Many people face the difficult choice of having to consider leaving the work force on a permanent basis due to severe medical problems. But how should you go about deciding when to stop working for good? What options do you have for income once you stop working? Can you qualify for disability benefits from your employer or from Social Security?
Do You Have Eligibility for Private Disability Insurance Benefits?
One factor to consider before deciding to stop working full-time is whether you are eligible for short and/or long term disability benefits through your employer. Employers are not obligated to provide private disability policies, but often do as a way to recruit qualified employees. Having the ability to pursue long-term disability benefits often makes the decision to stop working much less stressful by providing income as you wait for Social Security to process your claim.
Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?
Another factor to consider is whether you qualify for public disability benefits under the Social Security Act. Most do not know that Social Security applies different standards than most private disability insurers. For example, a person must show their disability has lasted or will be expected to last for one year to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The expected duration of your medical limitations may therefore play a role in your decision to stop working for good. And in contrast to some private disability policies which only require you to show you cannot perform your previous type of work, Social Security requires that a person demonstrate they cannot perform any kind of work which exists in significant numbers. As a result, the severity of your medical problems and anticipated prognosis should also be considered when deciding whether to stop working for good.
How Long Will it Take to Get These Benefits?
Generally, private disability benefits obtained through an employer are sometimes easier to obtain than Social Security benefits, and decisions regarding these claims are usually made much faster. Having the option of applying for these private disability benefits means you may have a reliable source of income soon after you stop working.
On the other hand, the Social Security Administration processes millions of claims for disability benefits, so you can expect to wait for up to six months before the first decision about your claim is made. Sometimes, you must appeal to the administrative law judge level before receiving a favorable outcome, and this process can take 18-24 months. Although you will be ultimately get back-pay for any unpaid benefits you are awarded, Social Security generally will not provide any benefits while you exhaust the appeals process.
Keller & Keller Can Help You Get the Disability Benefits You Need
Making the choice to stop working on a permanent basis is a difficult decision. As a full service disability law firm, Keller & Keller can help you make this decision on an informed basis. We would be glad to discuss your circumstances if you need help deciding whether to stop working for good. If you’ve already decided to stop working, we may be able to help you obtain private disability benefits from your employer. We may also be able to file a claim for Social Security benefits on your behalf. Our attorneys can appeal any denials all the way to federal court to get the benefits you deserve. Call us today at 1-800-253-5537 for a free consultation.