Frequently Asked Questions
I am receiving long-term disability (LTD) insurance benefits. Will I automatically qualify for SSDI benefits?
No. SSDI and private LTD benefits have different criteria for determining whether someone is disabled, so receipt of private LTD benefits does not automatically mean you will qualify for SSDI benefits. Likewise, if at some point your LTD benefits end, you may still qualify for SSDI benefits.
Can I receive SSDI benefits for my dependent children?
Yes. Children up to age 18, or who have not graduated from high school, may be entitled to benefits if you become disabled. Generally, dependent children receive 50% of the amount of your monthly SSDI benefit, which is divided equally among all eligible dependents, subject to a family maximum. Also, a dependent child that became disabled before the age of 22 can receive benefits at any age.
How will my benefits be calculated, i.e., How much will I get?
The amount of your monthly benefit is based on your lifetime average earnings covered by Social Security and is reduced if you receive other government benefits, such as workers’ compensation – including Black Lung payments – or public disability benefits.
When will my monthly benefits begin?
If your application is approved, your first SSDI monthly benefit will be paid for the fifth full month after the date that SSA determined that you became disabled (Disability Onset Date). For example, if SSA finds that your disability began on June 15th, your first monthly benefit would be paid for the month of December in that same year. Social Security benefits are paid in the month following the month for which they come due, so the benefit due for December would actually be paid to you in January.
How long will it take to get my first check after I am awarded?
It can take up to 60 days or more to receive your first check after you have been awarded. Processing time is generally faster at the initial claim and reconsideration levels, while tending to take longer for clients who are awarded at the hearing level. SSA can delay the processing of a claim for many different reasons and will not release any benefits until all necessary documentation is in order. This may include a copy of your birth certificate, citizenship papers, representative payee documents, or proof of other public payments such as state disability or workers’ compensation. When possible, we will help you provide these documents to SSA in a timely fashion to avoid unnecessary delays in processing your monthly payments.
How long will it take for SSA to process my application?
Although some claims are awarded very quickly, often the process of applying for and being awarded SSDI benefits can be extremely long. Depending on the number of appeals needed on your claim, the process can take anywhere from six months to three years or more. That’s why it’s important to have help from reliable advocates along the way.
How much will it cost to have Brown & Brown help me?
We only earn a fee if we help you obtain an award, so you can be sure that we are working as hard as we can to get your claim approved. Generally, we receive a percentage of your retroactive, lump-sum award, up to a maximum amount established by SSA. In some cases, your LTD carrier may pay our fees. There are no hidden fees or costs associated with our services.
If I am awarded SSDI benefits, how long will I continue to receive them?
You will continue to receive SSDI benefits as long as you continue to meet SSA’s definition of disability. SSA may find that you are no longer disabled due to medical improvement or if you return to work at a Substantial Gainful Activity level.
You are required to inform Brown & Brown and/or SSA of changes in your work status, or if your health improves. This is necessary to avoid incurring an overpayment to SSA.
Will SSDI benefits also help me obtain health insurance coverage?
Yes. You will become entitled to health insurance through Medicare 24 months after the date that SSA determines that you first became eligible for SSDI cash benefits. When you become eligible for Medicare, Aevo Insurance Services, a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, can assist you with your health plan selection and enrollment process.
Can I return to work while receiving SSDI?
Yes. The Social Security Administration offers a free return-to-work program, known as Ticket to Work, that can help you get back into the workforce! By working with a Brown & Brown experienced career counselor, you can take advantage of this program and find the satisfaction and financial independence that comes with returning to work.
Need help applying for SSDI?
We can help you better understand and take advantage of the many benefits of Social Security Disability, to help maximize your financial well-being during your period of disability.