Few people ever think they will end up disabled before they get a chance to retire. However, the chances of becoming disabled are higher than most workers believe. For those employees who are fortunate enough to have disability benefits through their job, they may wonder how they could have possibly survived without it. Workers who are disabled due to illness or injury, as well as their families, rely on disability benefits.
Health care is expensive, even with insurance. Individuals who become disabled often have higher healthcare costs than working individuals. Depending on the type of disease or disability, these costs may include medications, doctor visits, emergency treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, home care, and other recurring costs. In addition, if the disabled individual is not able to work, they may not be able to earn enough money to pay their healthcare costs.
Short- and long-term disability coverage provides individuals a portion of their salary during the time when they are unable to work due to their disability. Without disability benefits, an individual may be forced to rely on government benefits. Many individuals who are denied coverage for their disability quickly find that it almost impossible to live a normal life on Social Security disability benefits alone.
According to the Social Security Administration, in 2015, the average monthly disability benefit was only $1,165, or just under $14,000 a year. The 2014 poverty level was only $11,670, placing those who rely on Social Security disability benefits just above the poverty line. These minimal benefits are supposed to allow people to meet basic needs and the needs of their family. However, for many families, Social Security benefits are not enough to cover their own basic needs, let alone for their families.
For individuals who have short- or long-term disability insurance, the benefits will depend on the specific plan. For many plans, the benefits are calculated as a percentage of their salary, up to a set amount. While this amount varies, the benefits are often much higher than Social Security benefits. When a company or insurance provider denies an individual's disability claims, they should seek out an attorney to fight to get them the benefits they have earned.
Employees with private disability benefit plans spend years working for their employer, contributing to growth and profits, with the understanding that disability benefits are part of their compensation. However, after a disabling injury or disease, when the employee needs disability coverage, they may find their employer is resistant to fulfilling their obligations. When an insurance company cuts off a disabled worker's benefits, they may condemn them and their families to live a life just above the poverty line.
Greg Paul has 18 years of experience fighting for his clients to make sure they get the disability benefits they deserve. We represent individuals and families who have been denied benefits by their insurance company or plan administrator. You have a limited time to appeal your disability denial, so do not delay. If you have been denied short-term or long-term disability benefits, contact our office for a free consultation.