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

Suffering a disability and being unable to work can be quite disconcerting. Since Social Security disability payments are rarely enough to live on, it’s essential for you to apply for all the other benefits to which you may be entitled. You might be wondering if you can collect California disability payments and Social Security at the same time.

What You Need to Know

It’s possible to qualify for California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) while you are also receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). However, getting SDI benefits could cause your SSI or SSDI benefits to either decrease or stop altogether due to your income eligibility. It’s imperative that you understand both of these benefits and how they can impact each other. For example, you may want to choose one over another or use one for a period of time and then switch to the other one.

How Much Does SDI Pay in California?

If you are eligible for California’s SDI, you will typically receive your benefits every other week. The amount you qualify to receive will depend on how much you earned during the base period. Depending on how much money you make, SDI pays between 60 to 70 percent of the wages you earned over your highest-paid calendar quarter of the base period. However, if you receive any employment earnings while you are on SDI, that amount will be subtracted from your benefits.

How are SSI Payments Determined?

Each Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient’s benefit amount is a set rate. Each person receiving SSI benefits gets the same base amount. These amounts are determined each year based on the average wage index and cost-of-living adjustments.

For SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your payment based on your lifetime average earnings before you were disabled. Your SSDI benefit amount is calculated by using your covered earnings— your earnings at jobs where your employer took money out of your check for Social Security or FICA.

Your SSDI monthly benefit is calculated by your average covered earnings over a period of time, which is your average indexed monthly earnings (AIME). The SSA applies these figures in a formula to identify your primary insurance amount (PIA) or the basic amount used to establish your benefit. Generally, SSDI payments range on average between $800 and $1,800 per month.

How SDI Impacts SSI or SSDI

Since SDI is another form of income, it counts against your SSA benefits as income. The amount of SDI you receive will be used to help calculate how much, if any, SSA benefits you qualify for. In addition, any SDI you receive will likely decrease your other benefit amounts.

our earnings and calculations for these benefits are important but also confusing. In order to make ends meet, it’s essential to maximize your benefits in any way possible. Don’t get bogged down in the confusion or anxiety about your eligibility or how much you might be eligible to receive. Instead, turn to an OC social security disability attorney who can help you maximize your benefits.