The US Government has a Disability Insurance Program called Social Security Disability (SSD). This program is paid for in every working person’s taxes. In other words, everyone working pays a little bit toward having a disability insurance policy to cover them. The government runs and controls that insurance benefit. That means the government will make the decision on when and who qualifies for payment of the benefits. Your taxes are just like an insurance premium. They go toward the general cost of the system.
That program has a component within it which is really just charity. It’s intended to help the poor. It is called Social Security Income (SSI). Our firm does not handle cases where we can only apply for SSI. To qualify for our firm to handle your claim for government-run disability benefits you must have worked for five (5) of the last ten (10) years. Unfortunately, with SSI claims, the government won’t pay anyone enough money to cover even the lowest cost of a paralegal to help, so it is impossible to stay in business and not go bankrupt handling SSI claims. Keep in mind, SSI is a charity program, and the disabled person does not need to prove they worked or paid into the system to qualify for the benefits.
There is also two types of private disability insurance worth noting. One is Short Term Disability and the other is Long Term Disability. There is not a government-run program for short periods of disability. Government-run SSD is for long periods of disability. The disabled person must have an expectation of being out of work for at least a year before they can apply.LaBovick LaBovick & Diaz explain the major differences between private disability insurance and government disability claims
That means a short period of time where someone is disabled is not even considered for the government. Short Term Disability (STD) is a term used for private insurance and it assumes a short term of disability. Keep in mind, the government’s SSD program is permitted to provide the disabled person a “back payment” of income replacement benefits from the date they qualify for benefits. That means, in some cases, the disabled person will be awarded income from all the way back to their first month of disability. Unfortunately, they get the money years later after we win the case. That is NOT the same as STD. The purpose of STD is to hold the person over while they recover from an injury or illness which, hopefully, doesn’t turn into something long term.
STD is private insurance. You must purchase it. People usually get it as part of an employee benefits package. Some people are by nature cautious and will buy it privately as a part of their own private insurance package. The truth is that most people don’t do that. Just like most people don’t buy solid life insurance products. While it is my opinion that is the result of being ignorant and hubristic, the truth is no one believes they are going to die early or unexpectedly or get hurt to the point of disability. There are some people who do buy those private insurance products, STD and LTD (Long Term Disability), but they are usually well off and can afford the extra insurance without feeling a pinch in their monthly budget. LTD is simply private insurance which acts like government SSD except it is usually for a lot more money/income per month. It will cover the insured for however much income the premium covers. So if you want $10,000 per month you need to pay a premium that will cover that benefit. However one can never buy more insurance than that person actually earns. The reason is simple: If insurance companies allowed people to over-insure their income streams everyone would buy a huge insurance policy and then jump in front of a truck to get hurt for life.
The way it typically works is that a person will buy a smaller STD policy and then a larger LTD policy. For example, a person can buy STD for $5000 per month. That STD policy will cover the first 12 months of disability. Then that same person would buy a second policy for LTD. But this policy could increase the monthly income to $10,000 per month. Those monthly benefits would not start until after STD paid the injured victim for 12. The reason people buy less STD than LTD is that it is way more expensive insurance, because it is used a lot more often, plus many people can survive for a short period with less monthly income because they may have some savings to help them get by. But if they are permanently injured they will need more money per month after the savings are used up. So they insured more on the LTD, which has lower premiums because people use it far less often.
Like private insurance, the Insurance Company must pay you when the disability occurs. If they don’t pay, you can hire a private attorney to handle the matter on a contingency basis. In both government-run SSD and private actions against STD or LTD, our firm will represent you and we won’t get paid until we get money for you
There are many more SSD claims compared to LTD claims because everyone working has SSD Insurance backing them up. Only a small percentage of workers also have a private disability policy in place.
We look forward to helping in your Social Security Disability Fight. We also will help with any private insurance benefits which are not being properly paid. Call us for a free consultation. Remember, we never get paid unless we get money for you!