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“What is State Disability?”

By Christina July 6, 2017

For the last two months, we have reviewed different types of offsets and financial benefits you may receive and how they may affect your Social Security Disability Claim (SSDI). Last month’s post addressed “What is Workers’ Compensation?” and to conclude our series of posts on offsets, this month we will briefly highlight State Disability benefits.

There are currently only 7 states across the country that offer state sponsored disability insurance: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Minnesota, and Illinois, along with Puerto Rico. Each state has their own set of qualifications to receive state-mandated disability insurance:


  • In the state of California, you may receive short-term disability insurance and paid family leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits (for eligible workers who need time off work).


  • The Hawaii Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) law was enacted in 1969, which allows disabled employers to provided partial “wage replacement” insurance coverage for non-work-related injuries, sickness, or pregnancy. Click here for more information on Hawaii State Disability.


  • New York requires employers to provide disability benefits coverage to employees for an off-the-job injury or illness. Learn more about New York State Disability.


  • In the state of Rhode Island, benefits payments are paid for weeks of unemployment caused by a temporary disability or injury. Click to learn more about Rhode Island State Disability.


  • In the state of Minnesota, benefits can be paid for unemployment caused by a temporary disability or injury.


  • New Jersey State Disability benefits can help you if your illness, injury, or pregnancy keeps you from working and was not caused by your job. Learn more about New Jersey State Disability.


  • In the state of Illinois, State SERS Disability benefits can be paid for unemployment caused by a temporary disability or injury.


  • Lastly, Puerto Rico will provide up to 26 weeks of disability benefits for non-work-related disabilities. Learn more about Puerto Rico State Disability.


Some workers who are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) may already be receiving State Disability insurance when they begin to apply for SSDI. The 3 states that are currently required to offset SSDI are California, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island. This would essentially mean that if you reside in this state and are receiving State Disability benefits, you would want to provide your Social Security disability advocate with proof of the state disability benefit. This can ensure that Social Security will be able to accurately offset your SSDI benefit for your State Disability insurance benefits. The proof that you would want to provide to Social Security for your State Disability insurance would be an award letter (or an exhaustion letter if the benefits have ended) that states when you started to receive the benefits, when they will end, and how much you are receiving for them.

Now that we have covered the 3 states in which Social Security will offset your SSDI for your State Disability insurance, we will review the remaining states. At this time, Social Security does not offset for the states of New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, or New York—but it is always best to consider your state’s policy, as there may be a reverse offset where the state will decrease your State Disability insurance benefit based off what you are receiving for SSDI. As Social Security disability advocates, our best advice is to always research your state’s disability benefits policy to guarantee the best option for you. It is best to also provide proof directly to Social Security or to our office for review to ensure your SSDI benefits and State Disability insurance benefits are properly offset.

Ultimately, we are here to help you through this process and we hope that having more knowledge on other types of benefits and how they will affect your Social Security Disability claim will ease the stress of starting the process when applying for SSDI. If you are in need of more information regarding State Disability benefits, please do not hesitate to contact our office or reach out to your local Social Security office for assistance.

This post was written by Client Advocate, Melissa.


Nothing in this post is intended as advice or a suggestion to elect or not elect to claim benefits of any kind, including Social Security benefits, nor is it intended as financial advice in any way.  The decision to claim benefits is a personal one that is contingent upon each individual’s unique circumstances.

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