Experts estimate that working American’s have a 20% to 33.33% chance of becoming disabled at some point during their work life. Disability can result from a work injury, various types of accidents, or the onset of disease. Disability benefit programs do not focus on how you became disabled. Rather, awards are based on how disabled you are. There are three basic kinds of disability benefits that provide American workers with replacement income (and sometimes medical coverage) when they are no longer able to work due to disability.
- Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Private disability insurance
The lawyers at Warren & McGraw have helped countless people with their disability claims. They are ready to evaluate your claim, educate you and assist you. The first consultation is free. You have nothing to lose but the opportunity to learn valuable information. Contact them now.Government Provided Disability Benefits
Government provided disability benefits cover most Americans and include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSD or SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Some states provide additional disability benefit programs.
Social Security Disability (SSD or SSDI)
When you work, report wages, and pay taxes, you “buy” disability insurance from the federal government. A part of the taxes you pay are a “premium” payment for disability insurance. After you work long enough, the disability insurance will continue for a period of time after you stop working. For a worker with a steady and long work history, the insurance can continue for another five years. If you become disabled and are able to prove you meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability, you can receive income replacement benefits and Medicare. To find out what you need to do to prove you are disabled, click here.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you have never worked, worked for a brief period of time, or stopped working too long ago, and you do not have coverage under the SSD program, you may be entitled to SSI. As a general rule, this program pays smaller wage replacement benefits than SSD. If you are eligible for SSI, you will also receive Medicare or Medicaid benefits. SSI is a social welfare program. To qualify, you must be over 65, blind or disabled. SSI uses the same definition of disability as SSD. You must also have very limited income and financial resources. To find out what you need to prove you are eligible, click here.
The lawyers at Warren & McGraw have helped countless people with their SSD and SSI claims. They are ready to evaluate your claim, educate you and assist you. The first consultation is free. You have nothing to lose but the opportunity to learn valuable information. Contact them now.Employer Provided Disability Benefits
A common type of disability insurance is coverage that workers are given or can acquire from their employers. These programs are referred to as “short term disability” (STD) and “long term disability” (LTD) benefits. In addition, some pensions and retirement programs have a disability retirement option.
If provided by your employer, these plans are most likely governed ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal law passed in 19xx. ERISA gives an enormous amount of deference to the plan administrator’s determinations. A right of appeal exists, but the effectiveness of that right is limited by the deference the law provides. Unlike, social security claims, even if the judge believes you are disabled his hands are tied unless the plan administrator’s decision can be shown to be “arbitrary and capricious.” This standard is a very difficult standard to prove.
Therefore, it is very important for you to secure the assistance of a disability professional as early in the process as possible. Because the application and initial appeals process is very informal, most workers do not seek assistance until they need to go to court. By that time, it is often too late to help you.
The lawyers at Warren & McGraw can help, but you need to call us sooner, rather than later. Let us evaluate your claim, educate you and assist you. The first consultation is free. You have nothing to lose but the opportunity to learn valuable information. Contact us now.Private Disability Insurance
Unlike employer provided disability insurance under ERISA, some workers buy private policies of disability insurance directly through an agent or broker. Such policies are often purchase by professionals such as doctors, dentists, and lawyers because they spend a great deal of their work life as self-employed workers. The insurance companies are not given the great deference they are given in ERISA claims. These claims are governed by regular contract and insurance laws. Early and careful attention must be given to the insurance policy or contract to make sure that it does not alter normal procedural rights or burdens of proof.
Call the lawyers at Warren & McGraw to help you evaluate your claim, educate you and assist you. The initial consultation is free. You have nothing to lose but the opportunity to learn valuable information. Contact them now.