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Can I apply for Social Security Disability while I am still getting sick leave or long term disability from my employer?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  493 Comments

Learn about the timing and benefits of filing a Social Security claim while still receiving sick pay or long-term disability from your employer’s plans.

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Watch the Video: “Can I apply for Social Security Disability while I am still getting sick leave or long term disability from my employer?”

Apply Early For Social Security Disability

You can apply for Social Security disability while you are receiving sick pay, short term disability benefits from your employer and while you are using vacation pay or annual leave to cover sick days. You can also apply if you are receiving or expect to receive long-term disability from your employer’s plan. If you think that your disability will last longer than twelve months or that it is expected to result in your death, you should apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible without waiting for your other benefits to expire.

File as soon as you think you qualify for Social Security Disability, regardless of other benefits you receive. By applying for disability early, it will be easier for you to remember details of when you were first injured or became ill, as well as all the doctors you have seen, and other important information needed for your Social Security claim.

Don’t Get Caught without Income or Lose Back Pay

If you wait to apply for Social Security Disability until your annual leave, sick leave, or short-or long-term disability benefits end, you may be left without income while your Social Security claim is being processed. Additionally, there is a limit on the number of months of Social Security Disability back pay you can receive. For more information about back pay, see our article “If I Am Approved, How Much Social Security Disability Back Pay Will I Get?”

Report Other Benefits to Social Security

When you file your claim, be sure to tell Social Security that you are receiving, or have received, benefits from your employer to cover your time off. That way, Social Security will know that you were not working during periods when you received salary continuation or taxable short term or long term disability benefits.

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493 Comments

  1. pat says:

    Hello Lynn,

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond and help all of us out. I am a 50 yr old male and I have been out of work for almost 2 years. Bottom line is they are now considering putting a feeding tube in me that will be permanent. I have looked and can not find out if this is reason to be approved. I am a financial advisor by profession and it will be hard to do that job.

    Second question, is I have two group LTD policies. If I am awarded SS how will that offset these policies. One is for $6k a month and one is for $4k a month. Does this double hit me or do the policies have to coordinate?

    Thanks, Pat

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pat,

      You may be eligible for Social Security Disability. To avoid possible loss of benefits and delay in Medicare beginning, I recommend starting your application before the end of July. See the articles under the “Apply SSD” tab on this website for information about filing

      Typically, the two LTD insurance companies get together and coordinate the offset so each benefit is reduced some by the Social Security Disability, but together, no more than the total Social Security that you receive.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  2. joanne says:

    Hello,

    I work for a public school system as a Cafeteria Worker. I have just had my 3rd grand mal seizure, and have been given a note from my doctor that a return date can not be established. I am waiting for the paperwork for the FMLA, and have been told that I will have no problem being accepted. However, I will not be paid for this time off, and it has also been suggested that I start the process of filing for Disability. Am I entitled to collect unemployment in the meantime, as I have no other income, and am right now living with someone who out of the kindness of their heart, has let me move in so that I will not be alone.

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joanne,

      First, I suggest that you check with your employer to find out if you are covered by short-term disability (STD) benefits. Usually STD claims take a short time to process and benefits begin a few days to two weeks after cease work. Then also file for Social Security Disability benefits if your doctor believes that you cannot perform any kind of work.

      As far as unemployment goes, I suggest that you check with your state’s unemployment office about the law. In most states, you have to be able to work and be looking for work to be eligible for unemployment benefits. If you doctor says you can work, just not in the job you were in, then it could be appropriate to apply for unemployment, not Social Security Disability. Note that you might be eligible for STD if you can’t do your current job but can do other kinds of work because may STD policies require that you be disabled only from your own (current) occupation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  3. Vickie says:

    Hi, Two years ago I had a stroke that has affected by eye sight. I did not lose my eye sight, but cannot read what I have written, and have to use a magnifying glass, and also hide each letter as I try to read what is on the computer or paper. Once I type something on the computer, I cannot read it.
    I am currently working as an Executive assistant in the Legal department. I make numerous mistakes, and have to ask people around me to read things for me. The people that I support are very upset with me and have no patience with me. I go home every day upset and crying. I I do not know the process of applying for permanent disability, or if I am even eligible. I was told that I need to go on State disability first with my long term disability, but I am not even sure that was correct. Can you tell me the process please.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Vickie,

      If you cannot continue in your employment, you can apply for state disability insurance (SDI)if you live in California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Hawaii. You can apply for Social Security Disability at the same time. The state disability claim will be processed much more quickly than the Social Security claim and will also pay for the first five-months of disability, which Social Security does not.

      Your employer should have information about applying for SDI. Have someone read you the information on this website under the “Apply SSD” tab for information about filing a Social Security Disability application. Because of your sight problems, I suggest that you have a trusted relative or trusted friend help you file the application. If you are denied, hire an attorney to assist with the appeal.

      When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before sending your back pay to you.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  4. Angela says:

    I have been diagnosed with several auto-immune diseases, such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I had to have emergency surgery in July 2014 and was out of work almost 4 weeks. I did not have enough PTO to cover all the time I was out. I was out a lot of days in August 2014, September 2014, October 2014 all due to pain, bleeding, and extreme fatigue. Since returning from surgery my boss and everyone else have been treating much differently. At the end of January 2015 my boss and the two other managers had a meeting and decided to add all of the job responsibilities from a job, which was previously vacated when another manager retired, to my job description. I was already struggling to get done what was on my original job description before adding essentially another entire job on top of it. Then my boss forced me to move out of my office, which I had been in for 7 1/2 years, and put me in an office 1/3 the size where I can’t regulate the temperature, light, or noise levels! I am freezing everyday even with my floor heater on and my door shut, which my boss says I am not being a “team player” because of. I go home everyday with a migraine from the fluorescent lights and the extremely loud noises. I got a recommendation from employee health and wellness for Reasonable Accommodations 6 weeks ago but my boss won’t cooperate. One of the accommodations the Doctor recommended was to change my office and he won’t do that either which is making even more sick and causing me to miss work when I don’t have the PTO. Since I don’t have PTO he is giving me unscheduled absences which I can be terminated for when I reach a certain #. I am still trying to work as many days as I can because I am a single parent with 2 sons in college and a mortgage. With all of my medical issues and medications I take I can’t afford not to have income. I feel like no one here will help me and I am running out of time. What can I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Angela,

      To be eligible for Social Security Disability, your must be disabled from occupations that you have performed in the past and, depending on other factors including age, from other occupations as well. It is possible that you are able to work, just not in this job. You might consider looking for new employment.

