Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Social Security Disability and Short Term Disability Benefits

I received a comment recently from someone who was receiving short- term disability benefits from their employer. The individual asked how short term disability benefits would affect his Social Security disability since it would most likely be reported as earnings from the company.

Short- term disability entitlement does not affect an individual’s ability to receive their Social Security disability benefits. Social Security does not apply any kind of offset to their disability benefits if an individual is entitled to short or long term disability benefits from their employer or an outside disability insurance company.

Of course, that does not mean that an individual’s short- term disability carrier will not offset what they pay the individual once they start receiving Social Security benefits.

So back to the specific question at hand--if an individual receives short-term disability benefits after their date of onset (the day they became unable to work due to their medical condition) and it is reported as earnings; what should they do?

They can do one of two things. They can have the amount of their short term disability benefits removed from their earnings record. Or they can wait and see if their short term disability benefits cause Social Security to question their work activity.

If Social Security questions an individual’s earnings, they will contact the individual for an explanation of their work activity. At this point, the individual has to provide proof that they received short-term disability benefits for that time period. Either way, Social Security will not hold an individual accountable for short-term disability benefits that are reported as earnings provided that the individual can prove they received short-term disability benefits for the time period in question.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

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Is there a short term Social Security Disability Benefit?
Social Security Disability for Mental and Physical Problems
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Ankylosing Spondylitis Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability
Is it Difficult to Win Social Security Disability if you have Mental Illness?
Social Security Disability and Taking Your Medications
What does Social Security Disability consider a Mental Impairment?
Social Security Disability List of Impairments



Blogger Barbara said...

What happens when state disability and short term disability (or long term disability) overlaps with getting a SSDI award? When I got my award letter it was dated Sept. 2008 and said I'm eligible starting back in June 2008. But I was collecting the other monies during that time. I just received a letter from SSDI regarding this 'income'. Do I owe anyone the money back?

10:31 AM  
Blogger Disability Blogger said...


Social Security does not count any state disability benefits (long or short) against your entitlement to Social Security disability benefits. That does not mean that your short or long term disability benefit payer cannot offset their benefits once you become entitled to Social Security disability.
However, if you received Supplemental Security Income disability benefits simultaneously with short or long term disability you may or may not owe Social Security money. It depends upon the amount of your short or long term disability benefits. If your monthly state disability benefit was over the monthly income limit for SSI, you may have been paid benefits you should not have been paid. It this is the case Social Security will ask that you repay any monies that you were not entitled to receive.

Regarding your other question "How do you remove the short term disability and long term disability from the earnings record?"---I am not sure exactly what you were asking, so I will clarify one other point about income. In this question your are asking how to get short term or long term benefits removed from you earnings record, which made me wonder if you are thinking that Social Security is holding these benefits against you because they reported as actual earnings to your record? If this is the case you can get a letter from your long or short disability benefit provider as to what benefits have been paid to you and Social Security can remove them from your earnings record. This can be tricky because any change in the earnings reported to your record could potentially reduce the disability benefit amount you receive. If you have received these letters as part of a SSA work activity investigation, I would contact them to let them know that income in question is long or short term disability benefits, and they can tell you how to handle your earnings record.

6:54 AM  

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