According to the Social Security Administration, approximately 8 million people received Social Security Disability benefits in 2022. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability.
Considering the substantial difference in those two numbers, we can safely deduce that most disabled people either do not receive Social Security Disability benefits or they draw a different kind of benefits.
It is not uncommon for there to be some confusion regarding types of disability benefits. There are three main types: short term, long term, and Social Security Disability. Since short term is only for temporary disabilities, we are going to compare the specific differences in long term and Social Security, as this seems to be where much of the confusion lies.
Long term disability
A private long term disability plan is one which in which the premium is paid by an employee or employer. It is a customizable policy in that it allows the recipient to choose between options such as the benefit period, the definition of disability, and the waiting period prior to benefits beginning.
The policy premium will be determined based on the selections made and may be higher or lower depending.
Some employees choose to forego enrollment in a private disability plan that is offered by their employer because of the cost. However, they fail to realize that the premium is less than the 12.4% Social Security tax. Also, the monthly benefit amount is usually substantially more than a recipient of Social Security Disability would receive.
Social Security Disability
Social Security Disability is a program administered by the Social Security Administration and paid for by a portion of your Social Security taxes. To be eligible for these benefits, a beneficiary must generally have 40 work credits, which are earned at the rate of four credits per year. Twenty of those credits must be earned within the 10 years prior to your becoming disabled, unless the recipient is a young person.
In addition to work credits, the SSA also has a strict set of definitions pertaining to types of disabilities and their limitations.
Acceptance into the Social Security Disability program is a complex and tedious process that takes time and massive effort. Even then, two out of three applicants are denied the first time they apply.
The applicant must move into the appeals process, which can take years to complete.
Regardless of whether a claim is approved upon initial application or through the appeals process, there is a five-month waiting period from the date a disability is determined to have begun for benefits to begin being paid.
It is possible to receive both long term and Social Security Disability payments simultaneously. At attorney can help you understand how these plans and programs can work together or against each other, as well as determine which is best for your circumstance.