      In the meantime, you might let the Employee Health and Wellness department of your company know that your boss isn’t following their recommendations, which is causing you to miss work. You also might consult with the a labor-law lawyer regarding the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Perhaps there is an organization that can offer mediation with your employer. It is also possible to file an ADA complaint, which you can do online on the U.S. justice department, though I am not knowledgeable about whether this would directly improve your situation or how soon.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • ritchell says:

        Hi
        I have a question I’m injured to my work and the company put me in modify work or light duty after 1 weeks I quit and I received a paper that I’m terminated.the company responsible for all diagnostic test ,laboratory etc (worker compensation)

        I ask the company if I get the short term disability benefits but they deny because the company says I refuse the offered of modified work.

        I have shoulder impingement syndrome..it’s getting better but I think it will not the same as before after the injury. I can work but no lifting..

        My question is am I eligible to apply for SDI since I already work there for 2 months. Can I eligible to seek attorney for worker compensation. Because now I’m not working. Your. Reply is very important to me.have a good day God bless

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Ritchell,

          As you describe your condition, it does not seem likely that you are eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI). If you live in a state that has SDI (State Disability Insurance), I suggest that you contact the state SDI office to find out there requirements for receiving temporary benefits. If you think you will not be able to go back to the same kind of work you used to do, you might try to get rehabilitation services from workers compensation or the state’s department of vocational rehabilitation. Lastly, I suggest that you consult with a workers compensation attorney to see if there is any anything about the circumstances of your refusing light duty that would allow you to get cash worker’s comp payments.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  5. nancy says:

    Hello my name is nancy my question is I am currently on longterm disability for the last 20 months I will be released soon my question is will I be able to apply for unemployment once my doctor releases me from disability, thanks in advance

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nancy,

      I would say, yes, that you can; however unemployment laws vary from state to state. I suggest that you check with your state’s unemployment office.

      By the way, if you have been disabled from all kinds of work for twenty months, you can apply for a closed period of disability from Social Security. There’s a potential of twelve months of retroactive pay. You would have to use some or all the Social Security to repay part of your LTD benefits; but if you have a relapse, it could be to your advantage to have been approved for Social Security as you would be able to reopen your Social Security without a new waiting period and all months of eligibility would count toward the Medicare eligibility waiting period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • nancy says:

        Thank you so much I have been out due to as post pardom depression after having my baby than it turned out as anxiety disorder and depression I lost my position at work after 5 months of being out on disability the company I worked for has been paying for long term disability would I still qualify for social security if so how would I go about applying for a closed period?,thanks again.

        • nancy says:

          By the way I live in California

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nancy,

          Submit an application to the Social Security Administration. You can start the application online at http://www.ssa.gov. Information about filing a claim can be found in the articles under the “Apply for SSD” tab on the navigation bar of this website.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • nancy says:

            Thank you!

          • Kay Derochie says:

            You are welcome, Nancy.

          • nancy says:

            I have another question in order to apply for a closed period of disability do I need to be released from my doctor or can I still apply before im released also is it the same application as applying for ss disability benefits,thanks again for your time.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Nancy,

            You can apply now and report when you are released to work at the time you are released. The application is the same. Just indicate on the medical portion of the application that you expect to be released to return to work and give a range of approximate dates and say you will report when you are actually released.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

      • Richard says:

        I was just diagnosed with primary liver cancer and on transplant list. It is getting difficult to work, and therefore be disabled soon. I am 60. I have both short term and long term disability insurance through a company sponsored plan. It is possible my company may be acquired by another company within 4 months. My doctor thinks I will be approved since liver cancer is on the ssdi compassionate exception list, and thinks most large insurance companys follow social security lead. I am fearful that while I may be approved for the short term company sponsored plan, by the time the I apply for the long term disability after the S.T. disability runs out in 6 months my company may have been sold. Then I will be without a job and may no longer have the long term coverage. Is that normally how it works? Even though I have both LT and ST thru same insurance plan, do I need to wait to file for testing long term benefits. I realize that I will need to also file for social security disability. I have received so many different answers to this question. Please help.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Richard,

          You cannot apply for long-term disability (LTD) until the short-term disability (STD) has been approved and you are within the last month or two of the LTD waiting period, which usually is the same as the maximum benefit period for the STD.

          Most employer-sponsored disability policies will pay benefits to employees who become disabled while the policy was in effect and the employee was insured under it, even if the policy is later terminated (as could possibly, but necessarily, happen when your company is sold). This means that you should be able to move from STD to LTD.

          You have a right to get a copy of the LTD plan under which you are covered even though it is not time to apply. Be sure that you get the full plan and schedule of insurance, but just a booklet or overview document. You can then look up what it says about benefits after the policy terminates. If you don’t understand the provisions, you can call the company and have them explained. If you do that, be sure that they give you the page and paragraph number of what is being explained.

          Because you don’t know when you will get the transplant, you can apply for Social Security when you cease work, at the same time as you apply for STD. Note that STD and LTD will likely be reduced by Social Security paid for the same months. Do not let that deter you from applying for Social Security because if you recover and return to work after a period of disability, having received benefits may keep your later Social Security retirement calculation from being adversely affected by a period of disability with no earnings. Also, after twenty-four months of benefits, you will become eligible for Medicare.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  6. Sylvia Lopez says:

    Hello I would like to get someone to help with information regarding long term disability. Because am sick and my short term disability is ending. I need to know where and who I could ask for the application for my doctors could fill them and I could send them out.

    Thank you
    If you could help
    SylviaLopez

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sylvia,

      If you have long-term disability (LTD) coverage through an employer, you can get the forms from the employer or from the insurance company. If you have LTD coverage through the same company as your short-term insurance, you may not have to file an application. Check with the insurance company.

      If you have been or are expected to be disabled for more than twelve months, you can apply for federal Social Security Disability (SSDI). The application can be started online or you can apply in a Social Security office. The articles under the “Apply SSD” tab on the top navigation bar of this website provide additional information about applying.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  7. Edit Koranyi says:

    Hi
    I was wondering if I could get some advice. I receive social security benefits, and my long term disability insurance, Cigna, wants to stop paying my long term disability money, or reduce it to a very small amount; I can’t support myself on their proposed amount. What can I do?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Edith,

      First find out the reason your long-term disability (LTD) insurance company plans to reduce your LTD benefit. If it is an offset for Social Security that you receive for the same months, then probably the reduction (or termination if the policy has no minimum benefit) could be correct.

      I suggest that you get clarification of exactly why they are proposing a reduction/termination. Then request a copy of your full LTD policy and review it carefully to see whether they are acting within the provisions of the policy and/or whether you disagree with the reasons for the reduction of benefits. If needed, get legal help to interpret the policy provisions. If you disagree, you will have appeal rights under the policy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Patrick says:

        Hello Kay,

        Thanks for taking time out of your day to answer all of these questions! Also I couldn’t figure out how to start a new comment so I hit reply to the latest one.

