Overview: Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability and Social Security Disability Benefits

There are several layers of disability income benefits that may be available to you. This section provides a brief overview.  In New Jersey, most employers must either contribute to state mandatory TDB benefits coverage or have their own short term disability coverage providing a minimum amount of benefits, per week to its qualified employees for the first six months of disability.  A useful guide is located at the New Jersey State ***.  Long term disability income benefits coverage is obtained by paying premiums over time, to either an insurance company or into a employee plan.  The administrator of the plan or policy requires you to submit proof of your disability. Typically, long term disability coverage requires you to be disabled for a set period of time, "the elimination period" before payment will begin. 

Social security disability is provided by the Federal Government, through the Social Security Administration.  Applications for coverage are available by going to SSA.gov. Since you must be disabled for six months before becoming eligible for SSDI benefits, you do not have to apply until you have been unable to work for a few months.  These benefits are calculated based on your years of working and your income level. Often you would be entitled to receive social security disability benefits for your children as well if you can’t work because these children are dependent on you for income. Whenever you file for disability, plan ahead and have all your ducks in line to be sure that your doctor is certifying to your disability, that your employer understands that you will not be returning to work.

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