Long Term Disability and Your Social Security Disability Claim

POSTED BY Jon Corra . July 16, 2018

Working every day in Social Security can be en eye-opening experience. Some of the stats we’ve learned over the years are staggering. For instance, did you know 25% of all 20-year-olds won’t work until retirement age? In 2017, 39% of all working Americans had no money saved. So, what are you to do if you can’t work? If you become disabled at an early age and you have no savings, it may be difficult to survive financially. If you decide to pursue Social Security Disability, you’re going to be in for a long wait. Some people prepare for this by purchasing long-term disability insurance (LTD). However, individuals who have LTD may have questions about how it impacts Social Security Disability.

Let’s start with an explanation of long-term disability insurance. For most, an LTD policy will take place after a short-term disability policy ends. Most short-term policies last about 6 months. According to insure.com, long-term disability insurance pays a percentage of your salary, usually 50 to 60 percent, depending on the policy. The benefits last until you can go back to work or for the number of years stated in the policy. Some policies pay out as long as you are disabled until age 65.

Many employers offer LTD insurance policies, but you must opt into these policies. If your employer does not offer a plan, you can purchase LTD through an insurance agent. Most LTD policies require a monthly fee.

If you’ve done any research on the Social Security Disability process, you know that it takes a long time for claims to be approved. Most people have to wait years before they get approved. Long-term disability insurance can be beneficial during this time because it does not take as long for an LTD claim to process. So, LTD can help supplement your income while you’re waiting to be approved for SSDI.

Can you get both?

One of the first things we’re asked when a client has an LTD policy is “Can I get both?” The answer depends upon a few factors. Keep in mind, SSDI is not an income-based program. The SSA does not care how much money or how many assets you have when you’re pursuing SSDI. You could have 27 houses and every Ferarri ever made and still qualify for SSDI. In other words, the income you receive from an LTD policy won’t keep you from receiving benefits. The limitations are usually found in your LTD policy. Some LTD policies require you to file for SSDI within a specific time period.

Once you’re approved for SSDI, most long-term disability policies won’t continue to pay you the full amount. Instead, the policy will offset the balance paid by the SSA. For example, if you were making $60,000 per year before you became disabled, and your policy paid you 60% of your annual income, you’d receive about $2,500 per month. If you’re approved for SSDI for an amount of $1,800 per month, your LTD policy should pay you the remaining $700 per month. Keep in mind though, this depends upon your LTD policy. Some policies may not pay anything if you’re approved for SSDI.

Know your policy.

Regardless of whether your employer offers an LTD policy or you purchase one from an agent, you should get to know it well. Don’t hesitate to ask your HR rep about specifics, or reach out to your insurance agent for clarification on the details.

If you’d like to know more about the ways in which SSDI impacts long-term disability, call us today for a free consultation. Our number is 1-877-526-3457. If you’d rather talk at a later time, fill out this form so we may call you at a better time.

What Social Security Applicants Need To Know About Online Applications

POSTED BY Jon Corra . January 25, 2018

What Social Security Applicants Need To Know About Online Applications
An online application is a great way to file for your social security disability benefits.

The internet is a wonderful tool with the power to make our lives easier in so many ways, including the process of applying for Social Security Disability. For instance, did you know that you might be able to save a lot of time by filing your initial application for benefits online? However, not everyone can file their applications via the internet. If you wish to pursue Social Security Disability, you must meet the following requirements to file online:

  • You must be age 18 or older;
  • You are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
  • You are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death; and
  • You have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days. If your application was recently denied, Social Security’s Internet Appeal application is a starting point to request a review of the determination made.
  • What about individuals who want to pursue Supplemental Security Income? (SSI) Those people are able to file online too, but the requirements are slightly stricter. Per the SSA website, you must meet the following requirements to file your SSI claim online:
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 65;
  • You’ve never been married;
  • You aren’t blind;
  • You are a U.S. citizen residing in one of the fifty states, District of Columbia, or the Northern Mariana Islands;
  • You haven’t applied for or received SSI benefits in the past; and
  • You are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance at the same time as your SSI claim.

[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOK7KTjXhVs” width=”500″ height=”380″]Overall, filing an online application is a great way to get your Social Security case started. There are some instances in which you may not want to file online, however:

If you don’t have access to high-speed internet, you may want to file a traditional application instead. The application can take a long time to complete, and that can be made worse if you don’t have a high-speed connection.

If you only have a smartphone. Smartphones are great, but a traditional desktop computer or laptop is a better choice for this application. The main reason for this is because you will need to upload and download large files for your new application.

If you’re not comfortable with computers, you may want to use a traditional application over the online application.

If you are curious about applying for benefits, give us a call today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. Or, if you can’t talk right now, fill out this form so we can contact you at a better time. We may even be able to help you fill out your initial application.

Dash Cam Confessional: The Truth About How Dash Cams Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

POSTED BY Jon Corra . July 14, 2016

It wasn’t long ago that the only modern technology in our cars was a tape deck. Jamming out to both sides of the latest REO Speedwagon cassette was pretty high-tech in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but the game has changed. Cars can play your music from your iTunes account, not with the push of a button, but rather with the sound of your voice. On some cars, you can gesture to open the doors or even turn on the radio, and the current line-up from Tesla even allows the car to steer on its own. However, no cars are currently offered from the factory with a dash cam.
Dash cams aren’t really new technology; police officers have been using them for decades. Also, they’ve been quite popular in Russia for quite a while. Even I’ll admit that I’ve spent way too much time watching dash cam videos from Russia on YouTube. However, dash cams are just starting to catch on in the United States. But, how can they impact a Personal Injury claim?

While dash cams are great for a lot of reasons, keep in mind that they aren’t some sort of miracle device. Simply having footage of your wreck alone won’t prove fault, and won’t necessarily help you get a settlement. For instance, if you were involved in a rear-end collision, and your dash camera was pointing out the front of the vehicle, it’s not going to show much of your accident other than the moment of impact. This footage will not likely show the driver who impacted you, what they were doing to cause the accident, or if they were at fault.
This is not to say that a dash cam can’t do a lot to prove fault in your accident, though. This is especially true if you have a good angle of what occurred. Take for instance the video we have featured here. This person actually had both front and rear cameras in their vehicle. In this accident, the vehicle with the dash cam was hit from behind. While rear-end collisions generally place fault with the driver of the trailing vehicle, a few unique things happen in this particular wreck that may help prove the extent of injuries for the driver of the lead vehicle. For one, the driver was texting and driving. In fact, he does not lay his phone down for quite a while after he impacts the van. So, that footage could be used to say the driver of the truck was being negligent. It’s also possible the footage could be used to cite the driver of the black truck for multiple violations. For instance, the driver of the black truck was not wearing his seatbelt. Now, where the real unique part of this video comes in into play is when the driver of the truck collides with the van. He actually hits the accelerator relatively hard. So, there is the initial impact, and then the secondary impact of the truck pushing the van. The black truck weighs at least 10,000 pounds. So, if the driver of the van was injured, an attorney could argue about severity based on the footage.
As time progresses, and as the public becomes more aware of dash cams, we will start to see more and more of these videos come into play in personal injury cases. If you are going to install one in your car, make sure that you’re not violating any state laws, and make sure that they are not obstructing your view. Dash cams come in all shapes and sizes, so they can be a little tricky to set up the first time.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and are seeking legal representation, call us today for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-877-526-3457. You can also fill out this form now, and a representative will call you at your convenience.