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If I am receiving disability insurance benefits, can the disability insurance company use my spouse’s income or retirement benefits to offset my monthly disability benefit payment?

The universal answer for this question is No. In almost every short term or long term disability insurance policy the only money a carrier can use to offset the claimant’s disability insurance benefits is money paid to the claimant or the claimant’s children as a result of the claimant’s disability. An example of a classic offset is SSDI payments to the claimant or SSDI payments to claimants children as a result of the claimant’s disability. Income to earned by a spouse that has nothing to do with your disability is irrelevant and we have never seen a spouse’s income offset a spouse’s disability benefit. There have been cases where a claimant and the spouse own shares in a company and the claimant is still disabled. The income distributed to the disabled claimant could be considered an offset.

There are 15 opinions so far. Add your comment now.


If I am receiving disability benefits, can the disability insurer use a company bonus for goals met prior to becoming disabled but paid to me after I was approved for disability to offset their payments to me?

Attorney Greg Dell:


Great question. Income earned prior to Disability, but paid after disability generally should be used as an offset. Your disability policy may have specific language discussing this.

Regina Moore:

I see a lot of questions as to the LTD getting your backpay when approved for SSD. My carrier for LTD sent me a letter a couple months back advising that I will be approved through them until 2044 per my case was approved through their doctors. I am a single mom and really need this money. I have heard several different remarks from people trying to help me with this. None of those were lawyers. Can I file a HARDSHIP on the backpay? Can I make a settlement offer and is there a chance that LTD companies will consider this? I called customer service and also my case worker through the LTD company and they said that whatever that SSD doesn’t pay me that they will send me a check to cover the difference since I had been approved through their doctors. I dont want them to sue me and dont know if a judge will help me. Why did my company take out for STD and LTD if they are going to take everything? They have also been very rude when I have called to ask questions because I didn’t understand the paperwork. They never mentioned anything about taking all of my backpay and maybe some of my check each month. Please help.


Would long term capital gains be an offset to my LTD income? I don’t see where my MetLife LTD policy addresses income like gains, taxable interest, etc. Capital gains aren’t specifically excluded in the policy, yet they ask me about Other Income each year.

Attorney Greg Dell:


Usually, passive long term gains are not an offset to LTD benefits.

Calvin Jones:

Will my long term disability benefit be offset if I buy rental property and start collecting rental income?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Based on language found in most disability policies, no. In an abundance of caution I would recommend that you review the provisions in your policy that define what sources of “Other Income” are which would be subject to offsetting your benefit.

Alan Zermack:

My long term disability insurance company will use my monthly Social Security “Retirement” as an offset to disability payments. Is this legal? Can they do this?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


If it is enumerated under the policy as an offset to your benefit, then yes, it is unfortunately legal.


Regarding Michael question,
If while on STD (elimination period 6 months) I received a bonus that was 4 months before LTD kicked in. Can the insurance company use this as an off set? The STD summary only off sets other disability payments with no mention of other income.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:


Without review of the policy language we would not be able to advise. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss.


My wife is currently receiving LTD , I’m an owner operator of an 18 wheeler when I started I put my wife as president of the LLC with myself . My Wife worked for an Insurance company prior to getting hurt on our boat. All of a sudden the LTD company wants a copy of MY Business Taxes ( their reasoning is to see if they are paying her properly) BUT SHE NEVER WORKED FOR ME NOR RECIEVED BENEFITS FROM MY LLC COMPANY. When I did all the LLC paperwork I thought I cheer her up as making her a member. Will that affect her LTD Benefits?? She RECIEVED LTD from the company she worked for. Should I remove my wife as Memeber ?
Thanks In Advance

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

KD, there is reason to be concerned that you have held out that she is a “president” which does give the impression she is working in some capability. I think it is very important that you clarify that your wife is not working in any capacity as it relates to your LLC.


When figuring my monthly long term disability pay, will my salary and bonuses be included in the calculation of my monthly benefit?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Darcey, you will need to review the policy to determine what the plan defines pre-disability earnings to mean as it relates to computing your monthly benefit.

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