Hi, thank you for bringing your question to Google Answers, I hope I
can help you by providing just the information you need.
I am assuming that you are referring to Social Security Disability.
If you are referring to some private insurance plan, then you can only
learn the detailed rules from that company.
In general, you qualify for SS Disability based on how seriously you
are disabled (based on whether you can continue to hold the job or
jobs you are trained for and/or have held in the recent past.)
As with other SS payments, there is no means test.
You can have a million dollars in the bank and a Ferrari in the garage
but still qualify for SS Disability if you otherwise meet the
What you can?t do is have earned income ? that is, you can?t have a
real, money-earning job which pays over a certain amount each month.
Actually you can get paid, for example, by a family business, as long
as you aren?t substantially employed, and you can even earn an
?honest? salary ? that just reduces your payments after you reach a
Workman?s compensation can reduce SS Disability benefits.
The main government site is:
The Disability Planner site covers ?What Can Cause Benefits to Stop?
?Two things can cause us to decide that you are no longer disabled and
to stop your benefits.
? Your disability benefits will stop if you work at a level we
consider "substantial." In 2005, average earnings of $830 or more per
month ($1,380 or more per month if you are blind) were usually
considered substantial. In 2006, that amount increases to $860 or more
per month ($1,450 or more per month if you are blind.)
? Your disability benefits also will stop if we decide that your
medical condition has improved to the point that you are no longer
You are responsible for promptly reporting any improvement in your
condition, if you return to work, and certain other events as long as
you are receiving disability benefits. The booklet we send you when
your application is approved explains what you need to report to us.?
Technically, what you must report is:
If your disabling condition improves.
If you work while receiving payments.
If you receive other disability benefits such as Workman?s Comp. or
any other sort of disability benefit or lump-sum payment related to
SSI or Supplemental Security Income is additional and definitely is
based on assets.
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The bottom line is that if you do qualify for SS Disability benefits,
any back payments can only be awarded for up to one year prior to the
initial application date so apply as soon as possible.
As far as whether some other income will disqualify you, if you are
not already getting payments, there is no penalty for applying, just
be certain you tell SS about any work you do, or any payments you are
receiving from other sources and let them decide. Not telling them
could cause big problems.
As for your specific question, are payments offset by the receipt of an
underinsured motorists award? That shouldn?t make any difference under
any circumstances, but you should contact SS with the exact
information just in case. You certainly shouldn?t hide any such facts
In most instances such insurance payments are for medical expenses,
pain and suffering, vehicle damage, or other damages. Unless they are
specifically a payment for disability they shouldn?t make any
difference but it is always safest to ask.
I hope this answered your question. When dealing with the government
there are always layers of rule makers and a vast number of
regulations but it is very likely that the insurance payment you ask
about will not reduce SS Disability payments. However, if these are
ongoing payments or it is stated anywhere that the payment is for lost
work or inability to work in the future, you need to check with SS
just to be certain.