Are IRA Distributions Taxable If You Are Disabled?

Are IRA distributions taxable if you are disabled

If you can demonstrate that you are disabled based on medical evidence that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity and that this condition can either result in death or last a considerable length of time, then the IRS waives the 10-percent withdrawal penalty from an IRA account withdrawal. But how can this be proven?

Disability Withdrawals from IRAs

IRS rules state that early distribution penalties of 10-percent must be paid when withdrawing funds from an IRA before you reach age 59 1/2; however, people with disabilities are exempt from such fees and penalties. But to be eligible for disability benefits through Social Security programs you still must meet requirements such as having a medical condition that prevents them from participating in “substantial gainful activity” for at least a year, which will likely lead to their death.

If you do not qualify as disabled under Social Security rules, one way to avoid penalties may be through starting a series of substantially equal periodic payments calculated using IRS-approved methods and continuing them until either five years have passed or you reach age 59 1/2. This approach may also work well if a disability prevents changing jobs or supplementing retirement income is an issue.

Some financial organizations require IRA owners to submit a Physician’s Statement when seeking disability withdrawals; alternative forms of documentation may also be acceptable to the IRS.


SEP and SIMPLE IRAs are employer-sponsored individual retirement accounts intended for small-business owners. Both types allow business owners and employees to contribute pre-tax dollars, but SEP IRAs are easier to set up and administer; with SIMPLE IRAs, employers must match employee contributions at a rate of 3% of salary; however, maximum contributions per participant may be lower and there is no catch-up provision.

SIMPLE IRA distributions are fully taxable when taken, even if you’re disabled, unlike traditional IRAs. Also, withdrawals before age 59 1/2 incur an additional 10% penalty tax, while required minimum distributions start at age 72 and loans from these accounts are prohibited. Furthermore, owning or withdrawing from a SIMPLE IRA could have an adverse impact on SSDI disability payments as the Social Security Administration looks at any assets (including non-countable ones such as burial plots or cars ) you own to determine your financial need and payments may change accordingly.

Roth IRAs

Roth IRAs offer many people an appealing tax-free investment account at retirement time, but they may also provide valuable support for disabled individuals who cannot provide an income source themselves.

At least after five years have elapsed since opening a Roth IRA account, withdrawals from these accounts are generally tax-free; if investments are withdrawn earlier than this point they could incur income taxes and an early distribution penalty of 10%; however if disabled persons needing distributions are taking distributions the IRS waives this penalty.

IRA ownership or distributions could have an effect on Social Security Disability Insurance benefits eligibility if you’re receiving SSDI. Because SSDI is needs based, assets counted towards eligibility are countable if income from work drops below an acceptable threshold amount; however, certain non-work income sources, like an IRA aren’t considered countable resources so ownership or distributions from an IRA won’t count towards income calculations.


The tax code allows individuals to deduct up to $3,000 of net investment losses each year, which can be an invaluable aid for minimizing Social Security tax taxable income by realizing losses during peak earning years. Furthermore, taking steps now could push overall combined income over into taxable territory in future years and push you closer to meeting the threshold thresholds.

SSI (Social Security Income) is a federal program that offers monthly payments to adults and children who meet strict financial requirements due to disability or blindness, and who do not work. While regular Social Security benefits are calculated using prior work history and funded through Social Security taxes most working Americans pay, SSI benefits come directly from federal revenues such as personal income taxes or corporate taxes collected in general.

There are various rules surrounding what counts as income qualifying for Social Security Income (SSI), but in general your assets cannot exceed $2,000 per individual or $3,000 for couples. While IRA distributions count towards eligibility, other forms of income such as wages, pensions or interest typically do not.

Raymond Banks Administrator
Raymond Banks is a published author in the commodity world. He has written extensively about gold and silver investments, and his work has been featured in some of the most respected financial journals in the industry. Raymond\\\'s expertise in the commodities market is highly sought-after, and he regularly delivers presentations on behalf of various investment firms. He is also a regular guest on financial news programmes, where he offers his expert insights into the latest commodity trends.

Categorised in: