Friday, January 18, 2008

Will you be able to collect Social Security Disability if your disability insurance paid you benefits?

This is a question I encountered in a newspaper column. The questioner stated that a relative had been approved for disability by an insurance carrier and was now receiving short term DIB (disability insurance benefits). Her relative wasn't old enough to draw social security retirement and her question boiled down to this: Since he had been found disabled by an insurance company, would social security automatically find him disabled as well and award him SSD benefits.

The short answer (and the long answer as well) to this question

This is sometimes difficult for people to understand, but the fact that an individual has been approved for long term disability, short term disability, veterans disability, or has won a workers comp claim, has no bearing on the disability decision rendered by the social security administration, or on the decision process used for disability claims.

Social Security does not adopt the decisions of other agencies or of private companies. And, in fact, the definition of disability used by the social security administration is quite distinct.

1. You must have a severe impairment. Who determines if your impairment is severe? This will be decided by the adjudicator and depending on which level your claim is at, this will be an examiner or an administrative law judge.

2. Your condition must prevent you from having the ability to engage in work that earns at least, or more, than something known as substantial gainful activity (if you're curious as to what this is, go here: SGA, substantial gainful activity). This will mean that your condition must prevent you engaging in your past work and from engaging in suitable other work while at the same time earning at least this amount.

3. The conditions cited in the first two steps must last for a period not less than one year in order for you to be approved for disability benefits.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog