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SSDI: it is an insurance policy

When people think about Social Security in Ohio, they think primarily of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI), better known as the retirement program, which is only one part of Social Security. The other parts include, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), are becoming better known, primarily through criticism by those who complain that too many people have obtained benefits.

And they are criticized as entitlement programs, but SSDI is not an entitlement program, it is an insurance program. The difference between SSDI and a private disability insurance policy is that most workers are automatically covered, if they meet the base requirements. 

This is a good thing, because it means it is available for most workers, even those who do not have private coverage offered through their place of employment. Of course, it has a detailed and exhaustive application, but that is necessary to ensure applicants are truly disabled before they receive benefits.

While many individuals find it necessary to work with an attorney to complete their application for SSDI benefits or file an appeal on a denial, sometimes the process moves smoothly and an individual may find they have more problems with a private insurer.

A woman had become disabled with colitis, and was quickly approved for SSDI. It helped that she had worked in a law firm for 18 years, and understood how to complete her application to allow a quick approval.

During those 18 years, she had also paid for private long-term disability insurance. Because she misunderstood the filing requirements for the private insurance, she failed to apply as soon as she stopped working.

When she applied for the benefit, the insurer denied her claim as untimely. She is now looking at her legal options, however, because the time limitation, she is unsure if she will ever receive benefits from that policy.

Whether you apply for SSDI or are lucky enough to have additional private insurance, because of the complexity of these policies, you may need help from an attorney to obtain your benefits.

Source: Lawyersandsettlements.com, “What’s Good Enough for Social Security Not Good Enough for Unum,” Jane Mundy, December 10, 2013

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