What Is Disability Insurance?

If due to a sickness or accident you are unable to work, you may be entitled to something called "disability" benefits.  You don't need to be disabled in the traditional sense to recover.  You just have to be unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your normal occupation in the usual and customary way.  If you become disabled, make sure to submit your claim right away.  Below is a list of the different kinds of benefits to which you might be entitled:

Group Disability Coverage

Many people have disability insurance through their employer.  You will need to check with your human resources department.  Benefits are usually divided into short-term disability benefits ("STD") and long-term disability benefits ("LTD").  If your claim is denied, we can help.

Individual Disability Coverage

Some people purchase their own individual disability insurance through an agent or directly from a disability insurance company.  If you are self-employed or want coverage in addition to that provided by your employer, an individual policy will protect you if you are no longer able to work.  If your claim is denied, we can help.

Workers Compensation

If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to payments through the workers compensation system.  We do not handle these types of cases, but we can refer you to a specialist.

California State Disability

The State of California will pay disability benefits for the first year of disability, sometimes called EDD or SDI benefits.  They are ordinarily very good about paying such claims.

Social Security Disability

The Social Security Administration will also pay you disability benefits if you cannot work.  You do not have to be 65 or older to qualify.  These benefits are not related to retirement.  You can submit a claim through any Social Security office.  Initial claims are sometimes denied, requiring an appeal.  We do not handle these types of cases, but we can refer you to a specialist.

Posted on January 6, 2015 .