Protecting Yourself Against Long-Term Disabilities If You Are Self-Employed
Self-employed individuals can be found in a variety of professions. There are numerous options that allow for a lucrative living, but few protections when it comes to protecting your health and your future financial security. In the event of a long-term disability, you may find yourself struggling to support yourself and your family. Our Jacksonville long-term disability lawyer explains some of the options and how to protect your rights to benefits.
Social Security Disability Benefits If You Are Self-Employed
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 15 million people in the U.S. are listed as self-employed. While being your own boss offers many benefits, one of the drawbacks is that you are likely to lack insurance. This can be a major problem in the event a long-term disability prevents you from working. Provided you pay taxes, you may be entitled to disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Social Security disability benefits can help offset lost income if you are unable to work for a year or longer. However, you must have a qualifying medical condition and have earned enough work credits. Important details you need to be aware of about the program include:
- In 2023, you earn one work credit for each $1,640 in income;
- You must have 40 work credits to be eligible for SSDI, 20 of which must have been earned over the past year;
- The amount of benefits you are entitled to generally equals up to two-thirds of your prior wages.
While these benefits can provide a lifeline if you are unable to work, getting approved can be a challenge. The SSA reports that more than half of all claims end up being denied or delayed.
Protecting Yourself And Your Rights To Benefits
In addition to checking your eligibility for Social Security disability benefits, there are other steps you should take to protect yourself against long-term disabilities if you are self-employed. These include:
- Maintain your health: Visiting your doctor regularly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and managing chronic conditions can all reduce the risks of long-term disabilities.
- Consider privately purchased policies: Many insurers offer long-term disability insurance for self-employed individuals. You may also be able to take advantage of group policies offered through professional and trade associations.
- Maintain a healthy savings: Saving money and making smart investments can provide a safety net in the event you are unable to work.
If you currently suffer a condition that may result in long-term disability, keep copies of all medical records and any lost income. This can help in protecting your rights if you need to file a claim. Start a disability journal as well, detailing how your condition impacts your ability to work and other areas of your life.
Consult With Our Florida Long-Term Disability Lawyer
At Farrell Disability Law, we help people with long-term disabilities get the benefits they need to provide for themselves and their families. To discuss your options, request a consultation with our Florida long-term disability lawyer in our Orlando or Jacksonville office today.