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Retirement And Disability: The Most Common Legal Questions Answered

Both retirement and disability have restrictions on how and when they can be collected when one is eligible. Retirement and disability are among the most common gray areas in the law when it comes to payments and benefits. Here are some of the top questions asked about retirement and disability.

Can creditors gain access to my retirement on my funds?

Most plans operated by employers aren’t subject to creditor action. According to the Employer Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, employers cannot go after retirement funds when attempting to collect a debt.

Can I collect retirement funds as I operate my own business?

A self-employed person can have a retirement plan for their business and one under their employer. Both plans are treated as two separate accounts. There are only limits on the amount of contributions you can make to your plan.

Can payments be suspended after I begin receiving them?

Yes. It’s possible for the payments for retirement to be suspended. Your payments may be affected if you decide to work beyond the retirement age. If you decide to work past the retirement age, your payments may be suspended. It is best to consult with a plan administrator.

Are Social Security benefits taxed?

It depends. If the benefits are the only form of income, then they won’t be taxed. If they are received in conjunction with pension funds, then they may be taxed. This is especially true if you are working while receiving Social Security.

Can you collect disability while working?

You can work and still receive benefits. The caveat is you must be working in accordance with the Social Security guidelines. If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to collect Social Security as you work. A person can be eligible for the “Ticket to Work” program. An employee can be matched to a group of vocational specialists, who will assist you with job placement. Some people work while receiving benefits to maximize their payments so that it will be higher in the future.

Can you work and be partially disabled?

Social Security does not disburse funds for those who have short-term disabilities or those who are only considered partially disabled.

Do you have to be permanently disabled?

No, you do not necessarily have to be disabled permanently but your condition must be long-term. Long-term is considered 12 months and longer.

Any legal questions regarding Social Security, retirement and the law should be discussed with a qualified specialist or attorney. Seeking professional help can make sure you get the benefits you deserve. While going through the legal system can be a daunting task, talking with experts will help you understand and navigate the process better.

Informational credit to the Law Office of Judith Leland.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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