Folks in Vacaville, Vallejo and Fairfield often asking a similar question:
“What is the difference between short term disability, long term disability, permanent disability, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability and a “closed period” of disability?”
These programs are very different yet they appear similar in form and function. Let’s explore them.
This is a benefit through the Employment Development Department for the State of California (the same people who handle unemployment benefits).
For most of us who work in Vacaville, Fairfield and Vallejo, a deduction is taken out of our paychecks for this program.
If you find yourself temporarily disabled or unable to work for a period of time (such as during a pregnancy), you can draw these benefits.
The amount you draw is based upon the amount you paid in and the maximum amount of time that the benefit can be paid is 12 months.
Qualifying for short term disability is relatively easy.
You submit an application (most people start the process online). Once that is done, the EDD will contact your doctor for his/her opinion concerning your disability. If he/she agrees that you are temporarily disabled and unable to work, then the benefit is typically paid.
Some people draw this benefit while simultaneously applying for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits in an effort to have some income while they pursue the permanent disability claim.
These are typically private insurance policies offered through some employers. If your employer offers these benefits and you opt into a plan, then you can apply for benefits if you become disabled.
Generally speaking, these plans have very rigid definitions of disability and I hear from folks in Vacaville, Fairfield and Vallejo that they often have to hire an attorney to fight for the benefits.
In addition, many of these plans require that a person also file for Social Security Disability benefits as they often have a clause in which they are permitted to seek reimbursement for monies paid to the disabled worker out of the disability benefits paid by the Social Security Administration.
This term is simply another way of saying Social Security Disability benefits. Most of the time, SSD benefits are intended to be for a permanent disability and thus the terms are often used interchangeably.
These are permanent disability benefits paid by the Social Security Administration to an individual who is “insured”, or who has worked enough quarters in a recent enough time period to be eligible for the benefit.
You must have a serious, disabling condition that precludes you from earning more than a small amount of income. In addition, your condition must have lasted at least a year, be expected to last at least a year or be expected to result in death.
The amount of the benefit is based upon what you paid into the system. If you qualify for SSD, you also qualify for medical benefits via the Medicare (if you choose to pay the small premiums).
This is another permanent disability benefit provided via the Social Security Administration. However, unlike Social Security Disability, you are not required to have any work history to qualify for this benefit.
However, you are required to have extremely limited assets and income to be eligible for this benefit. It is typically paid at a much lower rate than SSD and certain income or assets that you acquire can render you ineligible for the benefit. In terms of medical benefits, this program comes with MediCal, only.
If an individual suffers an injury or illness that lasts at least one year but does not result in a permanent disability, they can seek a benefit from the Social Security Administration for what is a called a “closed period of disability”.
We pride ourselves on being the “go to” resources concerning understanding the different benefits available within our community for those who find themselves temporarily or permanently disabled.
Do you have questions about disability benefit programs? Would you like a free, no obligation telephone call to get your questions answered? Give us a call at 707-580-9220.
We proudly serve folks throughout Solano County, even though our office is located in Vacaville. We travel to Fairfield, Vallejo and surrounding areas as needed to represent folks throughout our district.