Do You Have to File Taxes on Disability Income

If you receive disability income, you may wonder whether you need to file taxes on it. The general rule is that if the disability income is taxable under regular income tax rules, then it is also taxable for federal income tax purposes. This means that if the disability income is from a private disability insurance policy, it is usually taxable. However, if the disability income is from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it is generally not taxable. Additionally, if the disability income is from workers’ compensation, it is usually not taxable at the federal level, but may be taxable in some states. It’s important to consult with a tax professional to determine the specific taxability of your disability income based on your individual circumstances and location.

Types of Disability Income

Disability income can come from various sources, each with its own tax implications:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): Benefits from SSDI are generally taxable as ordinary income.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI benefits are not subject to federal income tax.
  • Private Disability Insurance: Payments from private disability insurance policies are typically tax-free if the premiums were paid with after-tax dollars.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable as income.
  • Veterans Disability Benefits: Disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs are not taxable as income.
Disability Income Source Taxable?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Yes
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) No
Private Disability Insurance (paid with after-tax dollars) No
Workers’ Compensation No
Veterans Disability Benefits No

Exemptions and Deductions for Disability Income

In addition to the regular exemptions and deductions available to all taxpayers, individuals with disability income are eligible for some additional tax breaks. These include:

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Individuals with disability income may be eligible for the EITC, a tax credit that reduces the amount of income tax you owe. The EITC is phased out at higher income levels.
  • Standard Deduction: Individuals with disability income can claim a higher standard deduction than other taxpayers.
  • Medical Expense Deduction: Individuals with disability income can deduct more of their medical expenses than other taxpayers. This includes expenses for medical care, prescription drugs, and medical equipment.

The following table summarizes the exemptions and deductions available to individuals with disability income:

Exemption/Deduction Amount
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Up to $6,935 for 2023
Standard Deduction $13,850 for 2023 for single filers; $27,700 for 2023 for married couples filing jointly
Medical Expense Deduction Up to 7.5% of AGI for 2023

Reporting Disability Income on Tax Return

Individuals receiving disability income may wonder how it impacts their tax obligations. Here’s a guide to help you understand your reporting requirements:

Taxability of Disability Income

  • Tax-free disability income: Includes payments from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and most employer-sponsored long-term disability plans.
  • Taxable disability income: Includes payments from private insurance companies, workers’ compensation benefits, and certain other sources.

Reporting Tax-Free Disability Income

If you receive tax-free disability income, it does not need to be reported on your tax return. However, it may still impact your tax liability if you receive other taxable income.

Reporting Taxable Disability Income

If you receive taxable disability income, you must report it on your tax return. You will receive Form 1099-R from the payer, which will show the amount of taxable income you received.

Type of Disability Income Form Used to Report
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Form SSA-1099
Employer-Sponsored Long-Term Disability Form W-2
Private Insurance Disability Form 1099-R
Workers’ Compensation Form 1099-MISC

Special Considerations

There are a few special considerations to keep in mind when reporting disability income:

  • Disabled spouse or child: If you provide more than half the support for a spouse or child who is permanently and totally disabled, you may claim them as a dependent, even if they have disability income.
  • Disability Retirement Pay: Retirement pay from the military or other government agencies due to disability may be partially or fully taxable.


Understanding the tax implications of disability income is essential for accurate tax filing. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure that you report your income correctly and avoid potential tax penalties.

Tax Implications of Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are a vital lifeline for individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. However, the tax implications of these benefits can be complex and vary depending on the type of benefit received.

Types of Disability Benefits

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance
  • Private disability insurance

Taxability of Disability Benefits

Type of Benefit Taxable
Employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance Maybe
Private disability insurance No


SSDI benefits are taxable if you are under age 65 and have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security credits. The amount of tax you owe will depend on your filing status and income.


SSI benefits are not taxable.

Employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance

Employer-sponsored long-term disability insurance benefits may be taxable if you are also receiving Social Security disability benefits. The amount of tax you owe will depend on the source of the disability and your income.

Private disability insurance

Private disability insurance benefits are not taxable.

Alright folks, that’s all she wrote for our dive into the world of taxes and disability income. I hope this little gabfest has shed some light on the matter and eased any tax-related worries you might have had. Remember, if you have any more questions or your tax situation gets a little wonky, don’t hesitate to consult a tax professional. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your hard-earned cash. Thanks for hanging out, readers! Be sure to swing by again soon, we’ve got plenty more tax-tastic adventures in store.