        I’ve been on short term disability in California for the past 9 months. I’ve already opened up a LTD claim with my employer insurance program. The LTD benefit is not much, since CA is paying most of my benefit. According to my Doctor I will probably never be able to go back to my old line of work. The doctor advised me to get into a job retraining program and select a job that is sedentary in nature. I have server osteoarthritis in my knee.

        According to the LTD policy my income benefit is tax free and they will not send a W4 at the end of the year. I will transition from CA short term disability to the LTD policy completely in February 2016.

        When filling out my taxes, do I have to report wages from the LTD company? Also, I lost my job and went on my employer COBRA medical insurance and paying $450 a month. With the New Year coming up, Im considering buying medical insurance through California, but Im not sure how to report wages. Do I need to report wages to California or can I report zero wages, since I do not pay taxes on the LTD payments.

        Again thanks for your help!

        Patrick

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Patrick,

          I am not knowledgeable in the specifics of how to apply for insurance through California, so you should address questions about their application forms to the office that processes them. Just in general, however, I would say that if you are asked to provide information about your income, you would list your short-term disability and state insurance because it is income even though it is not wages.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  8. Barb says:

    Hi I am going to be 60 years old in 2months. I am on leave of absence due to Labrum and I biceps surgery with cleaning of bone spurs I also have a bad back where I go to the pain clinic who manages my pain with epidural shots and pain meds when needed. I had Hiatal hernia surgery times three last one was last year, they cut my Vegas nerves that go from my small intestines to mystomach these makes me very nauseated most of the time where I take zofran . I also had a seizure a month ago . They ran cat scan of the brain, EEG and everything was normal. The doctor put me on Ativan to help. I also get dizzy every now and then, take my blood pressure and low.
    My job has me doing a lot of lifting on patients, pushing, pulling, it’s hard for me to stand too long and. Sitting I move every 10 mins. . I also have trouble sleeping at night I tore centre at least 25 times a night . I have been at my job for 34 years now, but just can do it anymore. I am going to file for social security disability next week period I have all my records, do you think I have a case period thank you very much

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      Given your back and arm conditions, the probable medium exertion work history and your age, I’d say you have a reasonable chance of being approved for disability. When you apply, list all your medical conditions.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • renee says:

        Question please,

        I have bipolar, anxiety, pts, and now fibromyalgia. My bipolar and anxiety is now becoming crippling. I was wondering if I am put on a long leave, and unable to work if you can apply for ssdi, while on loa, and if my conditions may even qualify me for ssdi (michigan).

        Thank you.
        Renee

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Renee,

          Yes, you can apply for Social Security Disability while on medical leave. If you have been or are expected to be disabled for twelve months, you may qualify.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Anne says:

      Yes Kay couldn’t find a way to comment other than reply on someone else…I need help I can find very very limited information for some reason on my problem heres hoping you can answer…I live in Texas worked in Texas at bc/bsoftx and went on long term dis.thru their insurance which is dearborn natl…my husband passed of cancer and upon notifying ssa they in turn informed me I could apply for widows disability benefits I’m 56…so I did needing the money desparately since his passing…I haven’t rec’d an award letter but was told it would be approved by someone working it at ssa and that it shouldn’t affect my long term dis.payments but being me I wanted to let dearborn natl and they want a copy of the award letter once I recieve it ok no problem but they’re telling me they can offset and take it from me but they need to see the letter to be sure, but from everything I’ve read and been told (however not by an atty) they cannot, is the lil info out there I’m reading all wrong or are they trying to intimidate me??? Please please help I’m at poverty level now since his passing. ..

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Anne,

        Typically long-term disability (LTD) insurance policies include a provision for reducing (offsetting) the LTD benefits by the amount of Social Security Disability benefits paid for the same months. This is likely true for Social Security disabled widows benefits as well. I suggest that you request a full copy of your LTD insurance policy and read through it. Look for a section called “deductible benefits” or “benefits from other sources” or something similar and/or you can ask the insurance company to direct you to the provision that allows for offset.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  9. David Stark says:

    I have had several grand mal seizure’s resulting in injuries and loss off driving privileges for six months each time this occurs. I have been a Field Service Technician for 19 years, but have been doing electronic repair for 30 years. I have fallen off a ladder while in a seizure and wok up in ambulance. Because this has been on going and keep having to go out on disability, can I ride out my short and long term disability while applying for SSDI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      You can apply for Social Security while receiving short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits. If you are approved for Social Security, you will probably have to repay part of the STD and/or LTD that you received for the same months that the Social Security is paid. It is expected that you use Social Security back pay to make the repayment. You can check your STD and LTD policies to see if your policy requires this.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • K Jones says:

        Hello,
        I have ESRD (dialysis 5 days of the week) and receive long term disability through my employer. I am considering returning to work, but no more than 40 hours per week. If I return to work and find out it is difficult to work that many hours and do my treatments. How difficult will it be to go back on LTD?

        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear K.,

          I suggest that you request a copy of your full long-term disability (LTD) policy and look at the temporary recovery provisions. Some policies do not require a new application if a return-to-work attempt is unsuccessful and lasts a certain limited period listed in the policy. Usually in those circumstances, you just submit updated medical information.

          As an aside, if you are receiving dialysis at a dialysis center, you may qualify for Medicare whether or not you are working. Application can be made at a Social Security office. Also, if you have been disabled for twelve months or more, it could be to your long-term advantage to apply for Social Security, even though in the short run you would have to use the Social Security back pay to repay some of the LTD received.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • Craig says:

      I am currently receiving provisional benefits while my EXR request is being evaluated by DDS and SSA. I have been heavily subsidized by my employer as I have attempted to work (employer has omitted several job duties, etc). I clearly mentioned this to the SSA employee and she said that I will be receiving provisional benefits.

      I am concerned that SGA may not be in my favor for the application month (Nov 2015). At the time of EXR application, I was not working at all, but I did work (subsidized) the rest of Nov 2015.

      Firstly, I am concerned regarding an overpayment issue (received 1 payment). Is it possible that Nov 2015 SGA can be calculated in my favor? Who makes the SGA evaluation, DDS or SSA? Would it behoove me to retract the EXR request, and then reapply during a month where I have not worked at all? Thank you in advance.

      Craig

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Craig,

        Social Security pays full-month payments, so if it is determined that you were performing substantial gainful activity (SGA) during part of November, your recurrent disability date would be the date after you stopped and benefits would start the following month. Withdrawing your expedited reinstatement request and then reapplying later will not gain you anything because you would still have worked part of November and the assessment of when disability began again would be the same.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

        • Mark says:

          Hi Kay,

          I’m on STD from Costco paid by Unum for bipolar 1, I’ve had 2 serious manic episodes and mental hospital stays and at least 3 ER visits, numerous flare ups, and I’ve not been the same since my last major hospital psych ward stay 2 years ago. I’ve read other peoples stories and know I would qualify for SSDI. Just want to know my options and don’t know when to proceed.

          I know my psych and therapist would back me but I don’t know if only being out 3 months is long enough to apply for SSDI. We’ve also talked about taking a lot of time off so I could qualify for the out of work 12 month limit but I don’t want to lose my job or more importantly my insurance. When I go on LTD the max is 18 months coverage from Unum or whatever Costco insurer has for it, I pay Cobra, and it stops at 18 months, if I go beyond that can they legally terminate my job and benefits? Do I lose my health benifits or can I get them back when I return to work? Also do I even want to go on SSDI if I’m getting much more money with STD and LTD? If I do apply for SSDI and I go back to work and say a year later I’m hospitalized again and permanently can’t work is it easier to get SSDI since you’ve been on it previously?

          Also SSDI for bipolar, I know I can’t do full-time anywhere, out of the question, but when I get better I think I can work part-time. If I get approved for SSDI and later in the year move up to work 1 or 2 days a week and only stay at that level under $1000 dollar monthly limit. Will they see that as I can work and decline my benefits? Even if I have both doctors back me up? Which reminds me, do I have to have 3 doctors back me? I only have 2, what do you do then?

          Ultimately I want to return to my current job and not have my seniority and benefits disappear. Though I have a hunch I’ll be out 2-3 years. Maybe longer maybe less. Sorry about all the questions, just want your opinion, still may go see a lawyer or should I wait until I get my first denial?

          Thanks

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Mark,

            You do not have to have three doctors. If your doctors expect you to be off work or able to work only part-time earning less than $1,090 a month for a period of twelve months, you should apply for Social Security now. It takes two to five months to get a decision. Also, your long-term disability (LTD) plan may require you to apply because if you are approved, your STD and LTD will be reduced by SSDI paid for the same months. I suggest you get a copy of your complete STD and LTD policies to see whether you are required to apply for SSDI and to double check the maximum benefit period on the LTD. (Some LTD policies pay for a short period if a person is disabled only from their “own occupation,” that is, the occupation you were performing when you became disabled, but continue payment if you are disabled from all occupations.)

            Your employer’s human resource department will have information about your leave of absence and how long your medical insurance continues. If you lose your insurance, you can apply for insurance under the Affordable Care Act at http://www.healthcare.gov.

            You can learn about the effect of work after claim approval by reading the Red Book, which is available from your local Social Security office or online at http://www.ssa.gov. What you have to do and how hard it is to get back on SSDI after termination due to a return to work depends on how soon you return to work (before or after twelve months of disability), whether you have recovered medically, and how long you are back at work.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  10. Nicole says:

    My mother is currently receiving short term disability from her work. Can she also receive SSI Disability? She has stage 5 kidney disease so she will not be returning to work. We were hoping she could draw both short term disability and SSI Disability. She lives in Kansas. Thank you in advance for your help!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nicole,

      Your mother’s short-term disability (STD) benefits may be too high for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs based program. However, it is possible that you mother might be eligible for Social Security (SSDI) if she has worked enough in the past. I suggest that she apply for SSDI now because it takes two to five months for claim approval. The first five months of disability are not paid by SSDI so the STD and SSDI eligibility months may not overlap. If they do, she should report receipt of Social Security to the STD insurance company because her STD may have to be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  11. Sean perez says:

    Hello I’m in California and my mother has been receiving SDI and applied for SSDI if she is approved for SSDI will the monthly payment be less because she is currently receiving SDI? Any info will be appreciated

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sean,

      Social Security Disability (SSDI) is an earned benefit based on taxes paid. Accordingly, your mother’s Social Security Disability will not be reduced by California State Disability Insurance (SDI) she has received.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sean perez says:

        Really are you sure? I’ve read something online saying it would.. SDI and Other Programs
        Social Security Disability programs:
        State Disability Insurance (SDI) generally lasts a year. If you and your doctor think that you are going to be disabled for longer than a year, you should apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This is a federal disability insurance program that you’ve paid into through income taxes. If you’ve paid into the system for a long enough period of time, you can get this benefit. SSDI requires that your disability lasts longer than a year, so it can pick up where SDI leaves off. If you are on SSDI and SDI at the same time, your SSDI will be reduced. https://ca.db101.org/ca/programs/inco me_support/sdi/program2b.htm

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Sean,

            The site you are citing is not a California government site, so the information may be unreliable. To my knowledge, Social Security Disability is reduced only for workers compensation and certain government employee pension benefits. I suggest that you double check with the State of California SDI office and/or the Social Security Administration.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Sean,

          Please see my response to your previous post in which you questioned the same issue. As I said in that response, your source is not the State of California. I suggest that you check with the SDI office and/or Social Security. (Supplemental Security Income back pay will be used to repay SDI, but not Social Security that I am aware.)

          Thanks,
          Kay

  12. Jane says:

    I am 62 years old and divorced. I am on SSDI and receive 1198.00 a month. My mortgage,taxes and assessment total $675.00 a month, I also receive a $46.00 snap benefit. I do not receive any other assistance. I believe I am entitled to help with my electric bill but I have no idea who to call. I have supplemented the paying of my bills with my savings which will be depleted within this next month. I no longer own a cell phone or a car.
    I can not make ends meet on what I receive. Now that my savings is depleted will I qualify for additional snap benefits and who do I call?
    I can’t remember the process I went thru for ssdi and snap. Thank you.
    Can this be done over the phone since I no longer have a car and I’m disabled?
    Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jane,

      I suggest you contact your electric power company to find out whether they have an assistance program for disabled persons. You might also ask your local social services office if they know of any private non-profits that provide energy assistance. Also talk to your phone company about whether they have any special rates for the disabled.

      I think food stamp grants are paid based on your income and shelter and medical expenses, not on savings. However, it can’t hurt to inquire. If you have had to re-certify for food stamps, you would contact the office where you last re-certified. If you have not,try looking in the blue pages of your phone book or online for the food stamp office, which is probably part of your local state or county social services. You may be able to conduct business with them by phone.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  13. Tricia says:

    Hello. I have been on medical leave and receiving short term disability from my work since June, 2014. I received an email that the company could no longer hold my position. My doctor has me off until March, 2016. My question is, will my checks stop because I have been terminated?

