Don’t Forget SSDI During Disability Insurance Awareness Month

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Workers may not realize they’ve paid for coverage under federal insurance program

“Choosing an experienced representative such as Allsup to guide you through the process will lessen the stress and improve an applicant’s chance for an SSDI award in less time.” – Paul Gada, Allsup

Because May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, it’s a good time for people to evaluate their insurance needs in the event they are unable to work because of a severe disability. A long-term disability insurance policy is an important option for workers, according to Allsup, the nation’s leading Social Security disability representation company, which reminds people they may also qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

A diagnosis of a long-term disability can mark the end of one’s working life, but it’s not the end of making key decisions related to income or healthcare. That’s why SSDI benefits are important to so many people.

“It may seem unlikely, but the Social Security Administration reports a three in 10 chance of experiencing disability before reaching retirement,” explained Paul Gada, personal finance director of Allsup’s Disability Life Planning Center.

“People experiencing a disability that prevents them from working will be placed in a weakened financial situation, so it’s critical that they apply for SSDI as soon as possible,” he added.

SSDI is a payroll tax-funded, federal disability insurance program managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). A portion of the FICA taxes that a worker pays is set aside for SSDI, Social Security retirement and Medicare. SSDI is designed to provide income to people unable to work because of a severe disability that keeps them from working for 12 months or longer, or is terminal. Monthly benefits continue indefinitely unless the medical condition improves to the point a person can return to work.

An added benefit is that SSDI recipients automatically qualify for Medicare two years after being awarded cash Social Security benefits.

“Many former workers don’t realize they have disability insurance paid for with their FICA taxes,” Gada said. “If you file a claim and the SSA determines you meet the program’s requirements, you can receive monthly income. The monthly payment is based upon what a person paid into the system, and while it may not seem like a tremendous amount of money, that regular monthly check helps a lot of severely disabled people pay for housing and put food on the table.”

SSDI eligibility is based on a person’s inability to work. There are a number of requirements to qualify for the disability insurance program, including medical documentation of someone’s disability, and the application process is lengthy and cumbersome, Gada said. He recommended that applicants work with an experienced Social Security disability representative such as Allsup to better understand if they are eligible and to improve their chances for an SSDI award.

“Choosing an experienced representative such as Allsup to guide you through the process will lessen the stress and improve an applicant’s chance for an SSDI award in less time,” he said. “The SSA denies two out of three applications at the application level. In turn, Allsup is able to help more initial applicants, about 55 percent on average, to receive their benefits without having to pursue a disability appeal.” He added that 98 percent of the applicants who complete the process with Allsup are awarded SSDI benefits.

For more information about applying for Social Security disability benefits, or to find out if you may qualify, contact Allsup’s Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276 for a free SSDI evaluation.

Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis.

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Rebecca Ray
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