Although frequently confused, Social Security Disability and Long Term Disability benefits and the entitlement thereto are entirely different claims which can be pursued in the event you are no longer able to work in your own or potentially any occupation.
A claim for Social Security Disability benefits is made with the federal government through the Social Security Administration (SSA). To qualify for benefits, you must have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes and meet the SSA’s definition of disability. This definition changes dramatically depending on your age, past work history and other factors.
A claim for Long Term Disability benefits is made with the insurance company with which you have entered into a contract either through your employer (as an employment benefit) or privately on your own. Just like with Social Security benefits, Long Term Disability benefits will take into account whether there are any eligibility/coverage issues and whether you meet the definition of disabled which will vary depending on your unique contract language.
These disability benefits often work in tandem as wage replacement in the event of partial or total disability. In most cases, Social Security benefits are deducted or offset from Long Term Disability. This is typical, however, many clients who come to us do not know that, even if they are awarded both benefits, that they will not be receiving the full amount of both entitlements.
Both kinds of disability benefits are preempted by an administrative process overseen by the executive branch of government, rather than the judicial branch. However, the process by which the benefits are secured are different. Appealing a claim for Long Term Disability benefits is done internally with the insurance company which has provided coverage until the appeals are exhausted at which point a lawsuit may be filed. Social Security disability benefits are secured by following the SSA’s procedure of application, hearing, and reconsideration prior to seeking relief in a judicial branch court of law.
If you have any questions about your Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability claim, please give Herbert M. Hill, P.A. a call and we would be glad to answer any questions you may have. We are available at 407-839-0005 or, toll-free, 844-454-59995, If you would like, after discussing your case, we can set a conference. In most circumstances, that conference would be free of charge but in no circumstance would you be under any obligation to hire me nor would you feel any pressure from me to do so.
Herbert M. Hill, P.A. is a law firm located in Orlando, Florida with a practice extending throughout the state of Florida. While the vast majority of cases handled are for disability insurance benefits, areas of practice include employee benefit claims of all sorts. The firm handles any claims arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) for disability benefits, medical benefits, retirement benefits of any sort, including pension, 401k, termination agreements or the like as well as claims arising under private disability policies.