Pensioner: (permanent health problem)

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Hello everyone,

I looked up "pensioner" in the Merriam-Webster Learner's and it says this word is chiefly British: Pensioner: chiefly British: a person who receives or lives on a pension especially: a person who receives a government pension. My question: considering that "pensioner" is a British term, what can I use in American English, meaning (person who gets a pension because he or she has a permanent health problem and can no longer work.)

An example I made:

My wife's cousin is a__________. He has a health problem that makes it impossible for him to work. He gets a pension (money from the government) every month.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    First of all, a pensioner is not necessarily someone who has a health problem, so the BE term is not equivalent to the AE term you are looking for.

    Secondly, if you're talking about the U.S., there are two primary ways people who can no longer work due to health problems receive money from the government. If they are former government employees, they may receive a pension or other retirement funds. For example, a firefighter or police officer who is injured in the line of duty will usually receive a disability pension. The money does not come "from the government," strictly speaking; it comes from a fund into which both the employer and the employee paid during his or her employment.

    Otherwise, there is Social Security, which provides payments to people who are disabled from working, as long as they have worked for a stipulated period of time. Employers and employees pay into this fund as well.

    In any case, I don't think we have a one-word term that covers such people. We would probably say they "retired with a disability" or "were injured and can no longer work."
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Retiree is what we use for someone who's retired. It's not a great word (I find it annoying for no really good reason that I can articulate), but it's all we've got. We don't have a noun, at least not that I've ever heard (and I see that Florentia concurs) that means "no longer working because he's disabled." The closest I can think of is "he's on disability."
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    You can say "He's on permanent disability," and that would be taken to mean that he will never be able to work again. It does not necessarily man he will receive money for the rest of his life.

    The ability to work and the duration of the pension are two different things.

    [Cross-posted with JustKate]
     
    Thank you very much.

    The ability to work and the duration of the pension are two different things.
    It makes sense. I think it depends on laws, regulations, etc. In Brazil, if someone with a permanent disability starts getting a pension, it is for life. For example, "a serious heart disease", "a serious mental illness", "complex hormone disorders", etc.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I disagree somewhat with Florentia because I would interpret "he's on permanent disability" to mean "He will be getting money the rest of his life as a result of that disability." In contrast, "He's permanently disabled" doesn't address the question of money one way or the other.
     
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