Private Long-Term Disability Policies And Social SecurityBy Kenton Koszdin on September 27, 2018 | In Disability Insurance
Many Californians struggle when it comes to understanding the differences between long-term disability policies and Social Security benefits. This is understandable, given the complexities involved in qualifying for SSDI depends on the individual’s circumstances and what is covered under a private policy. Knowing which route to take can prove daunting, so you may want to consult with a disability attorney before making your choice.
In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, you need to earn what are known as “work credits.” These credits are accrued on a yearly basis from work where you paid FICA taxes. You must then meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the SSA for long-term disability. That means you have a medical condition that meets the criteria and impacts your life in such a way that you have not been able to, or will not be able to work in any capacity for 12 consecutive months. A high percentage of SSDI applications are initially denied, either because the person does not meet the criteria or they did not provide sufficient evidence to support the claim.
Long-Term Disability Policies
Long-term disability policies are intended to replace income if you are suffering from a condition which prevents you from engaging in paid work. You may receive this type of insurance through your job or purchase a private policy. Typically, payouts from a long-term insurance policy are around 40-60 percent of what you earned before leaving work due to disability. It is important to check the terms of any long-term disability policy, as they limit the period of time for which you can receive payments. Many policies will only cover you for a period of 12 months.
Approval Waiting Periods
You will typically have to wait at least six months before receiving an SSDI payment if your application is approved (however, it can take significantly longer); that period is reduced to around 180 days for most long-term disability insurance policies. Of greater concern when it comes to choosing between the two is whether or not your application is approved. While there is a high percentage of SSDI applications which are denied, you are only dealing with one criteria set. There are a large number of long-term disability policies available, with varying criteria for approval. In the case of the latter, it is important to carefully read the terms of the policy so you know what you are up against.
Long-Term Disability Attorney
To help you determine which option is best for you, speak to a qualified long-term disability benefits attorney. Long-term disability policies use legal language which may result in you misunderstanding the terms of the policy and losing essential financial support when you are unable to work due to disability. There is no simple “right or wrong” answer when it comes to deciding what is best for you, so let an expert legal team help you decide.
Call Kenton Koszdin Law Office if you are considering taking out a long-term disability insurance policy. We can assess your circumstances and help you arrive at the right decision.