Understanding SSDI and private disability insurance

Anyone can become disabled. Many people in Wisconsin have friends and family who’ve found themselves unable to work through no fault of their own. When people become disabled, there are a few different ways for them to replace their lost income. There are private short- and long-term disability insurances. Social Security Disability Insurance is a government program that provides support for disabled Americans.

Differences between private and public disability insurance

Private and public disability insurances are very different. One of the most common ways that Americans acquire private disability insurance is as a benefit through their employers. There are two major kinds of private disability insurance, short- and long-term.

  • Short-term. Typically, short-term disability insurance will replace about two-thirds of a worker’s income. It’s usually disbursed as a monthly benefit. Short-term disability insurance benefits last one year or less.
  • Long-term. This insurance usually covers people until they reach retirement age, or their disability ends. That can vary depending on the policy, though. Long-term disability insurance generally replaces about half of a worker’s income.

Social Security Disability Insurance, also known as SSDI, is very different. It’s administered by the federal government, not private companies. In order to receive this benefit, workers must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. There is no short-term version of SSDI. People must be permanently disabled to qualify. Monthly payouts from SSDI are usually between $1,000-$1,500 as of 2019.

If you or a loved one has become disabled, it may be a good idea to seek legal advice. Remember, insurance company lawyers and adjusters work for a private company, not for you. Having a lawyer to advocate for you can also be helpful when navigating the Social Security Disability claims process.