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Disability Insurance Often Overlooked -- Most Dependent Upon SSD for Benefits

Social Security Disability lawyers in Atlanta know that the Social Security Disability system is intended to provide a safety net for people who become disabled and who are not able to work as a result of a severe injury or medical condition.  Social Security Disability benefits are available in two different programs - Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) for people who have worked and paid into the system, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disabled individuals with limited resources and low incomes regardless of their work history.

SSDI and SSI provide modest monthly compensation, with SSDI benefits based on how much you earned over your work life and SSI benefits capped at $710 per month for an eligible person as of 2013.  For many people, these benefits are the only source of income if they are unable to work, as most data indicates that few people purchase private disability insurance to protect themselves if they get hurt or sick and cannot hold a job.

Many Forego Private Disability Insurance Plans

US News recently reported that most experts believe disability coverage is an "essential way for people to protect themselves from unexpected illness, accidents or other problems that prevent them from working." Yet, the Hartford Financial Services Group indicates that while 57 percent of workers aged 20-30 have life insurance, only 45 percent have short term disability coverage and just 39 percent have long-term disability coverage.

The vast majority of workers will not have an insurance policy to turn to if something happens to them over the course of their working careers. Since the Social Security Administration estimates that a 20 year-old-worker has a 30 percent chance of being disabled at some point before the worker reaches the age of 65, this means that many young workers today will find themselves unable to work and with few places to turn.

For those who suffer a long-term disability, SSD benefits at least are available, provided that the worker is able to qualify. With as many as 75 percent of initial applicants denied for benefits and 60 percent of people denied when they appeal the initial decision, however, counting on disability benefits alone is a big risk. For those who experience a short-term disability, there is no chance of getting monthly income through either SSI or SSDI, as both programs provide benefits only to people who have been disabled for at least 12 months, who will be disabled for that long or who have a terminal illness.

The risks that people take by not having disability insurance is a big one, but unfortunately it will be difficult to get more young people to invest in this type of policy. Only about a third of all young workers have access to disability insurance through workplace benefit programs and it can be costly to buy coverage on the private individual market.

Young workers who opt out of buying the costly coverage will need to hope that they are able to save enough financial resources to make it through periods of short-term illness and that they can make a successful application for SSD if they experience a more long-term medical problem.

If you are disabled, Social Security Disability lawyers in Atlanta can help you make a claim for benefits. Contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates at 1-800-898-HAYS. Attorney is not the author of this blog.