Once you become permanently and completely disabled, you may be eligible for disability benefits from different sources. Your goal, and the goal of your disability lawyer, is to maximize your recovery of benefits so that you get the most amount of money possible from the benefits that you’ve earned. It is important that you understand how the different sources of disability insurance interact so that you can protect your rights.
Social Security Disability May Impact Your Long-Term Disability Benefits
While Social Security disability benefits will not prevent you from receiving long-term disability benefits, Social Security disability can affect your monthly benefits in the following ways:
- You may be required to file for Social Security disability in order to receive long-term disability benefits. Many long-term disability insurance contracts require you to file for Social Security disability as a condition of receiving long-term disability benefits. It is important to look at the terms of your long-term disability insurance coverage in order to determine if applying for Social Security disability is required for you. If you refuse to file for Social Security disability, then your long-term disability benefits may be denied.
- If you receive Social Security disability benefits it could impact the amount of your long-term disability benefits. The reason that long-term disability insurers require you to file for Social Security disability is because they are legally allowed to offset the amount the disability benefits you would receive from them by the amount of Social Security disability that you receive. This is known as an offsetting provision. Here’s how it works. Imagine, for example, that you are eligible for $1,000 a month from Social Security disability. If this is so, then your private long-term disability benefits would be reduced by that amount. You are still entitled to receive any long-term disability benefits in excess of the amount of Social Security disability that you receive.
If you receive a lump sum Social Security disability payment for previous months of benefits that you were supposed to receive then you may owe your long-term disability insurer a reimbursement for the amount of monthly benefits the long-term disability insurer paid you that you then received later from the Social Security Administration.
When to Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits
You typically are not required to apply for Social Security benefits until your long-term disability application has been approved. However, you may want to apply for Social Security disability benefits earlier for other reasons. While the whole system may seem complicated, it may be important to diversify the sources of your benefits. Therefore, if there is an issue with your private insurer, then you will still receive Social Security disability and vice versa.
Social Security Disability May Not Be the Only Long-Term Disability Offset
Your long-term disability insurance contract may include other possible offsets such as an injury settlement, Social Security retirement benefits, or benefits from another long-term disability policy. Each potential offset may be handled differently and must be listed specifically in your long-term disability insurance contract.
How an Experienced Disability Lawyer Can Help You
Disability benefit cases are often complex and they are always important. You deserve to get the benefits that you’ve earned from any and all sources.
At Keefe Disability Law, we focus on helping people who have become disabled make fair recoveries, and we have been doing so since 1994. We understand the complex legal issues that you face and we know that it can be overwhelming to sort through these problems.
Accordingly, we have made it our goal to help people with disabilities get the recoveries that they deserve. We will handle your Social Security disability application and fight for your fair benefits from the federal government and we will negotiate with the long-term insurance company to fight for the full benefits that you deserve according to the terms of your contract. To learn more, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced disability lawyer.