Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is very different than long-term disability insurance.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Long Term Disability is an insurance policy that you buy to protect yourself and your family if you become unable to work for a long time. It is usually purchased through your employer. Most often, a long-term disability insurance plan will pay you about half of your working salary. You can purchase a plan that will pay as much as 60-65% of your working salary, but that varies on the insurer and your work duties.
When you purchase long-term disability insurance, it is important that you understand the terms, including the premiums, the length of time that it will pay, and how it handles pre-existing conditions. Long-term disability can pay out anywhere from a year until you reach retirement age, as this is dependent upon the policy. You need to make sure you are aware of all these terms when you purchase a disability insurance policy.
Social Security Disability Insurance
SSDI is a disability program that is government funded. You pay Social Security taxes, which pays into this program. If you become unable to work because of a medical condition and you meet the requirements set by the SSA, you can start receiving monthly disability benefits after the six-month waiting period, which is based on the date you are determined to have become disabled.
To be eligible to receive SSDI, you must have worked enough to earn sufficient work credits. The amount of your monthly benefits is dependent upon the work credits you earned and the amount of your earnings from employment.
In order for you to be approved for monthly SSDI benefits, you have to meet the strict criteria set forth by the SSA to be disabled per the government agency’s guidelines. This means you must be able to prove that your condition prevents you from being able to perform any kind of work in the national economy’s current state.
If you did not purchase a long term disability plan from your employer, and have earned sufficient work credits then SSDI is your best option to receive disability benefits. Be aware that there are many complex rules and nuances that apply to SSDI claims. Therefore, if you have applied or are considering applying for social security benefits, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney.