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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 136 opinions so far. Add your comment below.


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.


Is profit made from the sale of collectibles or personal property considered other income that your ltd can claim as an offset

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Kate, no as it is not earned income within the context of a disability policy.


If I am on LTD and I have an investment account will gains obtained and/or withdrawn from the investment account be used to offset my LTD?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Robert, if the account is not related to a retirement account as set forth in the disability policy as a source of other income then there should be no issue.


I’m receiving LTD from Metlife and SSDI. I’m going to retire from Conocophillips and want to know if by taking a lump sum and doing a direct rollover of my pension to an IRA will my LTD payment be offset.

I would not be taking any distributions. I have asked both Conocophillips and Metlife reps this question but can not get it in writing. All I get is their opinion or told to ask the other party. This is >100k ?

Thanks, Mark

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mark, review your policies language as it relates to sources of other income. There is usually language applicable to that very issues.


My husband has been getting long term disability from insurance company and receives social security Disability… I am his wife and eligible to receive social security. With my social security payments offset any of his Ltd payments… We live in Texas.


If I am on LTD and have short term gains from stock and Forex spot trading, can those gains be used against my LTD benefits?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

JC, I have yet to see a group disability policy that offsets for such. Your policy will contain a detailed list of what would be deemed Other Income subject to offset.


I injured my back and was off work for the full six month period of short term disability. I applied for and was approved for social security disability beginning February 1 2017. My last weekly short term disability check for the full six month period ending date was February 7 2017. I got a letter today telling me that I owe them the week of February 1 thru February 7 back as an over payment 318.06 due to me going ahead and applying for SSDI. Had I procrastinated on filing for my SSDI claim I would have gotten to keep the money due to February 7 being the last day of my 6 month short term disability claim. Is this legal? I never got a copy of my short or Long term disability policy as I got it thru my employer.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Wlk, the insurance carrier would be entitled to offset/reduce your benefit by the amount of the SSDI – it is known as a source of Other Income under the policy. Are you currently on LTD? If so, the offset would also be applicable.


My LTD company is asking for my spouse’s Social Security number. Doesn’t that violate my husband’s privacy?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Gretl, it is not uncommon for a request to show up in a standard claim form. Is that the context in which it is being asked? If so, you could certainly leave it blank.


My husband I receiving LTD through metlife and got approved for SSDI. Are they able to take the children and my (spouse) auxiliary payments?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Brittany, if the policy indicates that Dependent Social Security is a source of other income subject to offset under the policy, then unfortunately, yes.


If a relative pays off the mortgage or credit card debt of a person with an active non-ERISA IDI claim, would that amount be considered an earnings offset? How about a direct monetary gift?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Chris, I cannot think of a scenario where a carrier under an IDI policy would consider that earnings. There shouldn’t be any issue.


I am receiving LTD and am getting ready to go back to work. How do Insurance companies figure my disability income? Do they include benefits you receive in your income total? If they match my retirement contribution, is this included in my disability income total ?
Thank you

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Robert, disability income will be set forth in your policy. Typically a LTD policy will pay 60% of your monthly earnings. That sometimes will include bonuses and commissions and sometimes only your base salary. The policy will define what constitutes your Monthly Earnings. I have not seen an employer provided policy consider employer retirement contributions to be income with which to compute a monthly benefit.


I am on long term disability and have applied for SSDI. I have saved some money for investment property and would like to mortgage half. The renter will pay mortgage payments so I will not be receiving any income from any proceeds since rent will cover payments. Is this still considered passive income? Thanks. Coco

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Coco, “Rental income” is typically not deemed as a source of Income that would be subject to an offset under an employer provided disability policy. Without seeing the defined terms for “Other Income” in your policy we would not be able to completely advise.


HI I’m 58 on LTD AN SSDI I have many chronic health ailments! Heart failure, left branch block, sudden death syndrome and needed a defribulator pace maker, is main reason I can’t work. But also supplied MET LIFE with my 5 herniated discs in my spine, osteo arthritis in my hands. I have tears in the lebrums in my hips from I guess my job, hypertension, and diabetes. I know HUH? Kind of inherited some of those. I was advised by met life that I can apply to my company for a disability pension. Which I did and was approved. I have permanent heart damage, I’m considered type 2 heart failure. my disability pension is less then half of what my pension would have been. MET LIFE calls every 4 to 6 months, and says, we’re calling on your long term disability case, and will be contacting your doctors for updated paper work. But how can MET LIFE say I’m on LTD? when I was approved for my disability pension? and have been getting my disability pension? For a year now. Met life doesn’t pay me anything? I go on Medicare in July , but my wife and kids will remain a on my plan as it is for all retirees. Sorry so long but can never get a straight answer from met life. My heart has improved from many meds and defribulator pace maker but still have symptoms of heart failure exertion etc. So honestly! What’s the purpose for MET LIFE wanting paper work from my doctors? And also so frustrated because I was only 8 months shy from being eligible for my regular,pension I had age but needed 8 more months!! So, Even if my cardiologist and electrophysiologist says my heart has improved! some what, can they now take away my disability pension and my benefits from my family? SSDI understands I’ve only had a labor job last 19.5 yrs, and prior to that only labor jobs. I also now have chronic anxiety from my health and constantly having to reprove to METLIFE until I’m 65 that I have heart failure and cannot work. If nothing else! Thanks for letting me vent to a professional it’s a shame even people with very real diseases have to be treated this way. Thanks


I’m receiving LTD benefits from my previous employer. My husband was receiving SOCIAL SEC AND EMPLOYER PENSION AND VA DISABILITY BENEFITS. My husband recently expired. I’m eligible for survivor benefits.
Question: Will my survivor benefits be used to offset my LTD benefits.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Len, if MetLife is not paying you any benefit for over a year and you are receiving a disability pension – are they offsetting your benefit based on the amount you received from the disability pension (as well as the SSDI)? I am not sure how to answer your question regarding disability pensions, as we only handle claims for disability insurance claims, so a little more information would be needed in order to assess how we might be able to assist you. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your situation further.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Cathy, I am sorry for your loss. Survivor benefits should not be an offset under your LTD plan.


I’m 60 years old and receiving Assurant LTD and SSDI. My wife will be 62 years old. She was a homemaker and we are considering applying for her spousal benefits now and not when she is 66 years old. Will Assurant offset her spousal income from my LTD payments?

Thank you.


My wife is receiving LTD insurance benefit from the insurance company. She recently got approved for SSDI at the insistence of the insurance company after multiple appeals. She is 64 and has about 18 months of benefits left (which will be reduced by the SS disability payments). I just turned 66. The insurance company is telling me I must either take my own SS benefit or spousal. And if I take spousal, they will reduce their portion of my wife’s benefit by that amount. My wife’s insurance company benefit is tax free.

Would it be a good strategy for me to take my own benefit for 18 months and then do a “reset” – repaying Social Security and begin taking spousal at that point? And then wait until age 70 to take my own benefit. Would the insurance company have any recourse since I did not take the spousal while my wife was receiving her benefit from the insurance company?


I am receiving LTD benefits from an employer’s group insurance and now is approved for Surviving Spouse benefit due to my disability. Can the insurance for LTD offset the amount received for Surviving spouse and can they ask for the money back?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Guillermo, possibly, depending on the language in the policy.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Peter, if you do not take any SSA sponsored benefit stemming from your wife’s claim then there should be no offset. You would have to determine what strategy would maximize the money received into the house between SSDI, SSR and the disability benefit.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Nad, a widow benefit is not considered an offset to your disability policy. If you receive SSDI, then the carrier can reduce your benefit, but there should be no such offset for receiving a survivor benefit.


Thanks for your input. To be clear, can the disability company require me to take my own benefit if I don’t take spousal benefit? If they can and I get around it by doing a reset, can they have any claim on us?


Thank you so much Mr. STEPHEN for your prompt reply. I greatly appreciated it.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Peter, I do not know how an insurance company could require you to take any Social Security benefits if you are not their insured.


My LTD policy states as follows: MetLife will subtract from your gross disability benefits, payments from other sources of income, including:
1. any disability or retirement benefits which You, Your Spouse or child(ren) receive through:
? Federal Social Security Act;
This contradicts the statement at the very beginning, “The universal answer for this question is No.” Do most employer LTD policies now reduce benefits for spousal Social Security income?


Hopefully I explain those correctly. I have Hartford ltd. I knew from the being that all overpayment will be paid back which I did pay them the overpayment. The problem is when I received my award from ssd not ssdi it said if my dependent has turn 18 they need to contact ssd directly. So I told my daughter and she followed thru and was paid directly to her. I never recieved any of the money and no documents on how much she recieved. Now Hartford is dropping me unless I repay a very large amount to them. Well I would but how can I repay something that I never received? I don’t have that money. She doesn’t even live with me. Can Hartford drop me for thus reason? I have 20 years before their payment was to stop and the money they say I owe isn’t nowhere close to that amount. Any help would be greatly appreciated. One more thing after I paid them the 27k overpayment for myself they sent me a letter stating overpayment paid in full.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Hankster, if MetLife is sending you to the appointment you would have an obligation to go. If it is your doctor sending you to the FCE you would not have an affirmative duty in the policy to go. However, if there is any reference to an FCE MetLife is likely of the opinion that you may no longer meet the definition of disability. As such, the FCE may be in your best interest. Please feel free to contact our office should you have any additional questions.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Mike, Hartford can only terminate your claim if they determine the medical information does not support disability. They cannot terminate you for not paying back an overpayment, but they can withhold monthly benefits until such time that it is repaid.


Atty Jessup, I thank you for the information. However, my original question stands: Do ERISA policies now offset for a spouse’s Social Security income? That is what is stated in my Metlife LTD policy, they can offset any disability or retirement benefits which You, Your Spouse or child(ren) receive through Federal Social Security Act. Can that be contested (since that is her income, not mine, and we maintain separate accounts)? Thanks again for your advice.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Hankster, the policy language would govern, but I have never seen an offset for a spouses retirement benefits.


I am getting LTD through Metlife (what a pain) and get approx $6000 after a SSDI adjustment of $2653 (I do not pay tax on the LTD through Metlife because I paid tax on the premium). I have a minor tax exposure on my SSDI and that ok. My benefits through Metlife will continue until I i turn 65. I just turned 55 and under the terms of my retirement accounts I can now draw from my retirement, or I can take a lump sum or ignore until I am 65. I have about $250k in two retirement accounts and $200 in a 401k. I am concerned that Metlife will want me use the retirement funds now to offset my monthly benefit. I would like to leave all my money in the retirement and the 401k until I am 65. Some have advised that I move it to an IRA. Thoughts?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Steve, your MetLife policy will contain a provision for sources of “Other Income.” Frequently, this same provision will indicate what forms of retirement accounts will be deemed a source of other income subject to offset. Without seeing your policy we cannot know for sure, but generally, 401(k) accounts are listed as exempt from offset, and if a retirement account is rolled into an IRA or other similar account that is not accessible then it will also be exempt from offset. If you have a copy of your policy please feel free to contact our office to discuss in greater detail. Additionally, you could consider the possibility of negotiating a lump sum settlement from MetLife.

Lori A.:

If I am getting paid Long Term Disability from Metlife and get married can they change the amount or cancel it?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lori, no. Getting married will not impact your MetLife benefit.


What about stepchildren gained from a marriage 2 years after the disability was approved? 2 are received survivor social security benefits from their deceased father as well as private workers comp benefits from their father.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Dennis, the insurance company should not be able to offset the survivor benefit to the step children.

David C.:

I’m selling a house. I will make a $70,000 profit, it is a rental property I’ve had since 2010. I am on company Long Term Disability until 65 and Social Security disability for life. Question Capital games 70000 profit, will the long term disability people from my company be able to come in and take my profit from my sell of my rental home? I have rented it for the last 3 years.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

David, as it is not income derived from work, there should be no issue with respect to any offsets.

Tess McCo:

I became disabled at 57 and applied to disability benefits through MetLife and applied for Social Security Disability benefits. I received them both. I was surprised to learn about the offset of SSD by MetLife and that MetLife award amounts are never increased even for cost of living. I have been a widow since 1991. I was advised I could apply for my husbands benefits (Wiidow’s Insurance Benefits) which were $867. I receive two separate payments. I just received notification from MetLife to submit the updated info for my claim review. Will they offset their payment by this additional benefit amount?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Tess, the widow benefit should not be an offset to your policy. If they try to assert it is please contact our office to discuss how we can assist you.

Tess McCo:

Thank you Stephen. I appreciate your wisdom in this area. Yes, I will contact you if anything changes. It is a 5 year follow-up. So, who knows what will happen with them. Have a great holiday season.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Tess, you’re very welcome. Hopefully, there won’t be any issues going forward. Have a very Happy New Year.

Joe K.:

Is a pension considered an “retirement account”? I want to place my pension into an IRA account and not draw til LTD is over to avoid an offset. However, I am hearing that my pension may not be considered an offset if I execute my pension but put it directly into an IRA account until LTD is over. Can you confirm please?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Joe, typically a deferred compensation plan (401k) would not be an offset – unless the employer also contributes. However, under pure retirement plans from an employer – if it is rolled over to an IRA it would not be an offset unless you pull money from the IRA. If you have a copy of your policy it will usually address this scenario in the “Other Income Benefits” section.

John S:

My wife has been on short term disability for 5 months and transitioning to long term .
Liberty mutual is asking for spouses social security award letter, if getting it.
Why would the ask? Do they have a legal right to that information?

Attorney Rachel Alters:

John S.,

Liberty is not entitled to take an offset for any income that is not directly related to your wife’s disability. Any social security disability income you are receiving would not be related to her disability and should not be relevant to her disability claim with Liberty. I am not sure why they would want this information. I would suggest she call the individual handling the claim at liberty and find out why they are requesting it.

Scared and In Love:

I am on SSDI and LTD with Hartford. My bf proposed to me. Will my Hartford LTD benefits change or lessen if I marry him? I ask because even though they have told me the answer is no, on my latest forms to fill out for them to assess my disability, it asks me if I got married in the last two years, and if so, what my spouse’s income is.

-Scared and in Love.

Attorney Alex Palamara:

Scared, we can certainly sympathize with your fear of the insurance company. While I have never reviewed the Policy that is governing your claim (and as such, I cannot say for certain) and while I don’t know all the facts relevant to your claim, but in all likelihood, there should be no reason why your LTD benefit will change or lessen if you marry him. The only potential fact pattern that may come to mind is if somehow he were to become your dependent and then he received dependent social security benefits under your social security disability claim, then such a social security disability dependent benefit could be an offset to your LTD policy. But in most situations, you should have nothing to worry about.

Should you have any follow up questions, please do not hesitate to call our firm.


I’m 66 and receiving SSR also LTD benefits. Will insurance company offset my SSR benefits?
SSR started after LTD.

Attorney Rachel Alters:

John, it depends on the policy language. I would need to review the policy before giving you answer to that question. Usually the offsets are for social security disability benefits, not retirement benefits.

Samantha R.:

I am a 100% permanent and total disabled veteran and have reached my 2 year mark for long term disability from my former employer, the State of Texas on work disability. The group handling the disability is REED group and they’ve said they can use my VA Comp and Pension award to “off set” what they pay me for disability. Which my VA C&P is WELL over what I get in the work disability – – they also already use my social security to “off set” the disability amount they give me… I have never seen ANYONE or KNOW of anyone who has the ability to use my VA C&P to use to off set anything as it’s protected monies, NOR take it as any “back pay” they feel I’d owe for them “owing them”, even though I’ve told them for 2 years I’ve been 100% disabled by the VA… I only sent them the award letter this time because someone said, “oh it usually helps them make your case faster”. Because THIS go around, being the 2 year mark, is the one which indicates whether or not they’d be able to drop me from covering my work disability at all or keep coverage until I’m 65 years old.

ONE of the diagnosis they cover is NOT covered by the VA at all, and the other 2 have completely different ICD codes… When I spoke to the work disability people I said to here that my VA has always been off limits and is considered non income, even to the IRS, and she flat out told me NO IT ISN’T! WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT WITH IT… I literally will lose everything I have. It’s not my fault… I’ve always been honest and done everything they’ve asked for…. But I thought my VA C&P was protected.. She’s stated I couldn’t just use my VA to sit around and use as income…. I have a number of disabilities that I don’t get to “sit around” with, but suffer with every day…. What recourse do I have with this?

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Samantha, this will depend on what your policy considers as “other income.” Often times they can take an offset for VA benefits, but usually it has to be for the same exact disability the private disability policy is paying you for. I suggest you have your policy reviewed by an attorney in our office.

Larry B.:

Met Life is requesting my WIFE’S SSI income! I have been receiving LTD benefits from them for 10 years and we both receive SSI disability. She was disabled from her company after 28 years. Why do they need my wife’s SSI income and is it legal for me to give them her personal award letter?

Victor Pena:


If your wife is receiving SSDI benefits for her own disability then MetLife does not have a right to that information.

Sam F:

My spouse is on SSDI. Do I have to keep him on my company’s health insurance plan?

Attorney Jay Symonds:

Sam F, if your spouse is on SSDI he/she may become eligible for Medicare after 2 years. It’s unclear why you would not want to keep your spouse on your employer’s health insurance plan, but you should speak with his/her SSDI attorney for clarity on the Medicare issue.


My work LTD policy does NOT specifically state what is “considered other income” except specifically mentions Railroad, Texas Teacher, social security… and when I stated to the case manager of my LTD (which again, is at the 24 month mark where they determine if they’re going to totally drop me or continue), that I’d informed at least FOUR representatives I’d spoken to in the past that I was 100% P&T and no one had ever said a thing, and that while their policy had mentioned specific entities and other income but had NOT specifically stated ANYWHERE in ANY manual available, “VA benefits” — the case manager told me that they can and have taken VA to offset, and can, “take whatever they want as other income”… Somehow, I just cannot see how it’s legal for someone to just SAY they’ll take whatever they want, without having it in an actual WRITTEN POLICY for us to be made legally aware of… They (and I) have to abide by “the policy” regarding everything else, so why not with this?

I’ve been told that my case is still being reviewed so they’ve extended my LTD until April 1st, and they’ve never done this before, and even my physician wrote a letter stating that I will not be able to maintain employment, all of my documentation supports this, I’ve sent them pictures, written letters and even shown that the VA ICD codes are NOT the same as the ICD codes for the disabilities that they’re covering… and it worries me that they’re stalling long enough to back date a policy that adds VA benefits as “other income”— because yes, they are that pathetic.

As I stated before, my VA C&P benefits every month IS significantly MORE than what they pay me in LTD every month… so using my C&P benefits to offset what they pay me every month, would result in them paying me ZERO because the VA C&P is MORE than what the LTD pays… but these are benefits I paid into as an employee of the State of Texas, and because THEY failed to specifically put VA benefits (yet did NOT fail to specifically state other benefits) into the policy that was in effect when I went on LTD, they can now just simply SAY, “whatever we want” and that’s legal for them to do so, just so it prevents them from doing what they know they’re going to have to end up doing until I’m retirement age—according to the policy— which is pay my LTD amount every month that they’ve been paying, until the CONVENIENCE of when the 24 month mark hit…

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Samantha, most policies do not allow for offset of VA benefits – who is your insurance carrier?

Leon C.:

Hi. My mother has been terminated by her employer as she has transitioned into LTD due to leukemia. The LTD provider is offsetting her payment due to the fact she is receiving survivor benefits from my deceased farther. Can survivor benefits be calculated as an offset? My mother is 69 but was until now still working and not collecting any other form of Social Security benefits other than the survivor benefits mentioned above.

Attorney Cesar Gavidia:

Leon, whether the insurer can offset your mother’s LTD benefits depends on the language regarding “other income benefits” in her long-term disability plan. Most policies do not offset for survivor/widow/widower SSDI benefits, and generally do not offset for Social Security Retirement or Decease Spouse Benefits which were being received prior to their disability insurance claim. If you have any additional questions please contact our office and ask to speak with a disability insurance attorney.


I received Ltd for two years. Now I got ssdi. Ltd will offset my back pay from ss. Can Ltd offset my wife and son back pay?

Victor Pena:

Raul, if the SSA pays dependent benefits or you are eligible for dependent benefits for your wife and son as a result of your disability then those benefits will likely be offsets.


I’m receiving LTD and SSDI. My former spouse passed away and I became eligible to draw disability SSDI under his Social Security. Will or can my LTD offset the amount I get from his social security benefit?
Thank You

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Maggie, do you mean you were eligible to draw widow’s social security benefits? If so, that should not be an offset under your policy as it is not related to your disability.


I am currently collecting LTD benefits from a employer non funded policy. I recently received a motor vehicle settlement from the at fault drivers insurance policy. Half went directly to an ERISA medical lien. VOYA(LTD) insurance wants an overpayment for my half of the settlement and already reduced my monthly benefits amount. I requested a financial appeal based on the monies received are to be used for past, present and future medical costs and have nothing to do with lost wages, etc. They are now wanting access to my private auto insurance policy for any claim/settlement paid for UIM. My auto policy company will not provide them any information without my approval. Can I deny that information released or is it asking for “more trouble”?

Attorney Cesar Gavidia:

Debi, your LTD insurance policy contains language which allows the disability insurer to reduce your benefits by “other income benefits” or monies received from another third party on account of your disability. You are likely required to provide them with that information. Please contact our office to speak with a disability insurance attorney if you have additional questions.


I retired with a full PERS pension 5 years ago (age 46). I went back to work with another company 3 years ago and am applying for long term disability. Will my private pension affect my disability claim?

Attorney Jay Symonds:

Frustrated, a pension benefit you receive from a prior employer should not impact a disability benefit you receive from a group policy issued to a subsequent, unrelated employer. That said, the group policy will specifically identify what “Other Sources of Income” the carrier can offset against a disability benefit issued under the group policy. You should request a copy of the group certificate/policy to see exactly what the policy identifies as “Other Sources of Income.”


I have been on Full disability and receiving monthly “LTD conversion” disability benefits thru Standard Ins. Company since 2009. I have about 7 1/2 years left until the end of my benefits. It has deductible income clause and currently Standard pays 65% and SSDI 35% which in 2 years will change to 75% by Standard and 25% by SSDI. One HALF of “GROSS” work earnings are also deductible income under return to work provision. Last year when I asked if they consider a BUY OUT for the remaining of the policy, the answer was NO.

Question: Since Standard portion of the monthly benefit payments will increase to 75% of the Max. monthly amount in less than 2 years, I was wondering if Standard would consider negotiating to pay a FIXED lower monthly rate of 50%-55% instead of 75% from now to the end of the policy which will save them $150K- $170K in exchange for REMOVING the entire “Work Earning” provision?

The reason for asking the above solution which is a win situation for Standard for sure, is that I am progressively getting in more debts with addition of my kids’ significant college expenses with not having any more savings or retirement left and soon when the 75% of my disability benefits income ends our life style and quality will be unsustainable!

I appreciate your help and input on this matter and if you are aware of or have negotiated a similar case before.


Attorney Rachel Alters:

Fred, I do not know whether Standard would consider changing the terms of the policy. If I had to guess I would say this was unlikely. It would be more likely that they would offer a buy out on the claim. I would like to discuss with you the reasons they did not want to offer the buyout. You can contact my office and ask for Rachel Alters for a free consultation and I can try to help your figure it out.


Hi, I have recently been approved for SSDI for the amount of $1757. MetLife pays me $2342 monthly. I know MetLife will offset my monthly payment. First Question: If my backpay from SSDI is equal to the offset amount that MetLife will pay in future payments, will they settle for the lump sum?

SSDI mentioned my kids (3) may be entitled to backpay and future payments. Will MetLife considered their money as mine? Are they entitled to their backpay?

Attorney Alex Palamara:

Jason, I have never seen MetLife work in that manner. That being said, they may be willing to enter into lump sum negotiations with you to buy you out of your policy and waive the overpayment in the process. Contact us should you desire assistance in such. And under most group long term disability plans, your dependents SSDI benefits will be an offset to your LTD claim and you will owe an overpayment for such.

Fred S.:

I am 70 still working full time, I need a knee operation, Cigna is the short term disability insurer. Will they offset my STD benefit becuse I’m receiving my Social Security Retirement Benefits?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Fred, there does stand a likely chance that they will based on the language in your policy. You would need to ultimately review the policy to determine as some policies will indicate that Social Security benefits that became payable before a date of disability are excluded from offset.


My wife was collecting long term disability from MetLife, her employer stop paying her. My wife sued workman comp for back pay before long term insurance kicked in. With the money she receives from lawsuit, can MetLife ask for their money back? Workmen comp is asking her to retire/quit before they pay out.

Attorney Jay Symonds:

Diug, you will need to request a copy of the LTD policy and check the Other Sources of Income provision to determine whether the Worker’s Compensation payment will result in an overpayment due to MetLife. I suggest you contact our office and speak with one of the attorneys to address any additional questions you have regarding your specific situation.


If I am on LTD and I want to withdrawal my pension from my 30 year job, how does the offset happen? Will I be getting the same between both less or will I be getting more?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Shorty140, if your pension is an offset under the policy the insurance company will reduce your monthly benefit by the amount you are receiving, which would essentially equate to you giving the insurance company a break on their financial liability to you. In that case it would be advisable to hold off on taking your pension until the disability claim is over. I would also suggest that you review the section of your policy dealing with “Other Income” to make sure the pension is an offset. Some plans, such as 401(k) or other deferred compensation plans in which you funded are not considered sources of Other Income subject to offset. If your employer funded it in whole it would most likely be an offset, or if they funded a portion of it, that portion would be.

Morris J.:

I am a 100% service connected disabled veteran who has 39 out of 40 working credits with the Social Security Adm. When I tried to apply for retirement in 2016 at the age of 65, I was denied because I haven not enough working credits. A person at the SSA informed me to work another 2 years and earn at least a thousand dollars a month and I can become eligible or earn another working credit. I feel it’s not fair that the I did earn has been taken away from me. Is there any legal action I can take to solve my issue?


I am applying for LTD. I have stage 4 cancer. I was sent a packet to fill out. They wanted the names of my adult children, asked if they were married, divorced, etc. They have a social security statement about paying back over payments. It also said I agree to file for SS within 45 days of them telling me to. Does that me on day one of ltd they can tell me to get ss? Is it normal to ask me about my kid?

Also I receive military retirement income, 22 years of service. Can they include it in other income? I began receiving it several years before getting the ltd insurance.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Laurad, thank you for your service. I generally do not provide the names/information for any adult children, and provided limited information with respect to minor children. The inquiry is being made with specific attention to potential offsets stemming from Dependent Social Security Disability. As adult children are not typically eligible for a dependent award (with the exception of an adult child who would have been eligible based on your date of disability for a period of time) it is not as pertinent as information on minor children. With respect to retirement from the military – that I cannot speak to without seeing the policy. Any sources of “other income” would be listed in the policy itself. More often than not retirement benefits from a prior employer (aka not the one from which you are filing disability from) are not offset- only retirement from the employer that provided the disability policy. I would suggest you review your policy to see what it states. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss any questions that you may have and for a free consultation and review of your policy.


I’m on Social Security Disability and also long-term disability from my employer (from The Hartford since 2006). When I got social security disability, I reimbursed the Hartford with my lump sum payment from Social Security. In 2016, my employer told me I either needed to apply for retirement disability, resign, or I would be terminated within 90 days. I chose to resign because at the time I was 51 and I wanted my retirement account to gain interest until I was 59.5 (my time of normal retirement). Today 12/12/18, out of the blue, the Hartford called me to ask if I’d applied for retirement disability. I told them no, that when given the choice by my employer that I’d resigned since I was still young and my retirement wouldn’t mature until 59.5. I was then told by her that the Hartford required me to do disability retirement. This is something that I’ve never been told before by the Hartford.

The only other discussion that I’d had with the Hartford about retiring was another rep telling me that I needed to retire at 59.5, which I agreed to. I checked with my states’ retirement board and the human resources direct of my former employer and I was told that disability retirement is no longer an option because I resigned. My question is, can The Hartford force me to take retirement? Am I going to be in trouble with them for resigning? The Hartford rep asked me to send them a letter from my former employer stating that it’s too late for me to apply for disability retirement; which they are doing. Any advice will greatly alleviate my worries. Thank you!

Attorney Cesar Gavidia:

TB, there are likely nothing that the Hartford can do to force you to apply for disability retirement at this point. However, your policy would need to be carefully reviewed to fully understand and know all of your options. Please contact our office and ask to speak with a disability insurance attorney.


I am on SSDI and my wife and I are currently separated, she Receive the money for the kids from SSDI. I also receive LTD payouts. Will my kids SSDI payments from Social Security offset the long term disability insurance payments I receive?

Victor Peña:

Terry, you should review your disability policy to see if social security disability benefits for dependents are an offset. The wording may describe family benefits or benefits to third parties. The question is whether benefits are payable or being paid as a result of YOUR disability. If so, it will likely be an offset in a group employer sponsored disability plan.


My husband worked for Walmart for over 18 years he had STD and LTD he died unexpectedly (not work related). I am 42 years old and cannot get his SS benefits because of my age right now. Can I file for disability through his disability insurance and receive some sort of benefits through him?

Attorney Jay Symonds:

Angie, once your husband passed away his eligibility under the employer group LTD/STD policies would have ended. Also, unlike health insurance for instance, dependents of eligible employees are not typically covered under group LTD or STD polices offered by employers.


I’m currently on LTD, I’ve been awarded SSD, I understand there will be an offset,my question is ,if I cash in my 410k, will there be an additional offset to my LTD?

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Jim, you have to check the policy language under the “Other Income” section, it will state whether 401k benefits are an offset to the LTD benefits. I would check this before cashing out on your 401K.


My fiance is receiving SSDI and receives a small amt from Hartford which is to make up for what SSDI doesnt pay. They keep this amount to pay back overpayment. If we get married can they use my income and increase the amount and require hime to pay more back each month to repay overpayment he had while waiting on SSDI?


Not sure of my question is going through but need an answer before we set a date before the wedding. Will my income be considered in the repayment amount for the backpay on the Ltd my fiance received. This money was used to catch up things he didnt put on chapter 13 and almost lost. This had nothimg to do wirh my income. Please advise.

Victor Peña:

Krista, your income would not be considered an offset to his disability claim with Hartford and would not be considered in calculating the overpayment owed on the claim.



I am currently on 100% disability. My wife currently does not work but would like to start her own business. How will this affect my benefits? I know they ask for my tax returns every year and, if the business is successful, this will show up as income. Will it be OK as long as she is listed as the sole owner of the company?

Thank you

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

John, as long as you are not working for, or associated with the company you should not have any issues with your disability carrier trying to offset your benefit. It is really no different if you were on disability and your wife had a regular job. Only income associated to you can be used by your insurance company to affect your benefit.


Can 2 different disability policies both take a Social Security offset? That would effectively mean a reduction in income. I have an Individual Policy and a work provided policy. Both are saying that if my SSDI claim is approved, they can both apply the offset. Thanks.

Attorney Alex Palamara:

Bob, unfortunately there is such a possibility. However, must Individual Policies don’t allow for such. The language of the governing policies will control. If you send us copies of the policies we will gladly do a policy review and discuss your claim with you.


My husband has been getting long term disability from insurance company and receives social security Disability. I am his wife and eligible to receive social security. If I get ss on his record (1/2 of his ss) would it be considered offset income and be deducted from his disability payment? We live in Maryland.

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Barbara, it should only be an offset to his Ltd benefit if you received social security disability benefits as a result of being his dependent and solely due to his disability. If you are receiving it because you qualify for other reasons and are collecting his bc its higher than yours then they should not be able to offset for his Ltd payment.


My wife has been receiving STD benefits for 5 months and her claim was approved for LTD benefits. In about one month, she will transition from STD to LTD and begin receiving a monthly LTD payment. We know that the disability insurance company (Liberty Life) requires her to apply for SSDI. We also know that if my wife is eventually approved for SSDI, Liberty will use her monthly SSDI benefit amount as an offset to my wife’s monthly LTD payment. We know too that Liberty requires my wife to refund them money from any retroactive lump sum paid to my wife by The SSA.

My question is: Can Liberty require money from the SSA’s retroactive lump sum payment for the first 6 months my wife was receiving STD payments? I have no problem with them taking a portion of the retroactive lump sum payment for all months she received LTD benefits, but I do not believe she should refund Liberty any money from her retroactive lump sum payment for the first six months she was on STD. Am I correct? Thank you!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Kevin, if SSDI is approved there is usually a 5 month period where benefits are not paid (similar to an elimination period in a LTD policy). However, most STD policies will also have the same offset language as a LTD policy when it comes to SSDI. So any overlap with the STD period would be repaid on the STD claim as well. Liberty will have to provide you with a full accounting of the offset and how they computed same.


Mr. Jessup – Thank you for reminding me there’s an STD policy in place too!! Although I have read Liberty’s LTD policy, I have not read their STD policy. (But I most certainly will now!)

I’m willing to bet there’s a clause in the STD policy with regard to offsetting. I hadn’t considered the fact that my wife is/was also covered by an STD policy as we’re very focused on transitioning to LTD. Thanks again!


I have been getting long term disability from disability insurance company and have received social security Disability for several years. My wife became eligible for full social security benefits due to age last year. She now gets half SS on my record, would or should ALL of what she gets be considered offset income and be deducted from my disability payment? The company sent out a questionnaire this year and due to my response to their questions said I owed ALL of what she received ALL of last year. The amount she is receiving is more because of my disability but they are considering all to be theirs and not considering she is eligible for most of what she is receiving.

Attorney Alex Palamara:

Herb, the policy governing your claim will control what is offset-able and what is not. Thus, the policy will need to be reviewed. Also, is there documentation from SSA that can be provided that shows what amounts she is getting on her claim and what amounts she is getting on your record? Is there a way to change it so that she only receives the amount on her record? Please feel free to contact us for a free consultation to discuss possible alternatives to your current benefit situation.


I am receiving social security disability and LTD from Unum. It was off set when I start receiving SSDI and my son also receives a check from SSDI because of my disability. His check will be cut off in 2 years when he turn 18. After I had been dis ambled for about 3 year I got a letter from Unum to do a review and I get it every 2 years for the last 10 years but I ask them why would they bother me so often for such a small amount of money it not even 200 a month. The lady told me that unum disability insurance is a insurance that replaces income and when my son turned 18 and his SSDI benefits he received due to my disability stops that unum would raise my benefits up to what my sons was eligible to receiving when I first became disabled 10 years ago. Have you ever heard of that with a LTD insurance?

Attorney Cesar Gavidia:

Scottie, yes, once your son stop received SSDI dependent benefits, your Unum LTD benefit should increase by the amount of the dependent benefit Unum was offsetting by.


My spouse, who recently passed, and I were both on SSDI. I also have private disability through my employer, which is offset by my SSDI. Can I receive the spousal/widow benefits going fwd? It is important I do given the lost income. If so, do I continue my SSDI (the offset) or would I have to cease doing so. If the latter, what would insurer do/say since offset would stop? Thank you.

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Susan, you would have to contact an attorney that specializes in Social Security or contact the SSA directly to get an answer to your questions. As far as your private disability, if you receive your wife’s SSDI benefits it may be considered as other income. You would have to check your policy to be sure.


Hi. I have been a bus driver for 19 years. Had to stop working because of arthritis in both knees and depression. I recieve an income from my husband whom was 100% disabled Vet. My husband loss his battle to cancer last year. I recieve 1/2 of his income from the VA. I have two grands I’m raising both on SSI. I’ve applied for SSDI. Will the income that I receive from my deceased husband and grandkids affect the amount I receive from SSDI? Thank you… from Spld Ma..

Attorney Rachel Alters:

Bird, I’m sorry, you need to contact a law firm that specializes in SSDI. We only handle private disability.


My policy excludes 401 K plans for offset but not employer contribution retirement funds. Mine is a 401a. I am currently on Medical leave but have gotten my disability for Long term and SSD. I wanted to cash out my 401a once my employer terminates me. (They keep you on for a period of time to keep you on benefits.) But what happens to the money if I cash it out. Does the LTD company get all the money?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Rene, as we do not have the policy language to confirm the most we could recommend is that you contact your insurance carrier and ask them what would happen if you do case the funds.

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