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How can the Windfall Elimination Provision affect SSD benefits?

For Kissimmee residents who are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, there are numerous factors that can influence how much the person can receive or if the SSD benefits will continue. One particular issue that might arise is the Windfall Elimination Provision. This might have an influence on how the disability benefits are calculated. It also affects general Social Security so it is important to distinguish between the two.

The Windfall Elimination Provision applies to people who have earned a pension, but their employer did not withhold Social Security taxes. However, the person must also have worked in a position in which they did pay Social Security taxes, and thus would be eligible to receive disability or retirement benefits. The Windfall Elimination Provision also gets even more specific. For example, it may affect a person who reached the age of 62 after 1985, or became disabled after 1985 and was eligible for a monthly pension from work in which no Social Security taxes were paid after 1985 even if the claimant continues to work. This provision can also be an issue for people who were in the federal service under the Civil Service Retirement System after 1956. Those who were in the Federal Employees' Retirement System who had Social Security taxes withheld will not be affected.

There will be no Windfall Provision for workers who were federal employees hired after December 31, 1983; were employed on December 31, 1983 and were working for a nonprofit that did not initially withhold Social Security taxes but did so later; receive a pension for employment on a railroad; performed work in which no Social Security taxes were paid prior to 1957; or have worked for 30 or more years with substantial earnings under Social Security.

Because the Windfall Provision applies to both general Social Security benefits as well as benefits for those who are receiving it due to a disability, it can be somewhat confusing if these are reduced due to this rule. Federal regulations can be complex. Those who see their disability status called into question or their benefits reduced need to have a firm grasp on why this is happening and what can be done about it. Speaking to an attorney can be key to understanding and protecting SSD benefits.

Source: SSA.gov, "Windfall Elimination Provision," accessed on Dec. 20, 2015

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