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How To Replace Earnings While On Disability

Apply For All Benefits For Which You May Qualify

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Benefits to check for which you might qualify include: 

Short-Term Disability Income (STD)

If you've just recently left work due to illness and you live in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, or Rhode Island, you may qualify for state-mandated short-term disability income. To learn more, see: Short Term Disability Insurance: State Programs

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

Social Security Disability Income generally kicks in after five months of continuous, permanent disability. Read our articles on applying for -- and keeping - your benefits. To learn more, see Social Security Disability Insurance 101

Social Security Retirement Income

If you are at least age 62, you might qualify for retirement benefits. You should also make sure you're collecting any benefits for which you might qualify based on the earnings of another person - such as a previous spouse. To learn more, see: Social Security Retirement.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

 If your income and assets are low enough and you are disabled, you might qualify for SSI. SSI doesn't pay much, but it can help. SSI generally comes with health insurance coverage through Medicaid. To learn more, see SSI 101 and Medicaid.

Unemployment Insurance

If your employer fired you for any reason other than gross misconduct (stealing, fighting, etc.), you might qualify for unemployment insurance benefits. You can also use unemployment insurance after being on short-term disability. However, if you're waiting for approval of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), applying for unemployment benefits may throw a monkey wrench into the process. To qualify for SSDI, you basically state you are disabled and unable to work. To obtain unemployment you have to state that you are ready, able, and willing to work. To learn more, see: Unemployment Insurance.

Former Employer

If you didn't while you were working, contact your former employer to determine if you were covered by disability income or other benefits plans of your employer, including sick leave, vacation time, and short and long term disability income. 

General Relief

Most counties, parishes, or other local government entities have programs to provide money for people in need. Although the amount is usually severely limited and the duration of benefits is also limited, one of these programs may provide some desperately needed temporary income. Contact your local Welfare or Department of Public Social Services for information about your local programs.

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