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Our Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyer Explains SSDI vs. Long-Term Disability

February 5, 2021 Disability

There are various disability benefits available to disabled individuals who are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity.  Some are available through the federal government, while others are available through work or private insurance. The federal government provides disability benefits to qualifying disabled individuals.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the federal disability programs and helps individuals with a qualifying disability receive some financial assistance if they have earned enough work credits.

The process for applying for disability benefits can be complicated. A Baltimore Social Security disability lawyer at the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin can help answer some of your questions regarding disability benefits. Below is an explanation of the difference between the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and Long-Term Disability. 

What is Social Security Disability Insurance?

SSDI is a federal disability benefit administered by the SSA.  SSDI pays benefits for a qualifying disability to an individual who becomes disabled.  The Social Security disability program is like an insurance policy in that it will provide benefits to individuals who have worked and paid enough into Social Security but who later become disabled.  To qualify for SSDI, an applicant must qualify as disabled and be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (SGA). The amount a disabled applicant can earn and still qualify for SSDI depends on the nature of a person’s disability.   For example, a blind applicant may be allowed to make more than a non-blind applicant before the applicant’s wages are considered SGA.  For 2021, the monthly SGA for non-blind individuals is $1310 a month and $2190 for blind individuals.

In determining whether an applicant is disabled, the SSA uses a medical guide called the Blue Book to evaluate the applicant’s medical condition. The Blue Book includes medical criteria that must be met for a condition to qualify as a medical disability.  You can log into your My Social Security account and view your Social Security Statement to determine whether you have acquired sufficient work credits to qualify for federal disability benefits.

What is Long-Term Disability?

Individuals can often choose between short-term and long-term disability insurance options.  These types of disability policies often have an “elimination period” in which an individual must wait before he or she can begin receiving disability benefits. 

Short-term disability typically covers an individual who becomes ill or injured and cannot work for a shorter period of time.  LTD insurance policies may cover an individual for a longer period of time than the short-term disability policy and often will pick up where the short-term disability policy ends.  If you have questions about what your LTD policy covers, a Baltimore Social Security disability lawyer can review your policy and explain what coverage it can provide for you. 

Contact a Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation

If you have questions about the disability benefits that may be available to you or a loved one, contact a Baltimore Social Security disability lawyer today who can help answer your important questions. You can call the Law Office of Emmett B. Irwin at 443-839-0818 or complete our online form. We can answer the questions you have about your disability benefits.  We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states.