When most people start searching the internet for help with their disability claim, they come across a deep well of information about Social Security Disability.
Unfortunately, there is much less information about ERISA Long-Term Disability claims and appeals.
Sometimes, the differences are very confusing. Here’s what you need to know.
Social Security and Long-Term Disability are Completely Different
If you are actively looking for help with your long-term disability claim and denial, reading up on Social Security disability blogs is going to offer very little help. There is a caveat; you may qualify for SSDI – a program through social security that operates like an insurance policy for disability as well. For more information on that, reach out to us here, and we can break it down over the phone or in an email.
Covering the basics here, Social Security disability comes in the form of two government-administered programs. One is a social safety net – it is meant for those who cannot work and do not have a recent work history. This program, SSI, provides a limited amount of financial assistance <$1k per month.
The other program, SSDI, is similar in function to long-term disability. SSDI provides compensation like an insurance policy. The compensation is for those who cannot work due to an injury, but have a recent work history and have paid into the program. The monthly award is based off several factors, but essentially, your previous income.
Long Term Disability policies are insurance policies that a private insurer guarantees should you meet a certain criterion (disability from work). Often they are part of your employer-sponsored benefits. If so, your policy is likely covered by a law known as ERISA.
Governance of Long Term Disability vs. Social Security
Though the programs are different themselves, and for different populations, the way in which the programs are administered is perhaps the most glaring difference between disability benefits providers.
If you have a long-term disability policy through your employer-sponsored benefits plans, it is very likely to be governed by ERISA. ERISA regulates these benefits and gets very granular in describing how they must be administered. ERISA even goes so far as to say an insurance provider must decide your appeal within 30-45 days!
Social Security benefits are governed under a different statute, and in fact, they have a whole court system designated to support appeals of denied claims. They maintain their own administrative law judges, and whereas ERISA dictates a certain timeline for claims and appeals, Social Security has no such guarantee. It is very common for an SSI or SSDI appeal to take more than a year. In fact, if there’s a backlog of claims (such as during a downturn in the economy), the backlog in appeals can move more than two years out!!
Remember, There Are Different Types of Disability
This is the point of this brief article. You need to recognize there are several types of disability claims, and if you are trying to fight against a long-term disability denial, you should stick around blogs like this. While there are many excellent VA and Social Security claims blogs, their type of disability law is not what you are looking for.
If you feel you’re getting conflicting information in your online search for answers… this may be why.
If you want the straight scoop on your claim or denial, reach out to us today, and we will help you make heads or tails of it.