People often confuse the term Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) with State Disability Insurance (“SDI”), when in reality the programs are quite different. There are 5 states that have state-mandated disability insurance requirements: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. The territory of Puerto Rico also has mandatory insurance requirements.
SSDI is administered by the federal government through the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). It provides a cash benefit to disabled workers who have paid into the Federal Insurance Compensation Act. A person’s monthly benefit for 2017 can be as low as a few dollars to as high as $2,687.00 depending on one’s contributions to FICA. If you have minor children, the benefit may be increased. SSDI is not meant to be a full income replacement, however, which often surprises some people.
Recipients of SSDI also qualify for Medicare once they have been entitled to SSDI benefits for 24 months. Recipients can remain on SSDI until SSA has determined that a disability has improved or until the recipient is well enough to return to work. At retirement age, a disabled person can still receive his/her SSDI rate if this rate is higher than his/her retirement rate. However, SSA will start referring to these benefits as retirement benefits regardless of what rate you are being paid at.
State disability programs may vary from state to state. For example, California has its own state-run disability program due to their high cost of living. It is a temporary program and only lasts for a maximum of one year. Benefits cannot be extended past one year even if you remain disabled after those 365 days. The program is administered by the Employment Development Department (“EDD”), a State agency that also administers unemployment. Recipients of SDI do not receive health insurance with this benefit, but recipients may be able to file for Medi-Cal separately if they meet the financial requirements.
You can apply for SSDI and SDI simultaneously, but please note that there can be an offset of these public benefits if you are awarded.
If you or someone you know is unable to work due to a medical condition, please contact us for a free case evaluation!
By: Thomas A. Klint of Premier Disability Services, LLC®