If you are disabled, it’s important to consider Social Security disability vs short term disability. These are separate types of disability benefits that serve different purposes. In some situations, it may be possible for you to qualify for both. Below, we will analyze Social Security disability vs short term disability and how the two programs are related.
Social Security Disability vs Short Term Disability: Which is right for me?
When people refer to “Social Security disability” they are often referring to the Social Security Disability Insurance program. Sometimes we abbreviate this to SSD or SSDI. However, people with disabilities who have little income and few resources, may also be eligible for disability payments through the Supplemental Security Income program. This is often abbreviated SSI. A vast majority of disability claimants fall under the SSDI and/or the SSI disability programs.
Social Security disability is not intended to be a short term disability program. To the contrary, unless your condition lasts or is expected to last more than one year, you are not eligible for Social Security disability. On the other hand, short term disability and long term disability insurance can provide benefits if you will be disabled for less than one year.
When considering Social Security disability vs short term disability, the length of your disability will often tell us which program is better for you.
Additionally, not everyone has short term disability available to them. You must either have purchased short term disability insurance or have the short term disability insurance provided by your employer. Most people do not have access to short term disability insurance. If you’re lucking enough to have short term disability benefits or long-term disability insurance through your employer or you purchased private short term disability and/or long-term disability insurance, those insurances are separate and distinct from Social Security disability.
Thus, when considering Social Security disability vs short term disability, your eligibility for these programs will also tell us which program is better for you.
It is possible to qualify for both short term disability and Social Security disability if you meet the requirements for both programs. So in some cases, it may not be a question of Social Security disability vs short term disability – but Social Security disability AND short term disability.
These two programs are very different and serve two different purposes. Let’s look a little deeper into Social Security disability vs short term disability.
Social Security Disability vs Short Term Disability: How they relate
In most cases, Social Security disability and short term disability are completely and totally separate. It is possible to qualify for one and not the other. It is also possible you can qualify for both. The question is whether you meet the definition of “disability” for each of the programs.
Does short term disability affect Social Security disability?
Generally, short term disability does not affect Social Security disability in any way. Whether or not you receive short term disability does not have any impact on your SSD case – for good or for bad.
That means that the fact you have received STD benefits does not mean that you will win your Social Security case. In most cases, the Social Security Administration will not give any credit or weight to that decision. Because the definition of disability is different for both programs, being disabled under your STD policy does not mean you are disabled under Social Security’s definition.
On the flip side, if you do not receive short term disability benefits, that will not have any impact on your Social Security disability case.
Does Social Security disability affect short term disability?
Generally, Social Security disability does not affect short term disability. Because short term disability applies to such a short period of time, there is no overlap between the programs. Short term disability generally pays benefits for about 13 weeks (3 months). Social Security disability on the other hand does not start paying benefits until you’ve been disabled for five full months. (We call this the five month waiting period.)
For this reason, SSD does not generally affect STD benefits. You do not ordinarily have to repay the short term disability carrier because you are typically paid benefits for different periods of time.
SSI vs Short Term Disability: How they relate
Because SSI is a means tested program, it would be unusual that you would be able to collect both SSI and short term disability. In most cases, if you have short term disability insurance you will not qualify for SSI during that time period. However, if your short term disability runs out, you may qualify for SSI at a later date. For that reason, there is very little relation between SSI and short term disability.
Does short term disability affect SSI?
Yes, receiving short term disability would directly affect your SSI eligibility. You will need to be aware of SSI income limits. It is likely that receiving short term disability will disqualify you from receiving SSI. That’s not to say you will never qualify for SSI, but you would not qualify while you are receiving the short term disability benefits. This ordinarily lasts about 13 weeks (unless you also receive long term disability benefits).
Does SSI affect short term disability?
Generally, SSI would not affect short term disability. From a practical standpoint, you would receive short term disability benefits well before receiving SSI benefits. Additionally, these programs are intended for different purposes. Short term disability benefits are intended to cover 13 weeks of missed employment. SSI is a long term disability program which requires you to be disabled (or expected to be disabled) for a year or more.
Contact ARM Lawyers today
When you are disabled, you need a disability lawyer who understands both Social Security disability and short term disability. Our disability lawyer handles both types of benefits so we can tell you what you need to know about Social Security disability vs short term disability.
Never hesitate to reach out to our office during any part of the process. We can skillfully guide you through everything, step by step. Call for a free consultation today.