What is a Disability Pension?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2019
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A disability pension is retirement account money that is paid to an individual who has a disability pension plan and meets the requirements for receiving monetary benefits. For example, a person may be eligible to receive a disability pension if he has been disabled for at least six months and is diagnosed as permanently disabled. In such a case, a person who meets the eligibility requirements of his disability plan may receive pension benefits for the entire time he remains disabled. Pension amounts vary from plan to plan.

People usually discuss pension plans in terms of retirement benefits. Under normal circumstances, a person receives pension funds when he reaches retirement age and meets any other eligibility requirements of the retirement pension plan. A disability pension plan is different, however, in that benefits are paid to individuals who are disabled rather than those who are simply retiring from their jobs. The rules for receiving a regular pension are usually quite different from those for receiving a disability pension.


Usually, a person has to have a physical or mental disability to be eligible for this type of pension. The expected duration of the disability typically matters as well. In most cases, a person is only eligible for this type of pension if he is permanently disabled. In fact, he may have to prove that he is disabled as well as that the disability is serious enough to prevent him from performing his job or another position that matches his level of experience and education. In some cases, a person must also be eligible for disability benefits through a government-operated disability fund to be eligible for a disability pension from his employer.

A doctor's help often is critical when a person wants to receive disability pension benefits. For example, a doctor may perform examinations and tests before creating a medical report that provides details about an individual’s disability. If the disability is mental, however, a mental health professional may be involved instead. This type of report can be helpful for proving that the affected person is permanently disabled.

Typically, the length of time a person has worked for an employer also factors into whether or not he is eligible to receive a disability pension. For instance, some employers may require an employee to work for a company for 10 years before he can be eligible for this type of pension. Other employment requirements may apply as well.


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