If you were injured on the job and qualified for workman’s compensation, a family cannot receive benefits worth more than 80 percent of the disabled worker’s previous wages. Both the Social Security disability and worker’s compensation payments are counted against that 80 percent figure. The benefit reductions apply in most states, though there are a few states that will reduce your workman’s compensation payments instead of your disability benefits.

If you did pay into Social Security for forty quarters, you may be eligible for disability benefits even if you were a public servant working in a position that didn’t pay into Social Security. Remember, you must have recent work where you paid Social Security taxes five out of the last ten years before you became disabled. However, your Social Security disability benefits would be reduced through what is known as the Windfall Elimination Provision. The reduction is typically 50 percent of the disability benefit amount. Please see the next chapter for more information on the Windfall Elimination Provision.