Long-Term Disability and Social Security Disability are different.

Understanding Long-Term Disability

Many employers, especially larger ones, offer group Long-Term Disability (LTD) benefits to their employees. When an injury or illness prevents you from working over an extended period of time, LTD may be able to help.

  • If you are approved for LTD benefits, your plan will typically replace about 60% of your earnings prior to becoming disabled.
  • Most often, LTD benefits are paid when you are unable to perform the duties of your occupation during the first two (2) years.
  • After two (2) years, most plans continue to pay benefits only if you are unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which your training, education, and experience allows.
    Please refer to your LTD carrier if you have questions about the details of your LTD policy.

Understanding Social Security Disability

Unlike Long-Term Disability, Social Security Disability (SSDI), is not a benefit provided by your employer. SSDI is a federal program that provides benefits for Americans who are unable to work due to a disabling medical condition. Our Client Advocates will help you understand how to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) and calculate SSDI benefits.

  • SSDI is funded by a portion of the payroll taxes (FICA) that you pay while working.
  • These benefits are paid to qualifying workers who can’t work due to severe illnesses or injuries that are expected to last at least one (1) year or result in death.
  • SSDI is an insurance benefit that you have paid for and earned. SSDI is not welfare. To qualify for SSDI benefits, most disabled workers must have worked and paid FICA taxes for at least five (5) out of the last ten (10) years.

The primary qualificationsto to apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) are:

  • 12
  • Your illness or injury will prevent you from working for at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.
  • 5
  • You have worked and paid (FICA) taxes for a total of five (5) out of the last ten (10) years.
  • You fit the SSA definition of disabled: you can’t do work you did before AND you can’t adjust to other work due to your medical condition.

What happens when you receive both benefits.

You can receive both LTD benefits and SSDI benefits. You apply for each benefit separately, but you can be approved for both.

According to the provisions included in most group LTD policies, your LTD carrier has the right to reduce your LTD benefits by the amount of any disability benefits you receive from the Social Security Administration. This means that you should receive the same total monthly benefit, but it will be paid by two different sources.

To learn more about applying for Social Security Disability, visit our What To Expect page.