    • Tricia says:

      Correction: I have received short term disability from June, 2015.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Tricia,

        Please see my response to your first post, but disregard my comment about Social Security Disability eligibility.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tricia,

      Your short-term disability benefits should continue. Also, since you have been off work more than twelve months, your might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  14. Mary says:

    Hello, I applied for temp state disability with back pain and hand pain. My Doctor signed my paper work and put me off until 3/28/16. I have no income whatsoever. I only worked apprx 4 months last year in 2015 and not the entire year. I am still looking for work and may possibly be working again in Feb before 3/28/16/ I have not been approved for payments for SDI. I received a letter from SSA RETIREMENT SURVIVORS AND DISAB INSURANCE wanting to authorize to disclose information to the SS Admin. I have no benefits at all no unemployment benefits I exhausted them and my question is if I am offered a Temp job I will have to accept it as I dont have any other means of financial support. Do I need to just ignore this letter or what should I do?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      I suggest signing the authorization so that Social Security can investigate your claim. You do not say how long you have been off disabled or whether your return-to-work release has restrictions. To be eligible for benefits you have to be disabled for twelve months; however, if the periods of work you did last year were between intermittent periods of disability, they might be treated as unsuccessful work attempts and not start the twelve month clock over again. Also, if the work you find earns less than $1,090 gross per month and your medical condition doesn’t allow you to earn more, the work probably won’t disqualify you from receiving benefits. If you have definitely recovered in less than twelve months, you will not be eligible.

      If you do not have employment by the time you are released for work, you might try applying for unemployment on the basis that you stopped work due to illness but have recovered and are able to work but haven’t found a job. Some states allow payment under those circumstances.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • JoAnne says:

      Kay,
      I appreciate this opportunity to get your advice. My husband has been on short term disability from work since September. He was having bouts of confusion and has since been told it is dementia. We were just told that his short term will run out in March and he would be switched over to long term. I have read where we should apply for SSD now, rather than wait till his long term runs out. Is this correct? My concern is that if the doctors decide he can go back to work, his company won’t want him back. Right now they are aware of bouts of confusion but not “dementia”. Won’ the dementia diagnosis have to be released to his work?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear JoAnne,

        Neither the short- or long-term disability insurance company or the Social Security Administration can legally release any information about your husband’s medical condition without written authorization from him. I encourage your husband to file for Social Security Disability as well as pursuing the long-term disability so that there is no gap in benefits. The LTD will likely be reduced by the amount of Social Security he receives; however, if his employer paid the premium for the LTD, there can be a tax advantage to having part of his income come from Social Security.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  15. Good morning my wife hurt her back on the job with the post office she filed for federal workmanship compensation she has been waiting for about 2 years I would like to know if we can apply for social security disability while we’re are waiting for federal workmans compensation the doctors said she is completely disabled from her injury on the job if you can please help me thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wendell,

      Yes, your wife can apply for Social Security Disability (SSD) and she should start the application this month to avoid potential loss of back benefits. Information on filing can be found in the articles under the “Apply for SSD” tab on the navigation bar at the top of this web page. The application can be started at http://www.ssa.gov.

      Note that if your wife is awarded workers compensation, she must report that right away to Social Security because there is a maximum she can receive between workers comp and Social Security Disability. (The maximum is usually more than either benefit alone.) Because of the workers compensation offset against Social Security, she should not spend any of a worker’s comp settlement until she finds out whether she has a Social Security overpayment because some of the settlement will likely have to be used to repay the SSD overpayment. This should not discourage her from applying for Social Security because it is to her overall benefit to have both and because it can protect her retirement calculation to be on the books as disabled. Also, after twenty-four months of SSD including back months, she will be eligible for Medicare.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Wendell Rodriguez says:

        Even if it’s federal workmans compensation with no problem if she applies for ssd and if we have a child under 18 is the child entitled to anything thank you so much

        • Good afternoon also should she get a disability lawyer or just go down to the office and file for ssd and how long does it take to get ssd and is there anyway to speed it up because of no income for like 2 years

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Wendell,

            It is reasonable to file an original claim without an attorney. Information on filing a claim can be found in the articles under the Apply SSD tab on the navigation bar at the top of this webpage. If she has copies of medical records back to when she stopped work, it would be helpful to submit those records.

            If she is denied, then it would be good to hire a Social Security lawyer. She does not have to pay any legal fees up front and she will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount her attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award before sending her back pay to her.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Wendell,

          Your wife can apply for Social Security Disability if her earnings were taxed for Social Security. She just needs to be sure she lets Social Security know if she gets the other benefit. If her earnings were high enough to provide dependent benefits, your minor child will receive benefits for the same months she does.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  16. Jen says:

    Hello thanks for ur help my husband was put on temporary total disability on 11/05/15 we send the papers to sdi and never heard from them in 01/15/16 he change lawyer and doctor they give him temporary total disability they did us the favor to sumit the aplication and 3 weeks later we heard back from sdi saying the amount he has there to collect but we also recived another letter sayin he did not qualified because he took to long to file and he had no job so he did not have salary looses we apeal on 2/25/16 and which we explain he had been put on disability since 11/15 and that they never responded to us also I left a letter from hes previous doctor were he says he put him on temporary total disability….on 3/2/16 we recived a letter asking for the first dr. To fill out we were lucky enough the dr. Did it same dAy and we drop off at the sdi office in person I have 2 questions 1st would he get aprove and how long does the apeal take …..2nd question would they pay him since hes disability started on 11/2015 thank u

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jen,

      You need to address your questions to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) office. (I answer questions about the federal Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.) If your husband is expected to be disabled a year, he can also apply now for SSDI and/or SSI at a federal Social Security office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  17. Christine says:

    Greetings- I had a horse accident a year ago resulting in a double pelvic fracture. After 9 months neither fracture fused resulting in a double non-union. I had reconstruction surgery 3 months ago with an unsuccessful outcome. I have been on bed rest/crutches/wheelchair since my fall. I also have been working from bed the entire time with an Accomodation from my employer. I now am applying for STD/LTD as I did not recover as we all had hoped. My long term outcome will be confinement to my bed/wheelchair and crutches. If I apply for SSD while on STD, in the eyes of SSN, will my disability begin now or will the previous year of being disabled (working from bed) be a consideration during my application review? Also, given your answer, when do you suggest I apply for SSD benefits?

    Thank you very much!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Christine,

      The answer to your questions depends on some details. Please give me
      1. The month and year of the fall
      2. A list of any months since then that you did not gross at least $1,130.
      3.Job Title
      4. Description of all the accommodations and any duties of your occupation that you have not performed from home.

