Losing your ability to work at any point during your career due to an illness or injury can be devastating for you and your loved ones.
You count on your paychecks to pay bills and keep your family fed, clothed, and sheltered, and when you lose those paychecks, everything you’ve worked hard to build may feel like it’s in jeopardy.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows people with illnesses or injuries that prevent them from working to pursue Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits that serve as a replacement for their lost income. Another form of income replacement is disability insurance, which also kicks in when people can’t work due to limitations.
Although both types of benefits are similar on the surface, they have two distinct differences:
- SSD benefits are paid via your paycheck deductions, while disability insurance is purchased. All workers in the U.S. pay into the SSA via their paychecks, and when they get hurt or retire, they’re eligible to receive some of that money. Disability insurance, however, is voluntary and purchased privately, and it only kicks in if the recipient becomes unable to work.
- SSD benefits can last until retirement age, but disability insurance varies. People who receive SSD benefits must undergo frequent eligibility reviews, but they may continue receiving benefits until they reach retirement age if they’re still unable to work. Disability insurance may be paid out on a short-term or long-term basis depending on the type of insurance that the policyholder purchased.
The SSA and its requirements for receiving SSD benefits are complicated, and it’s helpful to have an experienced legal team on your side when you’re pursuing the money you need when you’re unable to work.