Information About Private Pension Benefits

Many claimants who file a claim for Social Security Disability benefits receive a letter from SSA entitled “Potential Private Pension Benefit Information”. This letter informs a claimant that he/she may be entitled to some private pension benefits upon retirement. Normally, the letter gives a specific pension name, plan names and address. It may also disclose an estimated amount of benefits.

1020934_retirement_money.jpgHow does the SSA know this information? Why is the SSA sending that information? Is this SSA disability? All private pension plans are required to report the names and social security numbers of the plan’s beneficiaries to SSA and the IRS. SSA computers are able to match a Social Security Disability claimant’s social security number to the social security numbers reported by the plan. Federal law requires that SSA notify all potential plan beneficiaries of the fact that they have been reported as a potential beneficiary under a private pension plan. Many plan beneficiaries do not know that they are potential beneficiaries of private pension plans. The government actually wants the plan beneficiaries to know of the existence of their plan. The government also encourages plan beneficiaries to make a claim for benefits if proper.

The notice does not insure that a person will actually receive private pension benefits. Instead it is meant only as a notice that the matter should be followed up with by the person receiving the letter. The notification letter has nothing to do with the disability claim itself.

Indiana Trial Lawyers Association