Government-sponsored disability insurance

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 04/12/2010 - 09:19

Hi, I've heard about disability insurance and it's benefits. Do the federal or state governments sponsor any disability insurance program?

Posted: 13 Apr 2010 10:51 Post Subject:

Yes, they do. The govt. sponsored disability insurance offers income protection to a disabled policy holder. These are basic plans and don't come under any comprehensive program.

Posted: 14 Apr 2010 01:45 Post Subject:

The only government "sponsored" disability program is the Fed through Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI. And just because you are disabled, it absolutely DOES NOT mean you're eligible for SSDI...there's a whole lot to this program.

Some states have short-term disability programs for disability-affected people, but it's really rare and usually associated with worker's compensation losses.

InsTeacher 8)

Posted: 14 Apr 2010 03:56 Post Subject:

No no no no no no no NO, there is no government sponsored disability insurance program.

As Ins Teacher has pointed out, there is a benefit offered through social security, depends on social security credits/earnings and has very strict definitions for eligibility. 18 month elimintation period (waiting period before eligible to receive benefits) and disability must either be expected to result in your death within 24 months, or be irrevocable. Most who apply are declined, even though the probably are eligible, then must wait and reapply.

Five states have mandatory short term disability programs, where employers must provide employees with short term disability insurance. These states are: CA, HI, NJ, NY, and RI. Each state has different provisions. California is by far the weirdest.

Posted: 14 Apr 2010 07:15 Post Subject:

NO, there is no government sponsored disability insurance program.

I've always known that the SSA administers 2 programs that offer disability benefits. One is the social security disability insurance program, and the other one is the supplemental security income program. Did I go wrong some where? Aren't these programs sponsored by the govt. ?

Posted: 15 Apr 2010 06:44 Post Subject:

I've heard that the Fed employees retirement system (FERS) provides disability benefits for fed employees. Fed employees who've at least been a part of the system for 18 months are eligible for such benefits.

Posted: 16 Apr 2010 05:07 Post Subject:

Well, in that case they'd only consider you for such benefits, if you haven't been able to perform your duties following a disease or injury. You'll be offered around 60% of your average salary for the first year. Thereafter you'll receive 40% of the average salary.

Posted: 20 Apr 2010 10:57 Post Subject:

18 month elimintation period (waiting period before eligible to receive benefits) and disability must either be expected to result in your death within 24 months,

This is somewhat inaccurate when it comes to Social Security Disability.

To qualify for Social Security Disability payments, you must (1) be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity (meaning cannot earn at least $1000 per month in 2010), and have a disability expected to (2) last at least 12 months, or (3) result in your death. If you meet (1) + (2 or 3), then there is a waiting period of "five full months" (must be disabled on the first day of the month and remain disabled through the last day of the month in order to count as a full month).

It's the "substantial gainful activity" definition that is the hardest to overcome. It literally means any activity in the American economy that you could do with your disability. The Social Security regulations go so far as to say, just because the work we believe you can do is not available in your area, does not mean you will be qualified to receive a benefit. Understand that to mean you could be forced to move to a place where Social Security believes you could perform the gainful activity.

When BNTRS also writes "there is no government-sponsored disability insurance program," I think he means that you cannot "buy" some form of disability income insurance from the federal/state government like you could from Unum or some other commercial insurer.

It has been reported that some 79% of Social Security Disability applications are denied upon first presentation, but better than 80% of denials are reversed on appeal. Problem is, only about 30-40% of denials are appealed.

SSI and SSP are a separate programs administered under the auspices of Social Security for persons who are disabled and have no/little income. There are different qualifications for those programs, but I am not familiar enough with them to offer any advice or information.

California does have a "State Disability Insurance" program supported by payroll deductions of 1.1% of one's pay up to a limit of about $1026 (maximum wages of $93,316 in 2010). The benefit lasts no longer than 39 to 52 weeks, and for many, runs out sooner than that, depending on calculated maximum benefit and weekly rate. The maximum possible weekly benefit is about 55% of one's wages in the period beginning 17 months before and ending 5 months before your disabling event (go figure). There is a 7-day elimination period during which no benefit is payable.

Income earned will reduce the SDI benefit payable in a reporting period.

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