Can I get a disability payment from Social Security and my employer?

Moondogie asked...

I am getting Social Security disability and would like to know if I can get disability from my employer also. I am 55 years old.

Expert Answer

As far as the Social Security system is concerned, you can collect Social Security disability benefits and disability benefits from your employer's disability insurance coverage at the same time. There is no set-off or reduction in Social Security disability benefits if you also collect benefits under employer-sponsored disability insurance.

However, whether you can collect both benefits at the same time also depends on the rules of your employer's disability benefits coverage. Some employer-sponsored disability coverage will reduce or even discontinue payments if and when you also qualify for Social Security disability benefits. To find out what the rules are regarding your employer's disability coverage, you have to check directly with your employer's personnel or human resources office.

If your disability is the result of a work-related injury or illness, you may also be eligible for workers compensation benefits. However, if you do collect workers compensation benefits, the total of your Social Security disability benefit payments and your workers compensation benefits combined may not be higher than 80 percent of your average wages before your disability. If the combination of both benefits exceeds 80 percent of your previous wages, your Social Security disability benefits will be reduced so that the total you receive from both sources is 80 percent of your prior wages. Once your workers compensation benefits stop, you will again receive the full amount of your Social Security disability benefits.