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What is the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Long-Term Disability Benefits?

What is the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Long-Term Disability Benefits?

Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and long-term disability benefits provide income when individuals become disabled and unable to work. However, there are critical differences between the two programs that you should understand. SSDI is a benefits program administered by the federal government. When you work, you typically pay into the Social Security system through taxes that your employer deducts from your check. As a result, you build up credits or quarters that eventually entitle you to disability benefits that become available if you become disabled and unable to work. You do not pay any premiums while you are working to become eligible for SSDI benefits. Instead, you earn eligibility as you work in jobs that deduct taxes to pay into Social Security.

On the other hand, many employers offer long-term disability insurance as a benefits package that comes with employment. Employees may have to pay premiums for disability insurance, or, in some cases, employers pay the costs of the premiums for their employees. Alternatively, individuals who are self-employed or whose employers do not offer this coverage may purchase private long-term disability insurance policies. These individuals also must pay monthly premiums for this insurance coverage.

Aside from the payment of monthly premiums, the definition of disability often is more generous under private insurance policies as opposed to SSDI. The strict definition of disability used by the Social Security Administration results in as many as 65% of claimants being denied SSDI benefits. Appeals of the denial of SSDI benefits often can drag on for years, which is not helpful when you are disabled and have no income. Furthermore, the average monthly Social Security check is less than $1,200 per month, which often is insufficient.

In contrast, long-term disability insurance payments often cover 50 to 60% of your income, which often is quite a bit more than $1,000 per month. Although individuals do experience denials of long-term disability insurance benefits, the appeals process tends to move faster than with SSDI appeals.

Bonnici Law Group provides client-focused representation throughout the ERISA claims process. We are here to consider the evidence in support of your ERISA long-term disability claim and evaluate your application. Next, we can develop the most effective strategy for fighting any denials of coverage that you may receive. Allow us to handle your legal needs while you focus on your physical and emotional health. Contact the ERISA long-term disability attorneys of Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or help@bonnicilawgroup.com.

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