The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides benefit programs to individuals who have a medical condition(s) that render them unable to work. Because obtaining such benefits can be a lengthy and complicated process, and because nearly two-thirds of initial claims are denied, applicants should also explore other types of benefit programs that may be available. The best way to obtain all the benefits to which you may be entitled to is to consult an experienced disability attorney. It is important to understand what your rights are, including the right to collect other benefits and whether any offset may apply so that you can make an informed decision that is best for you.
At Disability Law Group, we know that being unable to work can be an overwhelming physical, emotional and financial burden for both you and your family. We routinely help clients who are seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. We talk to individuals every day who are not aware that they can take advantage of other benefits while applying for SSDI or SSI. It is important to remember that you will not be turned down for Social Security disability benefits if you are collecting other types of benefits. When you become our client, we will take the time to explain all of your rights and help you obtain all the benefits you deserve.
Other Resources Available for Disability Benefits Claimants
Given that it could take several months or longer for a disability benefits claim to be approved, it is crucial to secure other resources that may be available to you. At Disability Law Group, we will work with you to explore government, employer-based, and charitable benefits that you may be able to rely on while your disability claim is pending. These include:
- Workers’ compensation — If you sustain a work-related illness or injury, workers’ compensation is available to provide you with a portion of your wages, medical expenses and other benefits. While you can receive both workers’ compensation benefits and SSDI, if you are receiving workers’ comp, the SSD payments will be reduced so that the combined amount of benefits you are receiving does not exceed 80 percent of your average current wages. If the workers’ compensation benefits expire, the SSDI payment may be increased. Because SSI is only available to those who have not paid in enough the Social Security system, workers’ comp may not available to SSI applicants, but, depending on the case, you may be eligible.
- Unemployment — Depending on where you reside, you may be able to collect unemployment benefits while you are applying for Social Security disability benefits. Because some states require you to be ready, willing, and able to accept full- time employment to be eligible, however, claiming that you are able to work could adversely affect your disability benefits claim. If you receive unemployment compensation while your disability claim is pending, and your claim is approved, the retroactive SSDI payments will be reduced for the time period you were collecting unemployment. Given the complications involved in receiving unemployment and SSDI, it takes a skilled disability benefits attorney to protect your rights.
- Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance — If you are receiving employer-sponsored long-term disability benefits and you are approved for SSDI, the long-term disability payments may be reduced. Because long-term disability insurance policies vary from carrier-to-carrier, our legal team will take the time to review your policy so that you receive the maximum number of disability benefits under both your LTD policy and SSDI.
- Entitlement programs — You can receive public assistance from entitlement programs such as state welfare, but only while your claim for SSDI is pending. If you are approved for SSD benefits, the welfare benefits may cease depending on your SSD amount and other factors.
Private insurance — You can receive benefits from both private insurance, including employer-sponsored pension programs and 401(k)s which will typically not affect your eligibility for SSD benefits.
- Public disability plans — If you are receiving benefits under a state, federal, or local government plan (e.g. civil service disability benefits, state temporary benefits, or state/local government retirement benefits) and are approved for SSD benefits, the latter will be reduced so that the combined public disability and SSD benefits do not exceed 80 percent of your current earnings.
- Social Security retirement — If you are receiving SSD benefits and become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, your disability benefits will be transferred to retirement benefits, though you may receive payments under both, depending on the circumstances. An experienced disability attorney can explain what will happen in your specific case.
- Charitable Programs — Benefits may also be available through a wide-variety of charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army and faith-based organizations.
- Veteran’s Benefits— Veterans who have served in our military may be eligible to collect benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These benefits could include service-connected disability benefits, non-service connected disability or pension benefits, as well as other programs. Additional benefits designed to help our veterans range from housing relief to vocational rehabilitation to school funding assistance programs and more. You will want to contact an experienced VA disability benefits attorney to determine what benefits you could qualify for. Some VA benefits (like the service-connected disability benefits), will not be offset by your SSD benefits once approved – this includes retroactive pay and your ongoing monthly payments that you may be eligible for through both programs. Our attorneys will guide you through the process at every step of the way.
Contact Our Macomb County Disability Benefits Attorney
If you are seeking Social Security disability benefits, you likely have many concerns. How long will it take until my claim is approved? How will I support myself and my family? Are there other resources available to me? At Disability Law Group, we will address those concerns by providing you with informed legal representation and caring, efficient service. It’s a common mistake for individuals seeking disability to overlook the other types of benefits that may be available to them. When you become our client, you will have peace of mind knowing that our legal team can help you take advantage of a wide variety of resources. Please contact our office today to speak with our experienced disability attorneys.