If you are not able to work due to an accident or medical condition, or if you’re permanently disabled, you may be eligible for financial assistance through two different types of long-term disability programs. These include a government-operated program called Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and private, long-term disability insurance policies.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI offers monthly payments to assist people who are unable to work due to a disability. The SSDI program is funded through the social security fund with payroll taxes that employers and employees pay into the general social security fund. If approved, you can begin receiving monthly disability benefits after a six-month waiting period. This is based on the date that you were medically deemed to have become disabled. Your monthly income amount is based on your average past earnings over the last several years.
To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must be approved by meeting the criteria of being disabled as set forth by the Social Security Administration. Through medical examination and testing, you must prove that your medical and health condition prevents you from performing any kind of work and can be expected to last for a period of no less than 12 months. You must show:
- You have a medically recognized impairment that prevents you from working.
- You are unable to perform previous work or other work.
- You are not currently working.
For people who want to return to work after spending time on disability, the Social Security Administration has the Social Security Ticket to Work Program. This program provides counseling, training, and job search assistance for people receiving SSDI benefits. The Social Security Ticket to Work Program also ensures disability benefits remain in place as a person transitions back into the workplace.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
The number-one benefit of long-term disability insurance is that it pays benefits much quicker than SSDI. There is no six-month waiting period, and long-term disability insurance has less stringent requirements than SSDI.
Long-term disability insurance is not a government program. It can be purchased through an employer or insurance company. Generally, long-term disability insurance will pay about half of your pre-tax income. You can spend more on monthly premiums and purchase a plan that will pay as much as 60 to 65 percent of your pre-tax salary.
There are several different private, long-term disability insurance policies:
- Own occupation coverage – This type of insurance policy provides benefits when your disability prevents you from working in your chosen occupation (e.g., a doctor that is no longer able to perform surgery).
- Own occupation coverage with time limits – This type of insurance policy has specific time limits for coverage.
- Any occupation coverage – This type of coverage begins if your condition prevents you from performing any job. This is a much stricter definition of disability, similar to that for SSDI.
Receiving Benefits Under Both
It is possible to receive both long-term disability insurance benefits and SSDI benefits at the same time. Some long-term disability policies require that you apply for SSDI benefits after the six-month waiting period. Once approved to receive SSDI benefits, your long-term disability insurance will pay the difference between your SSDI benefits and the amount of the insurance policy.
To learn more, contact the experts at DisABLEd Workers at 877-291-9806.