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Disability Benefit Programs in California

If you are disabled and unable to work, several disability insurance and benefit programs are available to help you pay the bills, return to work or both.

Knowing the available disability programs before you need them is an advantage to reap the benefits right away. For instance, disability benefits might commence on the date you file your claim, not on the date your disability began. Further, waiting period may be taken into consideration before disability benefits begin.

Employer Disability Insurance Benefits

Many employers offer disability insurance benefits to attract and retain employees in addition to health care, dental and life insurance benefits. Usually, these employers provide both short-term and long-term disability insurance benefits.

These benefits may be given in various ways such as:

  • Paying 100 % of disability insurance premiums and providing benefits to all qualified employees

  • Offering disability insurance benefits at discounted group rates and giving eligible employees the option to choose coverage.

  • Offering short-term disability insurance free and giving entitled employees the option to elect long-term disability insurance at discounted group rates.

State Disability Insurance Benefits

A few states including California offer disability insurance benefit programs. If you do not have private or employer-provided disability insurance benefits, you might be covered by your state's program.

Normally, state disability insurance benefits are administered by the same agency that administers unemployment insurance. In fact, you might be entitled to state disability insurance even if you are unemployed at the start of your disability.

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

Benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance may be collected at any age unlike retirement benefits provided that:

  • Social Security taxes are paid.

  • Serious physical or mental impairment as determined by doctors and with the agreement of the Social Security Administration's doctors are sustained. Such impairment prevents the ding of a substantial work for a year or more.

These benefits include:

  • monthly pay

  • Medicare health insurance

  • Vocational Rehabilitation, if your disability permits

  • other employment-support programs that help you go back to work.

You might also be qualified to receive Supplemental Security Income even if you have not paid Social Security taxes.

Social Security Disability Insurance does not cover partial or short-term disabilities.

Workers' Compensation Disability Insurance Benefits

Usually, several states require employers from private sector and state government to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance.

Most of the other disability insurance programs cover injuries incurred off the job or illness unrelated to the job. Workers' Compensation Insurance, on the other hand, covers job related injury or illness.

Veterans' Disability Insurance Benefits

The U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration is a branch of the Department of Veterans Affairs that offers two disability benefits programs.

  • Disability Compensation – a monthly monetary amount to qualified service members and veterans who are at least 10 % disabled because of military service. It includes physical injuries, physical and mental diseases and posttraumatic stress disorder from sexual trauma.

  • Disability Pension - an annual monetary pension spread equally over 12 months given to qualified wartime veterans who have limited income and unable to work or who are 65 or older.

The above discussion will enlighten you of the various benefits that a disable or an unemployed Californian may enjoy.

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