What Options Are Available Between A Disability And Social Security Disability Insurance?


Insurance
Insurance (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

I know that I have discussed Social Security Disability Insurance previously but one of my readers asked a question last week that indicates that I need to address that topic again.

THE PROBLEM

Generally, I stay away from offering advice on government programs.  Historically, there has been a line that separates private insurance from government programs.  However, with Obamacare approaching, the line between private and public insurance programs is blurring.

That line has been hazy for years with Medicare.  It will be erased with Obamacare in 2014.  The last clearly defined separation of public and private insurance is with Disability Insurance.

Currently, Social Security administers the public form of Disability Income.  That coverage is subject to rules that are determined by the Department of Health and Human Services.

One of their current rules is that no benefits are payable until after you have been disabled for at least 6 months or your claim has been approved, whichever happens later.

The Major Medical coverage that you will be required to buy under Obamacare does not pay any money to you while you are sick.  It only pays your medical providers.  If you do not have private Disability Income insurance your only options for income until your SSDI application is approved, while you are disabled are your personal savings, your spouses income or charities.

THE QUESTION

They asked, “I have applied for SSD but I cannot work as I am getting ready for lung surgery and my wife is only making about $600/month and we are now so far behind on bills and never have any day to day money for gas and such so I am wondering if there is anyway I can get money coming into my house while I’m waiting?

THE ANSWER

Unfortunately, the SS Disability Insurance plan has a minimum 6 month Elimination Period.  They will start payment to you only after you have been disabled for at least 6 months.  If your disability is listed on their automatic approval list, you should expect some income is a few months.  If it is not listed, they will not pay you anything until after your claim has been reviewed and approved.  Once it is approved, they will pay you retroactive to 6 months after you were disabled.  The problem is that SSDI claims to have a significant backlog of applications to review.  Unless a claim is on their automatic approval list, the backlog can be over 2 years without payment.
In March of 2011 I wrote, “How To Avoid Disability Insurance Claim Problems.”  I encourage you to read that old article and then make a phone call.
Call a lawyer who specializes in Social Security Disability.  I know that Social Security will allow you to submit your claim without a lawyer but lawyers who specialize in Social Security Disability claims often know short-cuts and loop-holes to expedite your claim through the process if it is not on the Social Security automatic approval list.
Not all lawyers are greasy ambulance chasers.  Only some are.  Most of the ones that I know are good people.  The only difference between them and the rest of the population is that they have more knowledge about the rules that govern our society.
Just make certain that you call a lawyer that understands the rules of Social Security Disability Insurance.  A corporate attorney who works for an energy company is no better than an ignorant insurance agent.  He will only “know enough to be dangerous.”  You want an attorney who knows and understands how Social Security Disability Insurance works.
Advertisements