Is disability income subject to income tax?

In some situations disability income may be subject to income tax. Whether or not disability income is taxed will depend on who is paying for the disability insurance premiums and how much income you are receiving from your disability benefits in combination with other sources.

Paying Premiums for Disability Insurance

As a general matter, if you are paying premiums for disability insurance yourself, then the benefits you receive in turn will be considered tax free and are not subject to income tax by the IRS. If, on the other hand, your disability insurance premiums are paid for by your employer and you become disabled and begin receiving benefits, those disability benefits will be eligible for income taxes and must be filed as such on your tax return.

Income Limitations for Disability Benefits

If you're receiving social security disability benefits and you receive income from another taxable source, your benefits may be taxed. This is because social security disability benefits have a maximum income limitation, over which they will become taxable. If you are receiving the benefits only and no other form of income, you won’t have to worry about taxes.

If you have another source of income such as wages, or a pension, and your total combined income adds up to more than the maximum allowable untaxed amount, your social security benefits will become taxable. How much they are taxed depends on your total combined income. For example, those with a combined income of over $25,000 but less than $34,000 will be taxed on 85% of their social security benefits.

Getting Legal Help

If you have concerns about your disability benefits and tax consequences, it is a good idea to consult an attorney who specializes in disability benefits and disability income. Your lawyer can explain any and all obligations you may have with regard to the benefits you are receiving from all sources.