Thursday, June 02, 2005

Different Types of Disability Insurances Part #2


You have read the information about the need for disability insurances, and have checked out your company benefits to find that you DO NOT have short term disability (STD) or long term disability (LTD) plan coverage. If this is your situation, read the following.
The time to do so is BEFORE you need to use that insurance!

The rest of you have checked out your company benefits and find that you DO have STD and LTD plans. Now you want to learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

(Note: a denial on behalf of an insurance company for LTD does not necessarily have an impact on your ability to successfully apply and be accepted for SSDI coverage.)

Social Security Disability Insurance

If you qualify for Social Security (i.e., if you have acquired at least 40 quarters of Social Security contributions) and are suffering from a disability, you may be able to receive monetary benefits from the Social Security Administration. Also, in some situations these disability benefits may be awarded to you and your dependents.

Social Security Disability Benefits or SSDI are paid to individuals who have worked in the recent years. Usually you have to work 5 out of the last 10 years. For individuals under 31 years old, the requirements are a little different since they have not been in the work force as long.
Under the federal Social Security Disability Act, "disability" means the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or result in death."

The Workbook described at contains a step-by-step “How To” guide to assist you in documenting your illness/injury symptoms and their impact on your every day normal living activities.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

The Supplemental Security Income program is funded by the general revenues of the Federal Treasury and is intended to provide a minimum level of income to persons who are aged, disabled, or blind and demonstrate economic need. The SSI program is meant to supplement any income an individual might already have to ensure a certain level of income to meet basic living expenses. The dollar amount received in SSI on a monthly basis varies from person to person and is computed each month, taking into account an individual's current financial situation.
For an individual to be eligible for SSI they must be disabled, or blind, or aged and have little or no income and resources. A person must fit into one of the following categories: Disabled, Blind (20/200 or less in your better eye with glasses or a filed of vision less than 20 degrees), or Aged (refers to be 65 years of age or older).

To be eligible for SSI a person must meet an income as well as resource test. SSI resource limits are set by statue and a person's countable or real personal property, including cash, must not exceed the specified amount to qualify. The current resource limit is $ 2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple. Income includes earned income (which refers to monthly gross earnings), and unearned income such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or any other type of benefit or monetary support a person receives. A standardized formula, which takes into account earned and unearned income is used by SSA to compute the dollar amount of SSI cash benefit that a person qualifies for. This formula is applied during the initial eligibility determination and an individual must qualify for some dollar amount of SSI to meet the income test.

The specifics of qualifying for SSI are quite complicated.

The next time, we will talk about COBRA (and no, it is NOT a snake) OBRA, and their relationship to Medicare and/or another health insurance plan.


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