Fighting for Social Security Disability Benefits While Receiving Long-Term Disability Insurance

Can I be on Long-Term Disability While Applying for SSDI?

Last month, on October 9th, Sara Khaki co-presented at a Continuing Legal Education event on Social Security Disability at the Georgia State Bar Headquarters in downtown Atlanta. The seminar was called Health Matters: Representing Employees with Permanent and Temporary Impairments; the event was filled with great presentations by plaintiff’s employment attorneys on the rights of employees who are suffering from poor health.  A special thank you to the employment law attorneys, Lisa Golan and Janet Hill, for putting this great event together.

The event covered many topics that were very relevant to many of our clients. Our attorneys Sara Khaki and Tina Thapar came back with many takeaways. One of the topics covered at the seminar that affects many of our clients is applying for Social Security Disability benefits while also applying (or receiving) long-term disability from a private insurance company. A common question we get is: Can I apply for Social Security Disability while receiving long-term disability? The answer to this is YES; in fact, the insurance company that provides your long-term disability insurance will require you to apply for SSDI once you start receiving your long-term disability.

To be clear, Social Security Disability is a government insurance plan that you pay into through the Social Security taxes that you pay from your wages.  Long-term disability is a private insurance policy that you may choose to pay towards or not.  The reason many private insurance carriers will require you to apply for Social Security Disability once you start receiving long-term disability is because most long-term insurance plans maintain that any amount you receive from Social Security for disability will offset how much the insurance company will pay you.  Many times, once a claimant wins their Social Security Disability benefits, most of the back-pay they receive from Social Security goes straight to the long-term insurance company’s pocket. So the insurance company has a strong interest in you applying for Social Security Disability; their interest is so strong that often times they will even go ahead and contact an organization that helps handle Social Security claims nationwide on your behalf and have that organization get the process started for you.

Of course, we recommend that you get help with your claim from a local firm that has an actual legal team composed of attorneys and paralegals to handle your claim.  More importantly, find a law firm whose interests are not aligned with the insurance company but rather devoted to fight for your best interest. Contact us at any time if you have any questions!


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