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Social Security Disability insurance

Sparky123SSparky123 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Haven't been on in a long time but I'm kind of in a new situation now. I had TLIF surgery 12/08 and I was finally considered permanently disabled from my very physical job in October '09. My place of work fired me on October 16, 2009 and I've been on workmans comp since. My pension made me apply for SSDI because I think they want to be sure I'm not permanently disabled from any type of job. As for working at any type of job, I'm not sure. I've always had a physical job, but now I am in constant moderate to severe so even working at a desk the rest of my working life might be tough.

Does anyone know how Social Security considers someone disabled? Mentally I am fine, physically, now thats another story. Do you have to be physically and mentally unable to work to get SSDI?

Hope everyone is doing fine and good luck to you future spineys!


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    For Social Security Disability Insurance approval they will look at your ability to do any job. In the process, it's best to agree with SS that you are applying as you do not see yourself able to return to any kind of work in the immediate future. If you, at any time, say "I don't know if I can work" then your claim is likely to be denied. I urge people to puruse SS and even if you are approved and later, down the road, find a way to return to some type of work you can later do so and end your SS. The nice thing about SSDI benefits is that it's not as if you have a fixed amount you can use in your lifetime. You can be on SSDI for 5 years, return to work and then 20 years later apply for SSDI again.

    I have been out of work since May 2009. My job was not very physical but it did require travel which I'm no longer able to do with multiple spine problems. My LTD carrier requires that I apply for SSDI and I will do so and will diligently pursue approval. I do hope that one day I'll get back to some type of work but right now I have to look out for my best interests in terms of benefits (after 2 yr on SSDI you get Medicare). So pursuing, or even being awarded SSDI, doesn't mean you have to be on it forever. Or, if you remain disabled, it may be a benefit you can use for many years.

    I hope this helps.

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • I have been approved for ssd and am anticipating recovery from my surgeries on my back. Hopefully I may be able to return because as it does help it was not the kind of income i was used to making.
  • Hi All, haven't been on for a long time. Anyway since last we talk I have been fully approved for disability social security after my LJA hearing in Dec. My question is. How long should I expect before I get my monthly? and then how long for my back pay for over two years? An intelligent guess will do . or anyone that has just completed the above scenario. Over two years Almost three years Of pain I am loking just to know how much longer to expect to plug up financial holes. Thanks.
  • hey - congratulations on your approval!

    I hope that you have received some sort of payment by now? If not, it takes anywhere from 4 - 6 weeks. Count on it being 6 weeks, put it out of your mind and more than likely, it'll come sooner.

    Anticipation just makes 4 - 6 weeks seem like 4 - 6 years.

    Congratulations again, buddy!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It is always wise for the person to review the annual Social Securtity Statement sent each year around 2-3 months before your birthday.

    The SS Statement lays out estimated benefits for various scenarios. Included in this is the person's "full retirement age" (SSNRA=Social Security Normal Retirement Age). For anyone born 1937 or before the SSNRA is 65. For those born between 1938 and 1959 the SSNRA varies based on year of birth. Anyone born 1960 or later has an SSNRA of 67 (chart available on www.ssa.gov)

    For example, my husband was born in 1959. His SS Statement from last year estimates:
    *Retire at 62, SS Retirement $1158/mo
    *Retire at 66 & 10 mo (SSNRA), SS Retirement $1652/mo
    *Retire at 70, SS Retirement $2072/mo
    *If disabled right now, SSDI would be $1686

    When you reach full retirement age, if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same (www.ssa.gov).

    I worked in the STD/LTD field for 15+ years and we worked with attorneys to try to help those on LTD get SSDI. However we unfortunately saw some people who were misguided by family, lackluster attorneys, or SS employees to "drop" the SSDI claim and just apply for SS Early Retirement when the person is close to 62.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi Karin,

    If/when I get approved for SSD... will LTD continue to pay me, if the SSD amount is less than what my LTD is paying me?

    Also, will I need to pay back any monies to my LTD plan... once I get approved for SSD?

    Say for instance my LTD plan is paying me $2,450.00 a month right now and SSD determines my monthly payment to be $2,150.00. Will I owe anything back to my LTD plan and will LTD make up the difference between the SSD amount going forward?


  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Most LTD plans include a provision under which LTD will continue to pay you, as long as you meet their definition of disability, but will reduce your LTD by your SSDI award amount. Some LTD plans have a Minimum Benefit Provision, so there may be a minimum benefit payable to you even if your SS is more than your LTD (that's just one example). The most common LTD minimum monthly benefit I saw was $100/mo. Check your exact policy for the minimum benefit payable.

    Once you are awarded SSDI you must provide a copy of the SS award letter (which must include date of award, benefit begin date, and initial SS monthly benefit award amount) to the your LTD insurance company. They will then calculate the amount of the SS backpay due to the LTD insurance company (this is also laid out in the LTD policy). Usually in your LTD paperwork, when you first apply for LTD and/or when are awarded the LTD, you sign a Reibursement Agreement in which you agree to re-pay in a lump sum.

    Using your example, if LTD is $2450/mo and SSDI is $2150/mo, you get $300 from LTD every month.

    Many LTD plans will always deduct the amount of your initial SSDI benefit. As your SSDI benefit increases over time due to Cost of Living increases (COLA) usually the LTD carrier will still only deduct the initial $2150/mo SS (from your example).

    Each year, about 2-3 months before your birthday SS sends out a Social Security Statement which lays out potential retirement and disability benefits. If you do not have it or want to request a new one, you can request one via www.socialsecurity.gov or call 1-800-772-1213.

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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