      Once I have that information, I can respond with the date to claim as the date you became disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  18. Guy Shearer says:

    Hi, I am writing to find out about my disability application. I had emergency decompression surgery at L4/L5 and L1/L2 in July 2015 due to Cauda Equina Syndrome. I have had a lot of complications and 5 more surgeries with the most recent being a multi-level lumbar fusion 3 weeks ago. My Dr. has said that I will not be able to return to work by July making it at least 1 year since being out of work. I applied for SSDI in September. At the time I was earning full salary from sick and vacation time that was donated to me from fellow coworkers. All pay ended in October, and that is when my FMLA began. FMLA ended in January and I was let go from my job. I am still waiting on my initial decision. I have three questions. First, will the sick and vacation pay effect the date I became disabled? Second, if I am approved will my back pay automatically include my children’s benefits or will I have to go to a local SS office and complete more paperwork? Third, how does SSA determine if and/or when a review will occur after becoming approved. Thank you in advance for any assistance.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Guy,

      You should have gotten a decision by now. It is possible the examiner was waiting to see how long your problems would continue. I suggest that you contact the claims examiner in the Disability Determination Service (DDS) and let him or her know that your doctor says you will off work more than a year. Offer to get a statement and updated medical. Also, let the examiner know that you received sick and vacation pay through October, but no work after the date claimed in July. (If you don’t already have the DDS phone number request it from Social Security. If that fails call your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and ask to be connected to disability determinations for Social Security claims.) Then follow up with getting the updated information to the DDS.

      Your vacation pay and sick leave are not payment for work and accordingly will not affect your being considered disabled during the months you receive it; however, it may show up as wages in tax records and you may have to present proof (detailed pay stubs or statements from your employer) that you were not working during that time. By listing your children on your application, you filed a claim for them. You may need to file to be payee for them or present their birth certificates. If you are approved, you can check with your local office to find out what is needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  19. Lisa says:

    I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2009. I have been working but it has become increasingly difficult since the cancer is in my bones. I plan on going on FMLA using my sick and vacation time. Can I apply for SSDI while on FMLA? Would I even be considered for it even though I’m not working but still receiving income? Also, I read something about SS compassionate allowance. Is that something different?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Yes, you can apply as soon as you stop work; just put on your application that you will be receiving sick and vacation pay so that you are on record that the income is not earnings. Compassionate allowances provide for quicker claims processing. In some circumstances breast cancer patients qualify for a compassionate allowance. You can inquire whether your claim might be eligible for placement into the compassionate allowance processing track when you file it.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Already getting med for depression,back shoulder,leg pain.ct showed brain atrophy.dx also with adjustment disorder conversion disorder with depressed mood. I have not applied for disability yet bc I don’t know chances of nurse 40 yr old being approved first time.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Stressed Out,

          If you are not working or are working and earning less than $1,130 gross per month, I encourage you to file a claim. It is possible that despite your young age you could be eligible for benefits. If you are still working but having problems on the job, I suggest discussing your condition and job problems with your physicians to see if they believe you need to stop work. You might also check with your employer to see if you are covered by a short-term disability insurance policy that would provide income while your Social Security claim is being processed.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Forgot to mention my memory concentration attention span is getting worse. I am on leave without pay but afraid if SSA contacts my employer they may let me go since this is a right to work state. Someone said that if your primary doctor does an RFC form and a co-worker that is aware of my situation sends a letter along with family that is helping me it may help get approved on initial claim without going through other appeals. Husband died and everything is much worse. what do you think my chances are and should i get these letters or forms done?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            If you are claiming disability and are working, to be approved your earnings must be less than $1,130 gross per month. If they are, you can proceed with the claim. It is unlikely that SSA will contact your employer. They would do so only if you said your employer could make a statement about work problems related to your medical condition. The statements and residual functional capacities (RFC) form have the potential of helping your claim; so, yes, submitting them is a good idea.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • I am on leave without pay FMLA status but not getting short term disability benefits. Will my primary doctor be the one to do the RFC form for physical and mental health? I see a neurosurgeon but his nurse is not known for responding to SSA when it comes to paperwork nor do they feel ANYONE needs disability benefits. My PCP is more in favor than they are. Will the RFC form from him help on initial claims?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            All evidence you can present has the potential of helping your claim, so if your PCP will complete a residual functional capacities form for your claim, it could be helpful. You can request a copy of your medical records from your neurosurgeon and submit those records yourself.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Still on leave without pay but do you think my chances are greater for approval in Sc than denial if I apply now? I’m scared and don’t know what else to do.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            If it appears you might be off work for a year, I suggest you file a claim. It takes two to five months to get a decision, so getting it started may be the best course. If you are able to return to work while the claim is pending, you can report the return to work.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Stressed out says:

            I did the disability application sent in all medical records and mental and physical rfc forms from my PCP. Would disability determination services still send for the same records if I already gave them at least a year’s worth plus did the adult function and job questionnaire sheets? Possible for quick disability determination chances or is that only for CAL? Would they still need the third party questions done or not?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            It is unlikely that Social Security would request the same things you have already submitted. They could ask your doctors for clarification of their reports or even ask you to go to a consultative examinatio, but they may not. I can’t predict how long it will take for you to get a decision; however, your submitting all the information you have couldn’t shorten the time frame somewhat.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • Stressed out says:

            Is brain atrophy with concentration and short term memory loss a compassionate allowance or QDD?

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            Your condition may qualify for a Quick Disability Decision, but it may be more likely to undergo regular processing because the severity of your condition has to be determined. Be sure that you have submitted test results that document the atrophy and the cognitive deficits.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

    • Widow says:

      Husband died before alj hearing but attorney still going forward with hearing. Chances of approval and or chances of OTR approval prior to June hearing.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Widow,

        In light of your husband’s death, it is likely the decision will be made on the record (OTR) unless there is some question about when disability began.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

      • just approved for LTD and awaiting SSDI decision since 6/30/16 application. Is LTD with my employer harder/easier to get than SSDI when both requests same info? SSDI claims examiner said maybe 2 weeks to know something possibly since all medical/psych records and primary MD’s RFC form were sent in at interview time. Is this a QDD(quick disability determination) and is this a good/bad sign that a decision may be POSSIBLY be available in the next 1-1/2 to 2 weeks. Don’t want to aggravate the examiner by calling too much. Thanks.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Stressed Out,

          Most long-term disability (LTD) policies require that for the beginning period of disability, usually one or two years, you have to be disabled only from your “own occupation,” meaning the occupation you were performing when you ceased work. Accordingly, it is easier to be approved for LTD than for Social Security, which requires that you be disabled from all occupations you could perform if you did not have physical or mental limitations. LTD claims are usually processed quite a bit more quickly than Social Security claims, so it is possible that you will get a decision within a couple weeks, but I’d allow a month before following up.

          If you are expected to be disabled from all occupations for twelve months or more, you should file a Social Security Disability (SSDI) claim now because it usually takes from two to five months to get a decision. If you file, submit the same medical/psych records you submitted for the LTD.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

        • Can you please answer the 2nd combined question from 8/21/16? (qdd). Also what are the different statuses that will show up on the ssa.gov checking the status site?Currently says in medical review. Thanks.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            I responded to your questions at 11:15 on August 21. Your questions and my reply are posted under this same article. Try scrolling to that date and time.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

          • so are you saying the ssdi may take 2 wks or were you referring to ltd?also what are the different statuses that will show up on the ssa.gov checking the status of a claim site. mine currently says in medical review. thanks again.

          • Kay Derochie says:

            Dear Stressed Out,

            I was referring to the time frame the LTD examiner gave you.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

  20. Lenny says:

    Do I need a letter from my employer stating that I am on sick leave in order to get SSD benefits? Is a W2 enough proof to show that I am no longer working?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lenny,

      Your pay stubs are enough to prove you are no longer working unless you stopped in the middle of a pay period and you need to prove in which month your last day of work fell.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Lenny,

        Your concerns are best expressed to your congressperson and senator because funding for staffing for the Veterans Administration, like the Social Security Administration, depends on the national budget approved by Congress.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  21. Lenny says:

    What is the difference between SSDI, RSDI and SSI?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lenny,

      SSDI is Social Security Disability benefits. RSDI is an ancronym for Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (all the general categories of Social Security insurance coverage). SSI is Supplemental Security Income, which are benefits paid to individuals who are at least age sixty-five or disabled and have income and assets below a certain level. It is a federal public assistance program and is not Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  22. Lenny says:

    I was injured at work, what social security benefits am i eligible for?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lenny,

      If you have worked enough including in the last ten years to be insured for Social Security Disability benefits or have limited income and assets and you are medically unable to work in any occupations that you could perform if you did not have medical limitations, you may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Lenny says:

        With a work injury, would I be medically eligible for SSI and RSDI?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Lenny,

          If the work injury is such that you are unable to work in past occupations or in new occupations and earn $1,130 gross monthly, you could be medically eligible for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or SSDI (Social Security Disability). RSDI, as I explained previously, is an acronym for the entire Social Security insurance range of benefits including retirement and survivor benefits.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  23. Carol says:

    I am a 60 year old woman with Scleroderma & Interstitial Lung Disease. I was also recently diagnosed and am being treated for Lung Cancer stage IIb. I am currently on short term disability, NJ, from my job as an Office Assistant, where my primary job responsibilities are speaking on the phone, typing and writing. I am a HS grad. I am experiencing extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, joint pain and difficulty in concentrating, as well as strained vocal chords due to surgery.
    Would I be eligible to receive SSDI benefits? Would it help to have my primary doctor complete an RFC form and submit it with my application?

    Thank you,
    Carol

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carol,

      As you describe your health, I would say that you have a good chance for approval of benefits. Anything you can submit to support your limitations can help your claim so a residual functional capacity (RFC) evaluation would be good. Be sure to list all your medical providers including specialists and hospitals.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Nadine says:

        I have been sick since May 2012 I applied for ssdi in January 2015 and barely got letter stating my medical issues are not sever enough to keep me from working but I get long term disability. I was diagnosed with PTSD major depression anxiety panic attack anger issues And I was let go from work bc I was always sick or on fmla leave and then placed on general medical leave bc I was a risk factor at work. While I’m on long term can I get ssi along with my long term disability benefits until I appeal my ssdi.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Nadine,

          Supplemental Security Income (SSI) has the same medical requirements as Social Security Disability. In addition, your long-term disability benefits may be too high for you to receive SSI.

          I suggest that you hire an attorney to help with your appeal. Also, get a statement from your employer that you were let go because of missing work, the amount of time you had off work in the last six months or year before your stopped working, and a description of problems you had on the job that appeared to be related to mental health.

          When you hire a Social Security attorney, you do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge, and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from your retroactive award before they send your back pay to you.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  24. Elaine says:

    Hi, my husband was just 59 years old this past May. He has been working with the same company for 35 years. Prior to that he worked several other jobs starting at the age of 14. Up until 4 years ago he never missed any time from work other than vacation time. His job is very laborious, he works in a factory in the shipping dept. and is on is feet all day in steel toed boots, he is required to drive a fork lift and load trucks. Besides the fact that he is getting older, he had a back injuty 4 years ago when a large tree limb broke off and crushed him. He had a fractured L1 vertebrae as well as multilple fractured ribs both sides. He underwent a verebroplasty with no significant relief of pain. He also has multiple medical problems including poorly controlled HTN, uncontrolled atrial fib, glaucoma, reflux disease and a very large umbilical hernia. He also is very hard of hearing, deaf in the left ear and partial hearing in the right with a hearing aide.It breaks my heart to see him in such pain every day, I don’t know how he does it. I would like him to apply for SS disability but don’t know how we would manage without his pay if he quit his job. His take home pay is about $2000.00/month. Any suggestions?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Elaine,

      Based on the information you have provided, I’d say there is a reasonable chance your husband will be medically approved for Social Security Disability. It takes two to five months to get a decision and the first five full-calendar months of disability are not paid. I suggest that your husband check with his employer to find out if he is covered by a short-term disability (STD) policy that would pay benefits during the unpaid waiting period. Another option would be for your husband to reduce his work hours so that he is grossing less than $1,130 each month. If he does so, he can apply while working.

      If he files a claim, be sure that he lists all his medical conditions including his hearing problem and how that limits him in certain environments. Also, he needs to explain why he is stopping or reducing work now after working with the conditions for a few years (symptoms worse, for example). Be very thorough in listing his medical providers and medical history. Try to get a current hearing test including one with his hearing aid to document hearing limitations he might have in another kind of work.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Hi my name is data and i have been out from my job now a year and I was getting long term disbibut when I stop going to the foot doctor they going to tell me that I can’t not get my money that I had put in on the job I have lupus and now I don’t have any income come I’m about to loss my house handbills the got be hide and I have kids and I don’t not what to do can anybody tell me where can I go to to get help. Thing u sing datra

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Data,

          I am unsure whether your name is Data or Datra, so if I have it wrong, please excuse me. If you are still disabled, you can appeal the closure of your long-term disability (LTD) claim and support the appeal by going to a physician and being evaluated for what limitations you have. If you have been or expect to be disabled for twelve months, you might also be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Because your written English appears to be limited, I suggest that you file in a local office rather than on line. You can get an appointment to apply in a local office by calling 1-800-72-1213.

          I am not able to provide advice about the money you apparently put into a retirement plan beyond saying that if it was a 401k or the like you might be able to withdraw due to dire emergency if you have gotten a past-due mortgage notice or because you are disabled. I suggest checking with the plan administrator to see if your plan has such provisions.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  25. Jenn Lema says:

    My husband is 48 y/o. Had lumbar surgery Nov 2015. Has been out on STD since end of May, 2015. His dr says he is partially disabled, meaning he can’t perform his current job. He has been with his current employer for 18 yrs. STD is over and he is now needing to decide to apply for a LOA to see if he recovers enough to do the physical labor his job entails, or leave his job and file for LTD and SSDI. All he has ever done his entire life is hard physical labor, hence the back issues. Do you think he is a candidate for SSDI? Or even LTD?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jenn,

      If your husband may qualify for long-term disability (LTD) because many LTD insurance policies only require an individual to be disabled from their last occupation for the first year or two of benefits. I suggest that he apply for LTD and simultaneously contact your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to try to get retraining into another occupation that he can perform with his limitations. Another option is that some LTD policies pay for rehabilitation services on a case-by-case basis.

