All You Should Know About Disability Insurance for the Unemployed

If you’re unable to work owing to illness, pregnancy or non – industrial injury, you can be eligible to receive disability insurance benefits.

Various government sponsored schemes provides monetary assistance to workers who are unable to pursue work due to disability. There are a number of disability insurance and other ancillary programs which provide both monetary and nonmonetary support.

What is Disability?

A physical or mental illness or an injury which stops or hampers customary work is disability. Short term disability programs will provide assistance from a few months to a few years while long term schemes extend assistance for an ailment that affects for years or perhaps for a lifetime which stop at retirement age.

It is paramount for you to be well acquainted with the various disability programs with a view to make use of it when you need the most. Most of the disability related benefits begin on the date you file the claim and not from the date the disability occurred. Also, there may be a waiting period for the benefits to begin. In order to understand the nature of such conditions, being self educated is important.

Disability Insurance – Eligibility

The following are the requirements to qualify for disability insurance.

  • The applicant must be employed or be keenly looking for work at the time of becoming disabled.
  • The disability condition must make you unfit to work for at least eight consecutive days.
  • Loss of regular wages must be due to disability.
  • One must meet the minimum wage requirement during the previous period and SDI should be deducted from the wages earned.
  • Applicant should be under treatment from a registered doctor or recognised religious practitioner during the first eight days of disability. Continuity in treatment is necessary for receipt of benefits.  
  • The applicant form and procedure should be duly submitted within 49 days of becoming disabled.

How to File?

1) Secure copy of a disability compensation application form. The form can be downloaded and printed from the website of the labor dept in your state.

2) Fill relevant details in the section/fields meant to be filled by you only. Some of the fields will need details from the doctor who is treating you as per his records. Dates of hospitalisation and treatment details may be required.

3) The doctor/practitioner treating you should fill his part and provide consent by signing. They must provide specific details and diagnosis of the medical treatment.

4) Have your employer fill their section of the form. They should provide accurate details of your employment and wages earned.

5) After checks, send the form to the Department of Labor, Temporary Disability wing (TDI) and wait for processing as per timelines prescribed. If there is any shortcoming, the authorities will keep you posted.

The disability programs provide you a recurring sum on a monthly basis instead of a lump sum with a view to balance expenses. To match inflation and other affecting components, the payout component may altered. Two of the most popular programs under disability insurance are  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI)

The social security disability benefits may be obtained at any time, unlike retirement benefits. If your salary had tax deductions that contributed towards the fund, you can receive benefits for serious physical and mental ailments endorsed by a registered medical practitioner. SSDI does not cover short term or partial disability.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

This system covers with little income or no assets or citizens who may have never worked. The benefits under this scheme are funded by federal taxes(Abbott).


This health insurance scheme provides benefits for people aged 65 and above and also extended to citizens who have been on SSDI for 2 years. For some health conditions, instant eligibility is available with exception of mental ailments. Those who qualify for Medicare, a premium will be deducted from monthly SSDI check.


Is an health insurance program for those on SSI and is jointly funded by state and federal government. It is one of the largest programs in the country for medical and health related expenses for people with low income group.

Cobra Health Insurance

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) insurance is a program that mandates limited health insurance coverage after leaving employment to former employees, their spouses, dependent children and retirees.

18 Responses to “All You Should Know About Disability Insurance for the Unemployed”

  • Scott Martin says:

    I receive a municipal police disability pension for major orthopedic injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic. I recently got laid off from an online teaching position (full time). Does my disability pension disqualify me from receiving unemployment in the state of Florida?

    • Nick says:

      Depends. Some states consider both while some states don’t.

      Please inquire further with the labor authorities in your state and apply accordingly.

  • they said my unemployment funds were exhausted only after 5 months. I have two daughters and no income now and am disabled both mentally and physically I need help asap or I will loose my kids and everything I hav ever worked for and have never asked for help till now! My employer let me go from my job because they said I had to many medical problems and appointments. I have been unemployed since January 1st 2015 and am about to get evicted from my house in 3 days! Please help me know where to turn to for help!

    Krystal Hemby

    • Nick says:


      I can understand your plight. There is not much one can do to extend the benefits. Give yourself the courage and look out for jobs, the only way out.

  • Beth Ann Barnes says:

    I had a ct scan for my six month check up and the doctor found stage 4 lung cancer, do I qualify for SSDI or SSI/

    • Jacob says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. You may not qualify to claim UI benefits.

  • Gerald A thomas says:

    I have been trying for days to file unemployment on line , it keeps knocking me off and changing my responces, please send me a paper application for florida , I have been out of income since end of Fehurary due to the virus , my age and now stay at home. On the one on line page i got to before it knocked me off DID NOT give an option for the virus being the reason I am out of work , please send me a paper app with some generic instructions.

  • Madeline Díaz García says:

    Hi, I need to send an email to prove my income and I don’t have any. Please I need help

  • Kevin Roach says:

    I found out in October of 2019 that I was diagnosed with both psoriatic arthritis and tuberculosis. I discussed with my employer about working hourly since my disease is unpredictable. Their was no official agreement. I’m a CPA so season was beginning soon thus hours would increase. It was discussed in the aforementioned discussion. Around January 8th,i was brought in and had another discussion that either I that I have to finish these llist of client or I’d be let go.. From the beginning I said I can’t make a comment but will do as much as possible which working hourly, the prior method would have been fine. I felt I had no option but to quit. I feel I’m being penalized for willing and able to work, not at full capacity but able, and not reciece any benefit seems wrong but im not an attorney. What actions if any should I take

    • Jacob says:


      I can understand your situation. I suggest you go ahead and consider applying for UI benefits and file an appeal if you think they denied on irrelevant grounds.

  • krystyanna says:

    I have been my mother’s caregiver for the last 15 years, I just got my SSI 3 years ago . Can I clam my mother for my E.I.C.???I couldn’t work cause my mom couldn’t walk she passed this February 6th 2020 at 10;45 am. I lost half my income…

    • Jacob says:

      Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who have been employed during the “Base Period”.

  • Brooke says:

    I had to resign from my job and December 2019 due to my inability to work because of two conditions, my two-year-old daughter had a stroke and I need to take full care of her and my father passed away four days prior to my daughter having a stroke so now I am also taking care of my mother. Please tell me if I can apply for unemployment or what you suggest to help my situation as I have no income since I had to resign.

    • Jacob says:


      UI benefits are only offered to claimants who lose employment due to no fault of their own. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office to see if they have anything to offer you considering the pandemic.

  • kenneth Ray says:

    I have not worked in the last 5 weeks due to heart problems. i am under drs. care and hoping to eventually return to work.

    • Jacob says:


      Unfortunately, personal reasons such as health conditions are not considered. Please check with the Unemployment Office.

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