veterans Administration benefits
- State and local government benefits if Social Security taxes were deducted from your earnings
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The SSA says that your monthly Social Security disability benefits, including benefits payable to your family members, are added together with your other public disability payment. If that amount exceeds 80 percent of your average current earnings, the additional amount will be deducted from your Social Security benefits. The example the SSA gives is very easy to understand:
“Example: Before you became disabled, your average current earnings were $4,000 a month. You, your spouse and your two children would be eligible to receive a total of $2,200 a month in Social Security disability benefits. However, you also receive $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation. Because the total amount of benefits you would receive ($4,200) is more than 80 percent of your average current earnings ($3,200), your family’s Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1,000.”
If you are currently receiving public assistance, but still aren’t sure whether or not you’re eligible to get Social Security disability benefits, it’s best to contact a lawyer before your file your application. It’s not uncommon for individuals to be denied benefits the first time they file, so by contacting an attorney first, it’s possible to avoid the appeal process all together.
If you would like help filing for Social Security disability, or if you’ve been denied and would like to appeal, contact the Philadelphia attorneys at Mednick, Mezyk & Kredo for a free consultation at 215-545-1870 or 1-888-807-WORK.