While every person understands the eventuality of his or her own death, not everyone expects a disability. This may be the reason why more people have life insurance policies than disability insurance policies. In California and across the United States, there is a public option for benefits if a person becomes permanently disabled. The program that provides these disability benefits is called Social Security Disability Insurance.
Some workplaces offer optional private insurance to their workers in the form of long-term disability insurance. It is usually part of a package of little perks, right alongside life and pet insurance benefits. It is typically less popular than life insurance policies, and some have reported that average employee participation hovers around 40 percent.
For those who do not have a long-term disability insurance policy, a Social Security Disability benefit is likely their best option to receive income after they have become permanently disabled. The SSD payment will be based upon the claimant's work history or the work history of the parents if the person is under 22 years old. A person who applies for a SSD benefit must satisfy the Social Security Administration's definition of disability and they must have paid Social Security taxes for a long enough time period to qualify.
During the Social Security Disability benefits application process, there may be unforeseen appeals or other delays. During the time of application, many people are grappling with the effects of their disability and may also be experiencing financial stress. In California, many individuals choose to use the services of a knowledgeable attorney to help with the application and appeals process.
Source: CBS News, "When a sudden disability ends your income", Ray Martin, Oct. 12, 2017