How Social Security Disability Benefits Affect Long Term Disability
While you probably realize that you are entitled to benefits if you become disabled and unable to work, you may not understand exactly what disability programs are available. Two common disability benefits programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and long term disability insurance. What is Long Term Disability Insurance? Long term disability insurance is a private insurance policy that you purchase or that is provided by your employer. A long term disability program protects you and your family in the event that you become disabled. Unlike short term disability insurance, which allows you to receive payments for up to six months, long term disability insurance plans provide monthly payments for an extended period of time. The payments in a long term disability insurance plan begin after a specified waiting period. As of December 31, 2008, 154.5 million workers, over three-fourths of the workforce in the US, are insured for disability benefits through the SSDI program. Only 28 percent of private sector workers in the country are covered by an employer-sponsored long term disability insurance plan. The majority of workers in the US are covered by Worker's Compensation, however, which provides compensation to those who suffer injuries or illnesses in the workplace. Long term disability insurance plans typically pay you anywhere between 50 and 60 percent of the salary you receive when you are working. Workers typically purchase both short term and long term disability insurance. Some long term policies provide benefits for a maximum of one year, while others will pay you benefits until retirement. If your employer doesn't provide you with long term disability insurance, you can purchase a policy from a broker or insurance agent. Can You Receive Long Term Disability Benefits and SSDI Payments at the Same Time? It is possible to receive SSDI payments and long term disability payments at the same time. Typically, the long term disability insurance provider deducts what you get from Social Security from the total policy amount. Many long term disability insurance providers require you to apply for Social Security disability benefits first, however. Some providers may deny your application for benefits if you don't meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) definition of disabled and aren't approved for Social Security disability payments. If you plan to apply for Social Security disability benefits and are already receiving long term disability benefits or you plan to apply for both programs, consult with a disability attorney. An experienced Social Security disability attorney can help you determine how your Social Security disability benefits will affect your long term disability payments, in addition to addressing your other concerns. To sign up for a free evaluation with Atlanta Social Security disability attorney Louis B. Lusk, please call 800.883.7043 (or 404.250.7000) or fill out our online contact form to get in touch.