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Could My Social Security Benefits Be Reduced?

Many Americans have multiple sources of income in today’s economy. However, some may not realize that when it comes to receiving government benefits of any kind, the smallest income they receive from a job or government source can adversely impact their ability to continue receiving those benefits. This includes receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

Receiving other publicly administered benefits

While retirement and disability benefits in addition to private insurance generally do not limit your ability to receive SSD benefits, any compensation you receive from public funding sources such as workers’ compensation or disability may do so. The level of disability payments you receive can be affected by any federal or state retirement benefits you receive, including those stemming from your civil service employment. If you receive retirement payments, once those payments begin, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will recalculate your monthly disability benefits, which could result in a reduction in your Social Security Disability payments.

Social Security Disability Benefits Reduced

Receiving employment income

If you work a part-time job and that work is considered below what the SSA deems “substantial,” your Social Security benefits will continue, but they may be reduced. This is particularly the case if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), since that is a needs-based program established to help individuals who have very limited financial capabilities and resources.

In certain circumstances, you can work and receive SSD benefits. However, you cannot engage in work that is considered “substantial” according to the SSA and still receive SSD benefits. If you work at or above the substantial gainful employment level, your SSI and/or SSDI benefits will come to an end.

If you plan to attempt to gain full-time work, you should give advance notice to the SSA. The agency may provide you with some flexibility with your work attempts, enabling you to continue receiving monthly benefits, even though those benefits may vary during your attempts.

Change in marital status or family income

If you marry while receiving SSD benefits, the SSA will review the assets and income of your new spouse. The SSA will also conduct a review if your spouse incurs a disability and starts receiving SSD or other disability benefits from a public source. Family income may affect the level of SSD payments you receive as well. An example is when a child receives disability payments from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the income or assets of the child’s parents change as a result.

Public benefits that will not impact your right to receive SSDI

The amount of SSDI you can collect is not affected by certain government administered or public benefits you may earn. These include Veterans Administration (VA) payments and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). In addition, if you receive state or local government aid that has already had Social Security taxes deducted, that income will not hinder your eligibility to receive SSDI.

Reporting changes to the public benefits you are receiving

If you have had any public benefits reduced, increased, or stopped, you should report those changes to the SSA. The changes may either increase or decrease the level of disability payments you are eligible to receive.

Receiving disability benefits

You may be eligible to receive disability benefits due to an illness or injury you sustained at home or on the job. The level of benefits you are eligible to receive will depend on certain factors such as your household income and how much you have paid into Social Security. A Nashville Social Security Disability attorney can help you determine the level of benefits to which you are entitled and help you secure those benefits.

Working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney is essential when applying for SSD benefits or attempting to resolve a dispute with the SSA about your current benefits. Our attorneys at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are here to help you secure the SSD benefits you deserve. We fight for clients throughout the state of Tennessee from our conveniently located offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville. To arrange an initial, no-cost consultation about your case, give us a call today at 615.425.2500 or fill out our contact form.

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