Can I Still Qualify for SSDI If I Have Another Source of Benefits?
You can still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you have another source of benefits, including both government and private benefits.
If you receive other benefits from the government, such as federal or state aid or workers’ compensation, you can still receive SSDI. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may reduce your award by the amount you receive in other benefits.
If your other benefits come from a non-government source, such as a private pension, you can also still qualify for SSDI. These benefits generally do not impact the amount of your award. There are rare exceptions to this rule. If you are receiving a private pension or retirement benefits from a job that did not assess payroll taxes, it may impact your SSDI award.
Before you apply for SSDI, it is a good idea to speak with a qualified disability attorney about your situation. This will help you ensure that you are going about getting your benefits the right way and that you are getting every perk and benefit for which you qualify.
The team at Disability Advantage Group, focuses on disability law. We have helped many clients in your shoes get disability benefits through the SSDI program. To set up a free consultation with one of our skilled attorneys, call our office today at 865-566-0800.
How Do I Qualify for SSDI?
The SSDI program has two main eligibility requirements you must meet: proof of a qualifying disability and a sufficient work history.
The SSA publishes a master list of qualifying medical conditions that it updates regularly known as the Blue Book. If your disabling condition appears in the Blue Book, you can simply refer to its entry, where you will find a list of the specific qualifying criteria related to your particular condition.
If you meet all of these criteria—and have medical evidence of your condition—you should receive an approval. Issues do arise during the application process, however, which is why it is a good idea to have an attorney representing you when you apply.
If your condition does not appear in the Blue Book, we can prove your case by presenting evidence that your condition is functionally equivalent to a Blue Book condition. This means it affects your ability to sustain gainful employment in the same capacity as a qualifying condition would.
The second requirement pertains to your work history. Because SSDI is set up as an insurance program—and its funding comes from payroll taxes—only those who have sufficiently paid into the system are eligible to make a claim and receive benefits. We can review your work and payroll tax history to ensure that you qualify when we review your claim.
What If I Receive Other Government Benefits?
You can still receive SSDI if you also receive other government benefits. Generally, though, your SSDI award will be lower based on the amount of your other government benefits.
This is true for most federal, state, and local aid, as well as for programs such as workers’ compensation. If your benefits come from another source, our lawyers can let you know the specific implications.
Even if your other benefits reduce your SSDI award, the total amount you receive each month will equal the amount you would receive from SSDI absent those other benefits. The SSA will never “punish” you with less overall compensation because you collect benefits from another source.
What If I Receive a Private Pension or Other Non-Government Benefit?
If your benefits come from a non-government source, such as a private pension, your SSDI benefits usually are not affected.
A rare exception happens when you receive retirement income from work on which you did not pay Social Security taxes. Common examples of this type of employment include charity or nonprofit work.
Otherwise, your SSDI benefits should be safe. You should receive the full amount for which you qualify.
Can I Receive Both SSDI and Regular Social Security Retirement?
No, you can only receive one or the other. This is because SSDI benefits are essentially Social Security retirement benefits that you can claim early if you develop a qualifying disability.
If you are eligible to receive either SSDI or regular Social Security retirement, it is almost always a better idea to take SSDI. That way, you save your retirement benefits until you reach a later age and can qualify for a larger monthly check.
Do You Have More Questions About Your SSDI Eligibility? We Are Here to Help.
If you have additional questions about how your other benefits will affect your SSDI award, the attorneys at the Disability Advantage Group, are here to help. We would love to invite you in for a free consultation. To schedule your appointment, call our office at 865-566-0800.