Government Disability Insurance Options Tips

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What Process Does the Social Security Administration (SSA) Follow to Decide If I’m Disabled?

Understanding the Process Followed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to Decide If You're Disabled

Government Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs have a checklist of determining factors used to decide if you are suffering a covered disability. The answers to their questions strongly determine whether or not you will qualify for disability benefits. While the answers are situation specific, here are the primary questions related to their disability income insurance coverage.

  • Are you working? If you are earning more than around $940 per month, while you are “disabled,” you may not be eligible for benefits.
  • Is your condition “severe”? Does it interfere or prevent you from completing your work-related activities?
  • Is your disability on the list of "allowable" medical conditions? You can view their definitions through the Social Security (SSA) website to help you understand how your condition may or may not qualify for disability benefits.
  • Can you do the work you did previously? This appears to be a combination of any-occupation and own-occupation coverage definitions used in private insurance.
  • Can you do any other type of work? Considering your condition, age, education, and past work experience, SSA tries to determine if you have skills that are transferable to a different occupation.
  • Are there any special situations with your condition? SSA considers special situations that involve blindness, widows or widowers who are disabled, wounded warriors, and disabled children, which may affect their determination of a qualified disability.
Your eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is determined by evaluating these and surrounding conditions of your specific situation. Learning the SSA regulations and conditions will help you understand their process should you need their help at some time in the future.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
What Is the Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Other Long Term Disability Income Insurance Plans?

The Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Other Long Term Disability Income Insurance Plans

Government disability income insurance programs, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) differ from commonly available plans in a few areas that you should know. Unlike individual disability insurance coverage often used by professionals, SSDI functions more like a group policy. Beyond this issue, however, the similarity might end. Some of the differences are noted below.

  • SSDI may allow benefits for immediate family members of the disabled person that are not available in private disability income insurance coverage. With SSDI, under some conditions, spouses, divorced spouses, children, and/or disabled children are also allowed disability benefit income.
  • Even though SSDI coverage is not the same as an individually purchased policy, your disability benefits may be tax free.
  • The definitions of disability may be different with SSDI as compared with those in other group or individual employee disability income insurance coverage.
  • Eligibility for SSDI benefits is dependent on income covered by the Social Security earnings you have enjoyed but often disregards other legitimate income.
SSDI definitions of disability and qualifications for receiving benefits are neither good nor bad. They are just sometimes different from those that often are part of private disability income insurance programs. Your eligibility or lack thereof will be determined on the specific regulations applicable to SSDI. You should learn the language of both your private disability income insurance plan, group or individual, and the provisions in SSDI to understand how your coverage works.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
Is There More Than One Government or Social Security Disability Income Insurance Program?

Disability Income Insurance Programs Offered by the Federal Government

All federal disability insurance plans are not simply government Social Security disability programs. There are actually six entities offering disability income insurance that are classified as government programs.

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is the most popular and recognizable program and is often not subject to disability insurance income tax. Taxability normally results from your level of other earnings during your disability benefit period.
  2. Medicare Benefits. If disabled, you may be eligible to enroll in the Medicare program.
  3. Workers Compensation. This program helps protect your income should you become disabled while performing the duties of your job.
  4. Veterans Benefits. Formerly called the Veterans Administration (VA), disability benefits you receive from the Department of Veterans Affairs are often not taxed.
  5. Military Benefits. Military disability pensions are often taxable. However, if you suffered your disability while in active service, you may receive an exclusion.
  6. Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). Federal employees enrolled in the system can become eligible for employee disability benefits, but most insurance benefits are often taxable until you reach a specified age.
As with many other government programs, federal disability insurance have a number of requirements and conditions. To learn about disability benefit levels and qualification regulations, perform your own research to get a knowledge base that may help you should you need benefits in the future.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
How Does a Government Disability Income Insurance Calculator Work?

How a Government Disability Income Insurance Calculator Works

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers three choices of disability income insurance calculators at their website. These calculators are not linked to your SSA official earnings records, but can be used as rough estimators of disability pension or income insurance benefits you might receive. All calculations are based on the information you enter with the assumption that you have sufficient credits to qualify for benefits if all other conditions are satisfied.

Here is a brief description of the calculators offered by SSA.

  1. Quick Calculator. This calculator gives you a fast, general estimate of potential benefits that may be available to you.
  2. Online Calculator. Input your birth date and earnings history to get a better estimate of your potential benefits.
  3. Detailed Calculator. This feature is available online, but it must be downloaded and installed on your PC. In addition to the standard software, a Mac version is available.
There are two other items you should know. Social Security disability benefits can be affected by what is termed a Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which under some circumstances requires an additional calculation. If you believe you may be affected by this provision, use the detailed calculator, as it has a function to factor in this item, the definition of which you can obtain from the SSA website.

