Can You Collect a Pension and Social Security Disability at the Same Time?

Nothing precludes an individual who resides in the State of California from recovering Social Security disability benefits and an employer pension at the same time. However, some types of pensions may reduce the disability payments that a person will be able to recover through the Social Security Administration (SSA).

A knowledgeable Social Security disability benefits attorney in California can answer all your legal questions regarding pensions and disability benefits and help you make the right decisions to get the most out of your employee and disability benefits.

Covered and Non-Covered Employment

There are two types of employment that exist in the State of California: covered employment and non-covered employment. Most Americans in the United States work at jobs that Social Security covers. In other words, the employer will deduct Social Security payroll taxes from the worker’s paycheck – typically on a biweekly or monthly basis. When an employee is a covered employee, this has no effect on the pension benefits that they may also receive. Therefore, covered employees can collect both pension benefits as well as Social Security disability benefits at the same time.

However, some workers are employed by a non-covered employer and receive a pension from them. A non-covered employer is an employer who does not withhold Social Security payroll taxes from the employee’s paychecks on a regular basis. If that is the case and you receive a pension from your employer, the government could reduce your Social Security disability payments pursuant to the Windfall Elimination Provision, sometimes abbreviated as WEP. Since most workers are covered employees, this provision usually does not come into play, and in most circumstances, they could recover both a pension as well as Social Security disability benefits during the same period of time.

What are SSD Benefits?

Social Security disability benefits are available to workers who have an injury or illness that prevents them from participating in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). This typically means that they suffer from some type of permanent impairment that prevents them from working at any job or in any capacity. A worker could make a claim for SSD benefits, but it is not unusual for the government to deny these benefits on the first go-around.

In that instance, the worker might be able to file an administrative appeal or, if necessary, appeal the denial to a federal district court for review. Typically, an individual cannot file a lawsuit with the court until such time as they have exhausted all their administrative appeal remedies with the insurance company.

If you are trying to collect a pension, Social Security disability benefits, or both at the same time, it is important to have a skilled attorney on your side representing you. A knowledgeable Orange County Social Security disability benefits lawyer in your area can help you determine if you’re eligible for these disability benefits and, if you are, whether you can recover pension benefits at the same time.