What's The Connection Between Social Security Disability And Private Disability Insurance?

By A. Tereasa Rerko, Esq.

Many employers provide private disability insurance coverage for their employees. These policies provide disability benefits to employees who, for health reasons, are unable to work for extended periods of time. Some policies pay benefits immediately when an employee becomes unable to work, others may require a waiting period of six months or more before benefits begin. Each insurance company decides whether an employee qualifies for these benefits based upon the wording of the specific policy in effect.

It is true that in some instances, if you are considered disabled under a private disability policy, you may also qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. However, that is not always the case. The rules for qualifying under a private disability insurance policy are separate and distinct from the rules followed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Persons may be considered disabled under the rules of the private policy if unable to perform the duties of their most recent job. On the other hand, the SSA will not award benefits unless an individual is unable to perform any work, considering age, education, work history and current medical restrictions. The older the worker, the more likely he or she is to be awarded SSD.

Each disability program has its own rules and regulations. In order to evaluate your specific situation, you should meet with one of the attorneys in our Social Security department. Contact a Pennsylvania Social Security Disability benefits lawyer via email or phone us at 724-837-0080 in Greensburg or toll free at 888-534-6016, and we will review your individual circumstances with you in detail.

For more information on Social Security, please visit our expansive Social Security Information Center or our Social Security Frequently Asked Questions.

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