Also, SSA disability income insurance at times allows you to receive benefits for some family members (including your spouse, divorced spouse, children, and/or disabled child). One or more of these family members might qualify to receive up to 50% of your monthly insurance benefits. The online calculator will compute what these disability benefits might be to help you have a better estimated picture.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
How Do I Qualify for Social Security Disability Income Insurance (SSDI)?

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Income Insurance (SSDI)

Social Security disability income insurance coverage relies on language that may or may not be totally similar to that used by many private insurance companies. The following are the three primary qualification requirements to receive SSDI benefits.

  • You should have a work history in jobs that are covered by Social Security taxes. If you have spent most of your career as an independent contractor or unincorporated small business owner, you may or may not have enough “work credits” to qualify for SSDI disability benefits.
  • Your medical condition must meet the Social Security definition of disability. Social Security has a list of allowable medical conditions that they specify to define disability. If you have suffered an injury or illness that prevents you from working, read the list of “qualified” medical conditions to learn if you may be covered.
  • Your have been or will be unable to work at your job for at least one year or more. This qualification requirement reinforces the fact that SSDI is not practical as a short-term disability income insurance option. This coverage was created to provide long-term federal disability insurance income protection and this requirement can be restrictive for some temporary qualified disability problems.
By some standards, SSDI has rather strict qualification standards. You should understand that this program was not created to provide primary disability income insurance protection, but was designed, like the Social Security retirement program, to either supplement other coverage or, at a minimum, provide funds to cover basic needs.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
What Is the Social Security Definition of a “Disability” to Qualify for Disability Income Insurance?

The Social Security Definition of “Disability” in Disability Income Insurance

Social Security disability income insurance has a definition of disability that, at first, appears rather simple. But remember, satisfying the disability definition of government Social Security disability programs is only a first step in qualifying for benefits. Here is the basic definition of disability for Social Security disability insurance.

  • You cannot do the work you did before your disability. Regardless of your former job responsibilities, if you are unable to perform these duties, you meet the first criterion.
  • You cannot adjust to performing another type of work because of your medical condition. Social Security has a published list outlining all of the allowable medical conditions that could cause disability per their definition.
  • Your disability has lasted or projects to last for at least one year or should result in death. Social Security disability is not designed to be a short-term solution to a potential long-term problem.
This definition may or may not be similar to the language in group or individual disability insurance policies. The key to disability definitions, regardless of the insurer, is to understand how an eligible condition is explained. Knowing if you are disabled per the language of your coverage will save you time, money, and stress if you believe you have a covered claim.

The above-listed tip is for informational use only. Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
Are There States That Offer Disability Income Insurance?

States That Offer Disability Income Insurance

There are five states and Puerto Rico that offer disability income insurance to employees working in these areas. In general, most of the U.S. has decided that state disability insurance has not been a priority, however. The coverage offered by these states is normally termed Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) or sometimes called “cash sickness benefits.” If you work in one of the following states, you may be eligible for employee disability coverage.

  • Rhode Island. The first state to offer coverage (1942), Rhode Island still provides TDI from an account funded by employer and employee payments.
  • California. Instituted in 1946, even some self-employed persons may opt for coverage in this state.
  • New Jersey. Employee disability coverage was established in 1948.
  • New York. In 1949, New York enacted their legislation for TDI.
  • Hawaii. This state waited until 1969 to install their temporary insurance benefits coverage.
  • Puerto Rico. The island enacted their laws in 1968.
Even if you live and work in one of these jurisdictions, please remember that a key word in this coverage is “temporary.” This coverage does not replace comprehensive short- and/or long-term disability insurance provided by private employers or individually-purchased disability income insurance plans.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
What Is Government Disability Insurance?

Government Disability Insurance Explained

A gentleman named Tom Comeau once commented: “The AP reported that Social Security celebrated its 65th birthday recently. No wonder it's about to quit working.” But disability income insurance is still regularly being provided by the government. A discussion of federal disability insurance programs generally includes the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) plan.

SSDI remains the primary government supplier of disability benefits to qualified citizens. To be eligible, you must have

  • Worked in jobs covered by Social Security
  • Have a medical condition that meets the Social Security definition of disability
  • Be unable to work for a year or more
If you qualify, insurance benefits are payable even if you are covered by a private group or individual disability insurance plan. A potential downside is the sometimes complex and often time-consuming application process. Patience is a key word in this case.

The SSI disability program is designed to provide you with cash for the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, and shelter. Primary eligibility for SSI benefits is based on your age (65 or older) OR blindness OR disability AND provided you have limited income, limited resources, and are a U.S. citizen, national, or an alien in a covered category.

Refer to your insurance policy contract for specific information regarding your coverage and for actual terms, conditions and exclusions. The above statements are general in nature and may or may not reflect the actual terms of your insurance policy.

   
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