There is no question that federal disability insurance is an important financial safety net to millions of Americans who, unable to work, would otherwise become destitute.
Still, our Boston Social Security Disability Insurance claims lawyers know that often, these benefits alone are barely enough for recipients to subsist. What’s more, the struggle leading up to a claim approval can take a year or two.
During that time, it’s generally inadvisable to collect unemployment benefits or workers’ compensation or to continue working in any capacity – if that’s even possible – because it could be detrimental to the individual’s claim.
It’s a cruel twist that during this time claimants must survive off savings, credit cards, retirement earnings, loans from friends and family – whatever they can. It makes the journey very tough.
This is why we almost always recommend private disability insurance for those who are still healthy and able to work. These benefits will not affect your ability to later collect SSDI benefits, the way other certain benefits might. They may even be more substantial than what you might expect to get under the federal disability program. What’s more, they usually kick in sooner – especially if you have protection for both short and long-term disability.
Think about it: You insure your home, your vehicle and your valuables. But too often, people fail to protect one of their most important assets – their ability to work and make a living.
Look around at a group of 20-year-olds. Every fourth one will become disabled by the time he or she reaches the age of 67, according to the Social Security Administration. If that disability strikes early in one’s career, the cost will quickly add up to far more than your home or vehicle.
Consider that if a person earns $45,000 annually, over the course of 25 years, we’re talking $1.1 million in earnings.
For a lot of families, losing out on more than a few months of income or to suddenly be living on half a paycheck isn’t an option that will allow them to stay afloat financially. The average monthly disability payout is approximately $1,130, with an extra $300 or so per spouse and child. Most federal disability claims are initially rejected. From there, the average time it takes for an administrative review hearing is about 1 year.
And even if you were able to do some part-time, lower-level work, we usually advise against it because the eligibility process requires that you have a medical condition preventing you from working for at least 1 year.
All of this means you have few options when it comes to how you will manage your finances in the interim. Health Affairs, a health policy research journal, estimates that about half of all mortgage foreclosures (outside of the recent housing crisis) are kick-started by one of the homeowners becoming disabled.
Even if you are disciplined with your budget and smart with your investments, if you don’t protect your income – or at least a part of it – you could find yourself in deep trouble if you suddenly become one of the millions of folks who are struck by a disabling condition.
One of the best ways you can help yourself is through private disability insurance. Explore your options. Consider it an investment. Hope it’s something you’ll never need.
If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Should you consider disability insurance? May 7, 2013, By Jeff Reeves, USA Today
More Blog Entries:
Report: Boston SSDI Office Among 19 Closed in FY2012, April 7, 2013, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyer Blog