Lump-sum SSDI awards for new beneficiaries require special attention; Allsup outlines other cost-saving tax tips.
More than 1 million people with severe disabilities became beneficiaries under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program last year. But many of them are likely to improperly report their SSDI payments on their income tax returns, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance representation and Medicare plan selection services.
“It can take months and sometimes years to receive Social Security disability benefits. So, many people receive a one-time, lump-sum amount that includes back payments,” said Paul Gada, a tax attorney and personal financial planning director for the Allsup Disability Life Planning Center. “One of the most frequent questions we receive from claimants at this time of year is whether SSDI benefits are taxable and how to report lump-sum payments on their tax return.”
Up to 50 percent of Social Security disability benefits are taxable each year. The actual amount is determined by adding one-half of the taxpayer’s SSDI benefits to all of his or her other income sources. For 2011, a federal income tax return must be filed if gross income is at least $19,000 for couples filing jointly and $9,550 for individuals.