Social Security Disability Insurance is offered to qualified applicants who can not only prove that they have an existing disability that prevents them from working for at least a year or one that is expected to result in death, but also for those who have paid into the system through an extensive “work credits” series of qualifications. Applicants must also fall under a maximum monthly income of $1,090 for a disability, $1,820 for applicants who are blind. But, are pension covered under these earnings limits? The answer is usually no, but there are exceptions.
The Social Security Administration will first consider whether the earnings made to qualify for the pension were taxed to pay into the Social Security disability program. For most government jobs and private sector work, Social Security withholdings are already taxed, so the pension will not affect any disability benefits.
But if you have earnings that were part of a pension that were not withheld to go into the Social Security program, things become more complicated, as they are subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision. The Social Security Administration will look at the amount of years you did pay into the SSDI system as well as when you became disabled. In these instances, your SSDI benefits may be reduced. The Social Security Administration provides a WEP chart on its website to help calculate what the reductions would be.
Applying for and being accepted into the SSDI program is not always an easy or painless process. Many applicants have benefited by hiring a professional firm familiar with Social Security benefits to help them along the way.
Source: Nasdaq, “Does My Pension Affect My Social Security Disability Payments?,” Accessed Dec. 28, 2015