Working hard allows us to enjoy a certain standard of living throughout our lifetime. However, we do not stay young forever, and as we age, we are more prone to injuries and critical illnesses that can prevent us from continuing to work. Your entire life and career can change in an instant due to a disability. Fortunately, if you are eligible, you may be able to receive both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and long-term disability insurance.
The difference between SSDI and long-term disability insurance
SSDI is a disability insurance sponsored by the federal government. It is available to individuals who have worked and paid their taxes throughout their employed life but are now unable to work due to disability. The amount will depend on your total average earnings and how long you have worked. The severity of your disability only impacts your eligibility, not the amount you will receive. In general, your mental or physical disability must inhibit you from performing a substantial gainful activity for at least twelve months so that you qualify to receive SSDI benefits.
The government does not sponsor long-term disability insurance. You can recover long-term disability insurance benefits from a private insurance company. If you did not purchase your own policy, you should check if your employer offered the insurance as part of your employee benefits. Long-term disability benefits are based on your monthly income and are usually larger than SSDI benefits.
Applying for both benefits
The Social Security Administration can be more stringent than private insurance companies. Your SSDI benefits might affect the amount of your long-term disability insurance benefits. The insurance company might require you to apply for SSDI before they approve your claims. It depends on the kind of policy you have, whether you have an ERISA policy or an individual policy. So, you see, there are many things you need to consider.
You may want to examine and review all your available options before you begin any application process. You should know what to expect and how to get the most from your benefits.