Private Disability Policies
If you are a worker who has recently experienced a condition that has left you unable to do your job, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may not be your only option for financial support. Many employers also offer private disability policies to their employees, on which you may be able to rely in your time of need. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our Social Security attorneys have over two decades of experience helping Massachusetts workers evaluate their options for government and private benefits.Considering Private Disability Insurance Policies
Private disability policies are insurance policies offered to protect individuals who cannot work due to a disability. They are typically offered by employers to their employees as a means of financial support in the form of a full or partial paycheck. Some insurance companies also allow individuals to independently purchase private disability policies in order to protect themselves from the possibility of becoming unable to work down the road. Although many employers provide this type of insurance, they are not required to do so, and you will need to check with your employer to see if this benefit is provided.
Private disability policies can come in both short-term and long-term forms. Short-term disability covers a period of temporary incapacity caused by injury or illness. These policies typically pay a portion of your salary for the period that you are off work, often up to 13-26 weeks. Long-term policies provide additional coverage to employees who exhaust their short-term benefits. They allow for an individual to continue to receive a partial salary for a period of several months to many years. In some cases, long-term disability will provide coverage until the recipient turns 65.
Since private disability policies do not require the same application process as governmental benefits, claims are often more quickly approved. Thus, they may provide better immediate payment for time away from work.
If your employer offers a private disability policy, this does not prevent you from also accessing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To the contrary, an employee may receive both forms of payments if necessary. Additionally, your private disability payments will not reduce or limit your payments under SSDI. However, many of these policies require employees to apply for SSDI as part of the benefits process, and your private disability payments may be offset or reduced by the amount of SSDI you receive. For example, if you are entitled to receive $1,000 per month under the private disability policy, and you receive $500 from SSDI, your benefits under the private policy may be limited to the difference between these two amounts. You might be paid $500 per month under the private policy.
A private disability insurer may attempt to unfairly limit your private disability payments based on SSDI, or it may evaluate your benefits differently. For these reasons, it is important that you consider enlisting a knowledgeable attorney to help you properly document and apply for both private disability and SSDI.Contact a Massachusetts Attorney Skilled in Benefits Claims
If you are considering filing a claim for private disability benefits through your employer, or are having difficult accessing the payments you deserve, an experienced legal representative can help. At Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., our disability benefits lawyers have helped countless Massachusetts residents in their claims for both private disability benefits and SSDI. We represent individuals throughout the Boston area and throughout Essex, Plymouth, Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk Counties. For more information or to schedule an initial consultation, contact us at (800) 367-0871 or online.