Can income sources reduce Social Security disability benefits?

When you cannot hold a job in Kentucky because of a disability, you rely on certain income sources to keep you afloat financially. Some of these are independent and not affected by other income sources, but some may be reduced based on the combined total. In the case of Social Security disability benefits, whether the amount is lowered depends on the particular source of income.

According to the Social Security Administration, some public benefits do not reduce the amount of your SSD benefits. These include payments from the Veterans Administration and Supplemental Security Income. If you worked for a state or local government agency and your Social Security taxes came out of your earnings, then that will not affect your SSD payments, either.

There are, however, some public disability benefits that will lower your SSD payments. For example, if you worked for a federal, state or local government agency, and you are receiving benefits for a disability that is not job-related, that may change your SSD amount. So would the following:

  • Civil service disability benefits
  • Retirement benefits based on your disability that are through a state or local government
  • State temporary disability benefits
  • Workers' compensation benefits

Unfortunately, the combined monthly amount of SSD and other benefits listed above must not be above 80 percent of your average wages at the time that you became disabled. Any amount over that will be deducted from the SSD benefit, but will not affect the other sources of income. A lump-sum payment from one of these sources may also affect the amount of SSD benefits you receive. This general information is educational in nature, and should not replace the advice of an attorney.

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