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Social Security Q&A Part 15

By: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Question:  Will my disability benefits be reduced if I get workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits?

Answer:  If you get either workers’ compensation or public disability benefit payments, we may reduce Social Security benefits for you and your family.

Public disability benefit payments paid under a federal, state, or local government law may affect your Social Security benefit. This includes civil service disability benefits, temporary state disability benefits, and state or local government retirement benefits based on disability. Disability payments from private sources, such as a private pension or insurance benefits, don’t affect your Social Security disability benefits. However, in some cases, private disability insurers may require you to apply for Social Security disability benefits before they pay you. You may want to check to find out about your private insurer’s policy.

Question: I am getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Can I get other kinds of help?

Answer: You may be able to get other assistance. For example, in most states, SSI recipients also get Medicaid. You should contact your medical assistance office. Also, SSI recipients are sometimes eligible for social services provided by the state, city, or county where they live. These may include arrangements for meals or transportation. SSI recipients also may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, or “food stamps,” in many states. More information is available at your local public assistance office.

Question: I have medical coverage through my employer. Do I have to take Medicare Part B?

Answer: You are not required to take Medicare Part B if you are covered by a group healthcare plan based on either your employment or the employment of a spouse. When your coverage ends, you may contact the Social Security Administration to request a special enrollment for Medicare Part B. We will need to verify your coverage through your employer in order for you to be eligible for a special enrollment. For more information, visit medicare.gov

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov