Is Your Disability Income Taxable

The term disability income refers to the program that provides income to individuals who can no longer work because of a disability. If you receive a disability monthly income, you may wonder if it is taxable or not. Read on to learn more about disability income and whether it's taxable or not.

What Is Disability Income? 

Disability income is classified into three categories: Social Security, Military, and Retirement. You can apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (SSI). Both are government programs, but your eligibility criteria may vary.

SSDI is funded by payroll taxes. You most likely qualify if you have worked for a certain number of years and have been paying FICA taxes. You must also be under the age of 65. You must have work credits, and the more you have, the better. After applying for these benefits, you must wait at least five months before being approved. In general, SSDI is easier to get than SSI.

SSI is a needs-based program. This implies that your work history will not be reviewed. Instead, your financial needs are assessed. If you are single, you must have less than $2,000 worth of assets and less than $3,000 if you are married. This program is funded by regular taxes rather than Social Security. If you are qualified, your state may potentially provide you with Medicaid.

Is My Disability Income Taxable?

If you earn military disability from the government or the VA, you are not required to pay income tax on these monies. However, any benefits paid to you by your employer are subject to tax and must be reported as wages on Form 1040. 

SSI is not taxed on its own, but if you make extra income such as self-employment, dividends, or interest, you must file a tax return. There are about a dozen states that tax SSDI, so make sure to check with your tax preparer to see if you live in one of them.

Do I Need to File Taxes When Receiving Disability Benefits?

It mostly depends. The amount of money you and your spouse make will influence whether or not you must file taxes. You must file in case you are married, and your partner still earns money.

If you are single and your main source of income is from disability, you may not have to file a return. However, you should file regardless since you may be eligible for a refund if you have other credits and deductions. If your disability income exceeds $25,000, you must file and pay taxes as a single filer.

What Disability Benefits Qualify as Earned Income?

If you receive disability retirement benefits, you can count them as earned income until you reach the age at which you would be eligible for a pension or annuity if you were not disabled. The IRS does not regard SSDI and SSI to be earned income. Military disability is also not considered earned income.

Are There Tax Credits Available for People with Disabilities?

Yes, there is a credit called Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. You can get back an amount between $3,750 to $7,500. You must be either 65 or older or retired on permanent and total disability. During the tax year, you must also receive taxable disability income.

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