Most people don’t plan on suffering an injury or being diagnosed with a condition that is disabling. However, while there is a very strong chance that you won’t suffer a disability that prevents you from working, there is also a slight chance that you will. As such, understanding your options for disability insurance is important. Here’s a brief overview of what you should know about long-term disability insurance vs. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits:
Who Qualifies for SSDI Benefits?
While you may assume that, in the off-chance you do become disabled, federal benefits in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance will quickly kick in, this is hardly the case. In fact, applying for SSDI is a long process, and one that may result in disappointment – the Social Security Administration denies thousands of SSDI benefits claims per year. In order to qualify for SSDI benefits, a person must:
- Have a qualifying disability, which is defined as a disability that prevents the individual from engaging in any substantial gainful activity and has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death; and
- Have earned enough work credits during their working years, by virtue of paying into the Social Security fund.
If you do qualify for disability payments and your application is approved, your benefits will last for the extent of your disability or until you reach age 65. The amount you receive will be based on your lifetime earnings.
What About Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Even if you think that there is a very good chance that you will qualify for SSDI benefits in the future, placing all of your eggs in one basket isn’t necessarily a good idea. Instead, it’s worth thinking about purchasing long-term disability to supplement your SSDI benefits. This type of private insurance will protect you from loss of income should you suffer an injury/develop a disease that precludes you from being able to work. Before you become disabled, you’ll choose the length of time for which you’ll receive benefits should disability occur, as well as your maximum monthly benefit amount (based on your income and occupation in most cases). These types of plans are customizable and can provide different coverage depending on how much you’re willing to pay in premiums.
Work with Harvest Financial Planning, LLC to Plan for the Future
Creating a plan for your future is about more than just saving money for retirement or investing money; it’s about making sure you’ll have financial support in the event that you or your spouse suffers a disability. At Harvest Financial Planning, LLC, our professionals can guide you through long-term disability insurance planning and your options. Please reach out to our team today to learn more.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.