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Are disability benefits affected by other types of benefits?

As discussed last week in this blog, individuals may have tough decisions to make when an illness or injury prevents them from continuing to work. While Georgia residents may qualify for Social Security disability benefits for illness, those benefits can be impacted by other financial sources like retirement benefits.

However, retirement benefits are not the only type of income that can impact a person's SSD benefits. If a person obtains workers' compensation benefits because of a job-related illness, for example, it can affect the SSD benefits.

Likewise, other public disability payments can affect the Social Security benefit, such as those paid by a federal, state or local government for disabling medical conditions. These includes things like civil service disability benefits, state temporary disability benefits and state or local government retirement benefits based on disability.

On the other hand, there are many types of benefits that do not affect a person's Social Security disability benefits under the federal regulations. Payments from private sources like private pensions or insurance benefits, for instance, do not affect Social Security disability benefits. Similarly, Veterans Administration benefits, Supplemental Security Income or state and local government benefits where Social Security taxes were deducted will not typically impact a person's disability benefits.

Accordingly, there is not a simple "yes" or "no" answer to the question of whether disability benefits are impacted by other benefits. The answer will depend on the particular type of benefit involved, among other circumstances. As a result, this makes it all the more important that individuals understand the benefits equation in their personal circumstances.

Source: Social Security Administration, "How workers' compensation and other disability payments may affect your benefits," accessed on May 21, 2016

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