Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are benefits paid to those who have a disability and who have paid Social Security taxes. SSDI can be a great resource for those who need extra financial support to aid them with managing their disability or condition.
However, there are many things that influence whether or not a person’s claim for SSDI benefits will be accepted, as well as how much money he or she will receive. One factor that might affect the amount of money a disabled person will receive is a pension.
If you believe that you qualify for SSDI benefits and you have a pension, the following provides an outline regarding what you need to know about how your pension may impact SSDI benefits.
How are SSDI benefit amounts calculated?
The amount of money that a person receives each month for a disability under the SSDI program is dependent upon a variety of factors. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the average monthly benefit paid to disabled workers in July 2014 was $1,145.52. However, this amount can vary, depending upon your individual circumstances.
The SSA calculates benefits using your average monthly earnings, age and how many work credits you’ve earned. The number of work credits necessary to qualify is dependent on your age at the time of disability. However, other payments or forms of income that you receive can affect the payment you receive.
How a Pension May Impact SSDI Benefits
Private payments such as any disability payments from a private source, a private pension or private insurance benefits, do not affect your SSDI payments. However, if you receive a pension from local, state or federal government, and if that pension is from a job that did not pay Social Security taxes, your benefits may be reduced.
Essentially, a pension will only affect your SSDI benefits if you did not pay Social Security taxes at the job where the pension was earned. A different formula under the Windfall Elimination Provision is used to calculate benefits for those who receive a pension for a job in which the employer did not withhold Social Security taxes.
The calculator will result in a lower amount of benefits than you would otherwise receive. In the case of a worker who turns 62 in 2014, the first $816 of the worker’s average earnings is multiplied by 90 percent, the next $4,101 by 32 percent and the rest by 15 percent. This sums of each of these three calculations is then added together to determine the worker’s monthly payment amount.
For spouses, widows and widowers, the Windfall Elimination Provision does not apply, but a different law does apply that may reduce your benefits. Per the Government Pension Offset, the individual’s benefits are reduced by two-thirds of the pension received.
Seek Legal Counsel for Disability Benefits Help
The laws, calculators and policies regarding the way that the Social Security Administration determines and allocates benefits are complex. If you believe you qualify for SSDI benefits but aren’t sure how your pension may impact SSDI benefits in your case, an attorney can be a valuable asset in explaining the law as it applies to your circumstances.
Furthermore, if you have been wrongfully denied benefits, seek the assistance of an attorney who can help you appeal the SSA’s decision. At Rob Levine & Associates, our team is ready to take on your claim to help you get the benefits you need and deserve. To get started, call us today at 1-866-LAW-SSDI (529-7734).