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Does Union Membership Affect My Eligibility for Social Security Disability?

If you are a member of a workers’ union who has become disabled, you may wonder if your union membership impacts your ability to receive Social Security disability benefits. Your union membership doesn’t keep you from qualifying for benefits and many unions offer support for workers who have become unable to work because of illnesses or injuries.

While some unions have their own benefit programs, there are many labor unions that help members apply for disability benefits offered by the government or for benefits that are offered by their employers.

How the Process Works

Unions who assist their membership in applying for government benefits for disability, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) seek assistance from outside sources, such as disability advocates or disability attorneys who help their members get approved for the benefits they need to thrive after a disability has made it impossible for him or her to work and earn a living.

These advocates or attorney can effectively help union members coordinate their benefit packages from Social Security disability, union-provided packages, and employer benefit packages so compensation can be maximized and utilized.

Choosing the Right Social Security Representation

If you are a member of a union who has become disabled and you are seeking Social Security disability benefits, you want to work with a Social Security advocate or an attorney who is not only familiar with the disability process but also with unions as well. You want representation that will work to get you approved for Social Security disability benefits, but you also want representation that will work with your union so benefits can be coordinated so you can maximize your income and make the most of your benefits when combined.

Union Member Benefits Available

Union workers who have become disabled because of an injury and are seeking Social Security disability benefits packages might be able to receive various kinds of assistance, including:

  • Regular monthly disability income
  • Medical benefits package after 24 months
  • Extended COBRA benefits from their employer
  • Dependent benefits for any minor children
  • Prescription drug coverage after 24 months

Some unions may provide interim disability benefits in addition to helping their workers gain approval for Social Security disability benefits. Because SSDI doesn’t kick in until someone has been or expects to be completely disabled for at least a year, some unions offer their own disability benefits packages that pay disabled members during that waiting period. There are also unions that offer supplements to help those who receive SSDI benefits.

Starting the Disability Claims Process

If you are a member of a union and you are ready to apply for SSDI benefits, you should consult with a disability advocate or attorney who is familiar with not only the disability process, but also with unions. An advocate or attorney knows how you can make the most of your benefits and to which benefits you are entitled. Your representative will ensure you make the most of your union and employer benefits as well as your SSDI.