For Workers, “Disability” Can Mean Two Different Things

Often times, I have clients who are confused by the general term ‘disability’. Where does the confusion come from? It comes from what they actually mean by applying for or being on ‘disability’. Let me explain.

When a person who has worked all their lives suddenly can no longer work due to a disabling condition, the first though is to seek ‘disability’. They often confuse two very different ‘disability’ benefits.

First, there is Social Security Disability (SSDI). SSDI benefits are paid through the Social Security Trust Fund and amounts are based on a calculation based off your earnings. It is a government based program. Many individuals how can no longer work, apply for SSDI, and over 70% of those that apply, are denied at the initial application phase. Mooney law assists disabled clients with the initial application process, and if denied, handle appeals to an Administrative Law Judge for a SSDI hearing.

Second, SSDI should not be confused with Long Term Disability. Long Term Disability insurance is a private insurance through your employer that either you, your employer, or a combination of both, pay for monthly. It is a private insurance, similar to Short Term Disability. Typically, when a person is disabled at work and they work for an employer that offers Long Term Disability, they are on Short Term Disability initially for a period of time, then convert over to Long Term Disability. Again, Long Term Disability insurance is private insurance. In most cases, it s regulated under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and NOT the Social Security Act.

If you need to apply for SSDI benefits, our office can help. We work with clients to ensure that the initial application for SSDI benefits is complete, accurate, and fully describes the extent of disabilities, giving applicants a better chance of being granted benefits at the initial application phase, although still unlikely. Certain, if you receive a denial letter from SSDI, you should contact Mooney Law right away to file your appeal and we will represent you at your appeal hearing. Remember you have a limited time to file an appeal.

If you are denied long term disability benefits or your benefits have been stopped by the long term disability private insurance carrier, call Mooney Law right away fro a free consultation. We will fight for your benefits. Call Mooney Law at 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP.

Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.