How a Pension Affects Social Security Disability Benefits

December 22, 2015
Dayes Law Firm

For workers who qualify and have total disabilities that do not permit them to work, Social Security may grant disability benefits. Depending on what types of income a person has, some pension types may reduce Social Security Disability payments.

Most people will not see a reduction in their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because of a pension. However, there is a relationship between SSDI and pension.

Disability and Pension

The key question is if you had Social Security taxes withheld on earnings that qualified you for your pension. Most government and private jobs are subject to Social Security taxes, so any pension from these types of jobs should not lead to a reduction.

However, there are some local and state government agencies that do not require Social Security to be withheld from employees paychecks. In certain cases, the Windfall Elimination Provision may be applicable and reduce disability benefits.

The process to determine how much of a deduction you will receive under this provision can be complex. It will take into account how long you worked at a job where you paid into Social Security and the year that you became disabled. The Social Security Administration provides a table showing the highest potential reduction subject to the rule, maintaining the fact that benefits will not fall by more than half of your pension.

Spousal Benefits

If your spouse is disabled, you could receive spousal disability benefits. The Windfall Elimination Provision will not reduce your benefits in this case, but another caveat may. If you are receiving a pension from a job in which you did not pay Social Security taxes, the Government Pension Offset may apply.

This program will reduce survivor or spousal disability benefits by two-thirds of your pension. For some, that could eliminate your entire disability payment.

However, it is important to remember that most people are able to collect pensions without any impact on their Social Security disability payments. Generally speaking, only those who worked for part of their career in a position that did not require them to pay into Social Security could face deductions in their benefits.

If your application for disability benefits has been denied and you need help filing for disability, contact a Phoenix Social Security Disability attorney at Dayes Law Firm PC today.

Call 1-800-503-2000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form.