Is Disability Insurance Taxable?

A lot of people are asking if disability insurance is taxable. If you’re one of the many people who are unsure if disability insurance is taxable, you’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know whether or not their benefits will be taxed.

Is disability insurance taxable? Disability insurance is taxable in some cases while non-taxable in other situations. Whether or not disability insurance is taxable depends upon the source of disability income.

Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about the taxability of disability insurance.

Is Disability Insurance Taxable?

Disability insurance is a form of coverage that gives money if an employee is unable to do his or her duties at work due to an accident or sickness.

Disability insurance falls into two categories:

Short-term disability: This form of insurance reimburses a percentage of your income for a limited amount of time, usually ranging from months to two years.

Long-term disability: After a period of several weeks or months, this sort of coverage begins and may last from a few years to the end of retirement age.

Disability insurance can come from a variety of sources. Disability insurance may be provided by your employer or purchased yourself through an insurance company.


The rules for private disability insurance payments are defined by federal tax law, which is dependent on who paid the premiums and how they were paid.

According to the IRS, if your employer paid the premiums, you must include disability benefits in your taxable income. If you paid the premiums the taxability of these payments is dependent on whether you paid with pre-tax or post-tax money. A pre-tax deduction is subtracted from your pay before any taxes are taken out, lowering your taxable income. After you’ve paid income and payroll taxes, post-tax deductions are made.

“When it comes to the IRS, there’s a simple saying: Pay me now or pay me later.” The benefit of an after-tax payment into a disability policy (whether through their employer or a private policy) is tax-free.

In other words, you don’t have to pay taxes on the premiums paid with pretax money. If the premium is paid with pretax dollars, you receive the tax benefit right now, and any future disability payments are taxable income.

Employers and employees may sometimes split the premium. In that case, if the employer pays a portion of the premium and the employee pays the rest with after-tax money, only part of the payout is taxable.

Only the federal government has to follow these rules. Depending on where you reside, state and local income taxes may be due on your disability benefits as well. It’s a good idea to seek information from your state’s tax department or an expert about the regulations in your area.

Calculating Taxes On Disability Insurance

According to IRS regulations, The employer’s contribution percentage is to be estimated by using a three-year average. The three-year average refers to the three policy years preceding the calendar year in which disability benefits are paid.

To calculate taxable benefit amount, multiply the total benefits paid to the employee by three year average of the percentage premium paid by the employer.

How To File Disability Insurance On Your Federal Taxes

You must include any money you receive as a result of your disability through an employer-sponsored accident or health insurance plan in your income:

  • If you’re paid from both your own salary and from your employer’s contributions, only the amount you receive as a disability benefit that is due to your employer’s payments is taxable.
  • If you pay the whole cost of a health or accident insurance plan, do not include any payments you receive for your disability as income on your tax return.
  • If you pay part of a health or accident insurance plan’s premiums through a cafeteria plan and don’t declare the cost as taxable income, the payments are considered to have been made by your employer, and the disability payments are entirely taxable.
  • If the amounts are taxable, you may fill out a Form W-4S to request federal income tax withholding from your sick pay or make estimated tax payments by filing Form 1040-ES, Estimated Tax for Individuals.

State Taxes On Disability Insurance

In most states, Social Security benefits paid from the Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) program are taxable. The majority of states, however, exempt disability payments from state taxation, and more and more states are following suit.

The following are the various categories states fall into when it comes to taxing Social Security disability benefits:

  • states that have no income tax, including a tax on disability benefits
  • states that exempt disability benefits from income tax
  • states that tax disability benefits only when the recipient’s AGI is under a certain amount, and
  • states that tax disability benefits in the same way that the IRS does.

You can check under which head your state lies. It’s a good idea to seek information from your state’s tax department or an expert about the regulations in your area.


Conclusion paragraph: Disability insurance can be a valuable asset for those who become disabled, but it’s important to understand the tax implications of receiving disability income. Depending on the source of that income, it may be taxable or non-taxable. It’s important to consult with a tax professional to determine how disability income will impact your taxes.