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Public Disability Benefits (PDB)

SSDI (Title II) Beneficiaries:

There are two kinds of Public Disability Benefits (PDBs):

1.              Those that reduce your Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) - Title II benefits if you receive them based on your own earnings record; and

2.              Those that do not reduce your SSDI benefits.

Section 504 of the SSA Handbook says that all Federal, State and local public disability benefits will reduce your SSDI benefits except:

                   Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits;

                   Needs-based benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI); and

                   Federal, State, or local disability benefits that are based on State or local public employment that was covered for Social Security purposes.

NOTE: Private disability insurance benefits also do not reduce your SSDI benefits.

If you have a Public Disability Benefit but do not know which kind it is, you should contact your SSA Claims Representative.

SSI Recipients:

If you are a SSI recipient, generally any of these public or private disability benefits will reduce your SSI check dollar for dollar after the first $20 General Income Exclusion. However, SSA does not count some unearned income when deciding whether to reduce your SSI cash benefit. Not counted are Food Stamps, Housing subsidies and any State benefits that you may receive because you have low income.

A complete list of the unearned income that SSA does not count is available in Section 2138 of the Social Security Handbook.


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