Long-term disability is an insurance plan that provides income to you when you cannot work due to an injury or illness that will last for quite a long time. It can be tricky to know what is technically considered a long-term disability versus what is a short-term disability. Most medical conditions defined as fatal or last for 12 months or longer qualify as long-term disability.
Certain areas and systems of your body will almost certainly qualify you for long-term disability if you are afflicted with either injury or illness. These include:
- Musculoskeletal system
- Cardiovascular system
- Digestive system
- Nervous system
- Respiratory system
- Certain neurological disorders
- Special senses and speech
Facing potentially fatal and/or life-altering issues affecting these areas of your body can qualify you for long-term disability. This is as long as you speak with your employer and insurance agents.
What Are Some Examples of Long-Term Disabilities?
A plethora of injuries and illnesses fall under the banner of long-term disability. Some examples include:
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Cerebral atrophy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Many more injuries, illnesses, and disorders can make you eligible for long-term disability. It is important to note that suffering from any of these ailments above does not automatically qualify you for long-term disability. However, there is an extremely high likelihood that these ailments will qualify you for long-term disability as long as you speak with your employer and insurance companies.
Get the strong arm
How Does This Compare to Short-Term Disability?
Short-term is similar to long-term disability in the sense that you will receive temporary benefits for being physically unable to work due to illness or injury. The key differences between the two pertain to what ailment you are suffering from and how long you will be suffering from that ailment. While there is a state-run program in Georgia for long-term disability, this does not exist for short-term disability.
According to the University System of Georgia Benefits, the short-term disability period lasts only 11 weeks. You will receive 60% of your weekly earnings from your insurance company. However, it can be, at most, $2,500 per week. Your benefits will begin on the 15th day of the qualifying period.
The long-term disability period can be a year or longer. You will receive 60% of your monthly earnings from your insurance company. These payments cannot exceed $15,000 a month compared to the $5000 a month for short-term disability. Your long-term disability benefits will begin on the 91st day of your qualifying period versus the 15th for short-term disability.
What Are Some Examples of Short-Term Disabilities?
A slew of injuries and illnesses can be categorized as short-term disabilities. These include:
- Some mental illnesses (like grieving the loss of a loved one)
- Personal injury (like a broken arm or leg)
- Rehabilitation from surgery
- Side effects from prescription drugs
- Maternity leave
This is not a fully comprehensive list of all the ailments that can qualify you for short-term disability. Still, suffering from any one of these issues can cause make you eligible for short-term disability as long as you speak with your employer and insurance companies.
Some people believe that recovering from cosmetic surgery, a self-inflicted wound, or injury while committing a crime is also grounds for qualifying for short-term disability. This is not true according to Georgia state law.
What Is the Difference Between Short-Term Disability and Worker’s Comp?
There is a common misconception amongst the masses that short-term disability and worker’s compensation are the same things. They are actually two separate types of benefit programs, and they are quite different in how they are structured.
Worker’s compensation is given when the source of the ailment occurs on the clock at your place of employment. Short-term disability covers injuries and illnesses that occur outside the workplace.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a type of benefits program that helps elderly Americans who suffer from long-term disability. The payments come from your social security rather than a health insurance company, like a typical long-term disability program. You need to be over the age of 62, have enough “work” credits (paying social security taxes through your employment income), and have a history of paying into social security in order to qualify for the benefits properly.
Your benefits from social security disability depend on your average lifetime earnings before you become disabled. Making a relatively low income throughout your life will entitle you to a low amount of benefits. Making a relatively high amount of income throughout your life will entitle you to a high amount of benefits.
According to the Social Security Administration, in the latest year of reporting, there was an average monthly payment of $1,259 for disability benefits.
What Are Some Examples of Social Security Disability?
The requirements for being labeled as disabled through social security are pretty similar to regular long-term disability. You must be unable to work for a year or longer, and the condition must be potentially fatal and/or life-altering. Some examples of what a qualifying disability for social security includes:
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Personal injury from a fall
- Loss of vision and/or hearing
- Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Muscular dystrophy
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Stage 4 breast cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Small cell lung cancer
- Gallbladder cancer
- Prostate cancer
There are countless other illnesses, injuries, and disorders that can make you eligible for social security disability benefits. You must get in touch with your employer and the social security administration to officially qualify for their disability services.
Contact an Attorney for Help Today
Suffering an injury while on the clock at your place of employment may not qualify you for social security disability benefits even though you are above the age of 62 and have enough work credits. This is because it can be considered worker’s compensation instead. Hence, it is important to talk to your employer, insurance companies, social security administration, and an experienced John Foy & Associates insurance attorney.