You do not need a lawyer to get life insurance on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). And obtaining life insurance coverage will not affect your SSDI benefits. Depending on why you are receiving SSDI, however, you may face difficulty getting approved for life insurance. A Social Security disability lawyer can help you figure out what you qualify for and how to go about getting it.
SSDI Benefits and Buying Life Insurance
If you receive disability benefits through SSDI and not Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your benefits are safe if you buy life insurance coverage. In fact, your assets do not affect your level of benefits at all with SSDI. Eligibility is based on two things:
- You have a disabling medical condition that keeps you from gainful employment.
- You have worked long enough and paid enough into the system via your payroll taxes to have the minimum number of work credits.
However, if you receive SSI, then life insurance could put your benefits in jeopardy. That is because many life insurance policies accumulate cash value, which is considered an asset. Since SSI is a means-tested program for those with lower incomes, you must have an income and total assets below certain amounts to remain eligible.
Being Turned Down for Life Insurance
It is unlikely that most life insurance companies will turn you down just because you receive SSDI. But your status as a disability recipient could affect your eligibility for life insurance in other ways. Most notably, the life insurance company will probably want to know what medical condition you have that makes you eligible for SSDI.
Depending on your condition, the insurance company might classify you as high-risk, thus increasing your premiums or lowering your benefit, or it might decline you altogether.
The following are a few common types of disabilities and how they might affect your life insurance eligibility:
If you receive SSDI because you live with pain so severe that it keeps you from sustaining meaningful, gainful employment, your condition might not prevent you from getting life insurance.
Life insurance companies are primarily concerned with how likely you are to die soon. It sounds morbid, but they are in the risk business. If a policyholder dies before they have paid enough in premiums to exceed their death benefit, the insurer loses money on that customer. Accordingly, if the insurer thinks there is a good chance you will die within the year, it probably will not approve you for life insurance, or else it will charge you high premiums.
Since chronic pain is not often a life-threatening condition, it is less likely to affect your life insurance application than many other ailments for which people receive SSDI.
Mental Health Conditions
If you receive SSDI because of a mental health condition, such as bipolar, schizophrenia, or major depression, you might run into issues obtaining life insurance at a reasonable premium rate.
Unfortunately, life insurance companies consider mental health conditions high-risk. For most people who have them, the only way to receive life insurance is to take out a guaranteed issue policy, which offers automatic approval but provides a very low death benefit for a very high premium.
Serious Physical Ailments
You might also run into challenges if you are receiving SSDI for a serious physical ailment, such as heart disease, stroke, COPD, or cancer. These are all high-risk conditions in the eyes of insurers.
Depending on the severity of your condition and what your short-term and long-term prognoses are, you might get “rated up” for life insurance — meaning you are approved for benefits but required to pay a significantly higher premium compared to what a healthy person is charged — or you might be denied outright for anything other than a guaranteed issue policy.
How a Lawyer May Help
While a lawyer cannot force an insurance company to write you a policy, they can help you plan for your family’s financial future and devise ways to keep them protected if something happens to you. Every situation is different, and that is why a lawyer is a good person to start with whenever you have questions or concerns about your benefits.
Call 866-628-8179 Today to Speak With a Social Security Disability Lawyer
While you do not need a lawyer to get life insurance on SSDI, one may be able to help. At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we offer free consultations to disability clients. We want to help your situation, and we look forward to hearing from you.
To speak with a member of our team, call us today at 866-628-8179.