      It may be more difficult for your husband to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI) because he must be disabled for twelve months from all from all occupations that he could perform if he did not have his current medical limitations. That said, he could apply simultaneously to get a formal decision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jenn says:

        Thanks Kay! He has been unable to work for the past 14 months. We are going to file for LTD and policy states he has to apply for SSDI as well and appeal at least once if denied. We will definitely look into vocational training. Thanks again!

    • Shirley Payne says:

      Hi Kay, I am receiving LTD and also work Part time just giving medicine. I’ve applied for social security disability, went to a sad dr last week. I get a letter asking me to call within 10 days. What could this be. Also if approved what will I have to pay LTD.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Shirley,

        If you received the letter from your local Social Security office, you may have been approved medically for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits (and possibly Social Security disability (SSD). Usually LTD policies do not offset (reduce LTD) for the receipt of SSI, but do for SSD. This means that if you receive SSD, you will have to repay to the LTD insurance company an amount of LTD equal to the amount of SSD you received for the same months, but not more than the LTD you received. If the letter came from the Disability Determination Services, your claim is still pending a medical decision for which more information is needed from you.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  26. Kay Derochie says:

    Dear Nadine,

    See my reply to your earlier post.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  27. Lynn says:

    I am 52 years old and work as a medical biller from home. I just had shoulder arthroscopy to fix a rotator cuff tear. I am on FMLA from my job. I also have to get the right shoulder done. Plus I have to get minimally invasive back surgery to fix a L3 L4 that is ruptured. I feel I will be out of work for a few months but I don’t know how to coordinate everything. My orthopedic surgeon for my back is willing to fill out a RSA report for me. I would like to apply for Social Security disability benefits since I’ve been at this job for 10 years already. I also have depression due to my son’s recent life-threatening illness and I went from 40 hours to 30 hours since May 2015. should I hire an attorney to help me with the Social Security process or do I have to tell my job what I plan to do? Thank you Lynn

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lynn,

      To be eligible, you must be disabled or expect to be disabled for twelve months. The disability can be from multiple conditions treated simultaneously or serially if disability from each overlaps with the disabling symptoms from the next. Attorneys usually do not help with new claims until you have already been disabled for an extended period of time because their fee is limited to 25% of your back pay. In order to retain the FMLA status for longer than the original approval, you will have to apply for an extension with updated information. Check with your employer to find out whether you are covered under a short-term or long-term disability insurance policy.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  28. LMS says:

    I applied for temporary SS disability benefits and long term disability thru my job. I was temp approved for LTD. SS disability sent me a follow up packet to complete based on my application that I was told to submit to them bc I was filing for LTD. Do I still need to complete the SS disability benefits application being that I will be getting LTD?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear LMS,

      Most LTD policies require application for Social Security because LTD benefits go down when SSD is approved. Review your LTD policy or heck with your LTD insurer to learn their requirements. Additionally, there are benefits to being approved for both LTD and Social Security especially if your disability turns out to be longer than you anticipate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Wendy says:

        Related question: if after 12 months from time I became disabled and I try to return to work but can’t do the job, are there benefits I can still receive? Currently approved LTD, and making new application to SSI soon as required by LTD. Relates to work incentive clause. Can you lose by trying? Also, should I apply for state benefits? I expect to be off work for approx 12 months from accident with brain injury recovering. Thanks for this post.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Wendy,

          After you have been off work due to disability for twelve months, under the Social Security Disability (SSDI) program, your work efforts would be evaluated under the SSDI work incentive provisions, the first of which is a nine-month Trial Work Period (TWP) during which benefits are payable. Accordingly, if you are medically disabled, your attempt to work should not interfere with your being approved.

          I suggest that you review your long-term disability (LTD) policy to see how a work attempt is treated under the policy and how much of your earnings would reduce your LTD benefit. As far as state disability goes, check with the office that administers that program.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  29. Alicia says:

    Hello,

    I have been on short term disability through my employer since April 16, 2016. I have a herniated disc in my lower back and have already had a discectomy surgery. Unfortunately that surgery did not work and I now need a spinal fusion. Short term disability will only pay me until October 26,2016. My next surgery will not be until the middle of September, and my doctor is stating I will need 3 months for recovery before I can return to work. I called my HR Department to ask if I can file for state disability once my short term disability ends through my employer. They state that I can not file for state disability. I have a family member who got paid short term disability and once that ran out filed for state disability and was approved and got paid. My question is can I really file for state disability to cover the 3 months of time I will be out of work once my short term disability ends?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Alicia,

      I suggest that you file a state disability claim about October 1 with a statement from your physician about your expected period of disability. Ask for benefits beginning October 27, explaining that it is the day after your short-term disability will run out. That way you will get a formal decision from the state.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Alicia says:

        How do I go about filing with the state?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Alicia,

          Your employer should be able to either tell you how to file or give your the contact information for the state disability insurance (SDI) office. If they don’t give it to you for some reason, your state probably has an online directory of departments. The SDI office can tell you how to file an application.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  30. Katrina says:

    Hi,
    Some insight would be appreciated on how SSDI works. I have been battling an undifferentiated connective tissue disease that has affected organs and erosion in my joints . It started impacting my job performance 11/15 and now I have maxed out my 12 weeks FMLA due to 2 separate surgeries due to appendicitis and gallbladder. I was able to get an internal accommodation for for up to 2 days missed per month for flare ups, but my inflammation is so bad my doctor took me out for 4 weeks. They hope 2 different immune suppressants and large dose of prednisone reduce it. My work is willing to give one more exception for 4 weeks but I’m at week 2 and can barely use my hands. Trying for Short term disability now, doc says it’s life long battle and since I can have one day a little better and the next sick and in pain, that I take it one day at a time. The loss of income and bills piling up I fear any waiting period. Can I file while filling short term disability? And while I have an internal accommodation under ADA?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Katrina,

      Yes, you can file for Social Security Disability (SSD) at the same time as filing for short-term disability (STD) benefits. One of the purposes of STD is to tide a person over until an SSD claim can be processed and paid. You might also look into whether you qualify for a twelve-week leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA law applies to employers with fifty or more employees. If you are denied SSD because your disability is not expected to last twelve months and are still in no shape to work, wait until close to the end of your appeals period to appeal so that you will be closer to twelve months when the appeal is reviewed.Be sure to submit updated medical to show the extent that you are still impairedd. If you are denied again for the same reason, appeal again.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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