PLEASE NOTE: Our office is still open, serving our clients, and taking new clients, too! Attorneys and staff are working remotely and/or safely apart within our office(s) while recognizing the recommended guidelines for social distancing. Your health and safety, and that of our staff, is important to our firm. In response to the threats of COVID-19, we are currently offering clients and potential clients the ability to communicate with our attorneys and staff by telephone or email. As soon as it is deemed safe to meet in person, we will be happy to schedule in-office appointments. In the meantime, please contact our office by telephone or email to discuss your legal needs. We continue to fight for your disability benefits during this difficult and unprecedented time. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Understanding the tax status of disability benefits

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If a California resident receives disability benefits, it is possible that it may be considered taxable income. For instance, those receiving Social Security Disability benefits may have to pay taxes if half of your benefit plus your other earnings are more than $32,000 for those filing a joint return. Those who are filing as single or as married filing separately will pay tax if that number is in excess of $25,000

California residents do not have to pay state income taxes on their Social Security benefits. California residents are also not subject to federal taxes on short-term disability benefits. Employees are entitled to a portion of their salary if they are out for several days or more because of an injury or illness. pursuant to the state’s mandatory short term disability plan. In California, the plan is funded by employee payroll deductions.

Long-term disability benefits are generally not subject to tax if an individual paid the premium using after-tax dollars. Otherwise, benefits may be partially taxed. Those who receive Medicare may be able to write off any premiums paid on their tax return, and any benefits received through the program are generally not taxable. Those who have questions about the tax status of their disability benefits are encouraged to talk with a tax professional.

If an individual has an injury or illness that leads to an inability to work, it may be possible to obtain Social Security Disability benefits. However, the process can be confusing, and delays are unfortunately inevitable. People who are in this position might want to have the assistance of an attorney when applying.