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Life insurance provides benefits for your family if you pass away. However, many people don’t think about what could happen if they become disabled. Most Americans don’t have enough savings to provide for their families if they cannot work. Disability insurance provides benefits for people who can’t work because of a disability.

The requirements for disability insurance can depend on the state where you live. To find out about your disability insurance benefits, talk to a local disability insurance lawyer for legal advice.

What Is Disability Insurance?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four adults in the U.S. have some type of disability. Disability insurance provides benefits for individuals who are unable to work because of a disability. Disability coverage can include long-term disability insurance (LDI) or temporary disability insurance (TDI).

There are private insurance company disability plans. However, most people rely on federal disability coverage if they are no longer able to work. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly benefits when someone is no longer able to work for more than a year. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) also provides cash benefits to disabled individuals and older adults.

Who Is Covered by Social Security Disability Insurance?

You are covered by SSDI based on your work record. To qualify based on employment, you need to work long enough and pay Social Security taxes on your income. You also have to qualify by meeting the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of disability.

The Social Security Administration has a list of qualifying impairments. Some examples include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer, and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Other disabling conditions may not be listed, and the SSA can determine whether your condition qualifies for coverage.

SSDI provides monthly benefits if you are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. There is generally a waiting period (five months) before you will start to get benefits. The SSDI payments should continue until you can return to work.

How Much Are Disability Benefit Payments?

The benefit amount for SSDI depends on how much you’ve paid into Social Security. According to the SSA, the average SSDI benefits for workers in September 2023 was $1,671.38 per month. If you have limited income, you may also be able to get SSI benefits.

You can check your current SSDI benefit amount online through your Social Security account. This should include information based on your income history, work credits, and retirement benefits.

Are Employers Required to Provide Disability Insurance?

Most employers have to pay for Social Security Disability Insurance. For SSDI coverage, payments usually come out of your paycheck. Contributions for Medicare and Social Security are usually part of your payroll deductions. Social Security payments are shared between employer and employee contributions.

If you suffer a work-related accident, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp will generally pay for health care and provide wage replacement benefits. If the job-related injury leaves you unable to return to work for more than a year, you can then get disability insurance benefits.

There are no SSDI partial or short-term disability benefits. Employers can choose to offer this type of benefit to their employees if they wish. Only a handful of states require employee benefits for short-term disability insurance (SDI). These states are California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

Why Was My Disability Claim Denied?

The SSA may deny your disability claim if there are problems with your application. Your claim may be denied if:

  • You did not have enough work credits to qualify
  • You are still working and earning over a certain amount
  • You can do other types of work
  • Your condition is not considered “severe”
  • Your disability is only temporary or partial

If your claim was denied, you can appeal the decision. The SSA will indicate why you didn’t qualify. You generally have 60 days to file a reconsideration. You can file a reconsideration with additional information to support your claim. You can also request a Social Security Disability Hearing to have a judge review your case.

Disability benefits can depend on state law. If you have questions about temporary disability benefits or Social Security disability benefits, talk to an attorney. A disability insurance lawyer can explain your options and help you get benefits if you are unable to work.

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