If an individual becomes disabled and is unable to work following an accident or as a result of medical conditions, long-term disability and Social Security disability benefits may be available, in many cases simultaneously.

The Difference Between SSDI and Long-Term Disability

Long-term disability insurance differs from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in several ways. Understanding the differences can help people experiencing long-term or permanent disability determine which type of benefits to pursue.

Long-term disability insurance is often beneficial for many because processing and approval times are generally much shorter than with SSDI benefits. Additionally, it is typically easier to obtain approval for long-term benefits compared to SSDI. In fact, it’s possible to receive long-term benefits while awaiting approval for SSDI.

It takes around five months before an individual receives an initial decision for an SSDI claim and disabled people are not eligible SSDI until after the first six months of disability. If the application is denied at the first level, claimants may wait years for a hearing with an administrative law judge. On the other hand, processing times for long-term disability are based on the specific terms of the individual’s insurance policy.

For many SSDI applicants, long-term disability insurance provides temporary assistance while awaiting approval for SSDI.

How Long-Term Disability Insurance Works

Long-term disability insurance is typically purchased via an employer but private policies can be purchased by workers as well.

Generally, a long-term disability insurance policy will cover around half of an individual’s working salary, but some will cover as much as 65% depending on the insurer.

SSDI As an Option for Long-Term Disability

SSDI is a type of insurance that the government provides for disabled individuals and it is funded through Social Security taxes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has strict requirements in place for SSDI that applicants need to meet.

Individuals can receive long-term disability benefits and SSDI simultaneously in some cases. Some policies for long-term disability have even made it a requirement to apply for SSDI following a period of time to continue receiving disability benefits. If SSDI benefits are awarded, long term disability insurance is usually offset.