The law has a strict provision known as the “80% Rule”. This rule essentially dictates that the benefits you are collecting from all disability programs combined cannot be more than 80% of what you were earning when you were working. So, the SSA applies this rule to determine offsets. They will consider what your monthly rate of disability benefits (or your lump sum settlement) from any worker’s compensation claims combined with any monies you are drawing from state disability, certain state pensions and possibly other disability programs to determine what your SSD benefit rate should be to not exceed that 80% cap.
If I get a pension from work, will this affect what my monthly disability benefit rate would be?
In most situations, the SSA will figure your disability benefits using a different formula to account for the monies you are receiving from work not covered by Social Security. If your pension is from earnings that were not taxed, the SSA will likely offset your disability benefits. If the pension is based upon taxed earnings (also called “covered” earnings), then there will likely not be an offset.
I am receiving another form of disability benefits. Doesn’t that mean I should win my disability case?
Unfortunately, each system determines disability for that particular system independently from one another. Just as discussed in #15 above, every system and program utilizes their own rules.
I am drawing early retirement from the SSA, however I am disabled. Can I apply for disability benefits?
Yes. You can pursue a disability claim while continuing to draw early retirement as long as you can demonstrate that your disability began prior to age 65. If the SSA determines that you qualify for SSD benefits, then you will be paid the difference between the two benefit amounts and your ongoing retirement benefits would be paid at the higher rate going forward.
I understand that there is a state supplement for those who qualify for SSI. Is that true?
Yes. The 2022 monthly benefit rate for a single person receiving SSI is $1,040.21 per month. Most states pay a supplement based upon the costs of living in the region where the person lives.