Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Do You Have to be Employed to Receive Disability InsuranceYou do not have to be employed to receive disability; but, there are different conditions under which you will or will not be eligible to receive disability benefits. There are two major categories of disability insurances.

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There are group and private disability insurance providers. There are also United States government programs that financially assist those with disabilities.

Types of Disability Insurance Coverage

When you work for a company that is large enough to offer disability insurance, you will typically be offered a group disability insurance policy for a minimal deduction from your paycheck. This ensures that if you become disabled and can no longer work, or if you lost your job due to your becoming disabled, you will still collect an income based upon the policy you purchased from the disability insurer.

If you work for a company that is too small to offer such a policy or if you are self-employed, you have the option of purchasing disability insurance from a private insurance carrier. You could also be eligible to receive one of two types of disability income from the United States Social Security Administration, depending upon the extent of your disability and your employment record.

Purchasing a disability insurance policy may be a smart choice if you are offered the option through your employer, depending on the fee and taxes. For a small deduction from your paycheck, you will have the reassurance that if you are to become disabled and no longer able to work, you will still receive an income from your disability insurance provider.

The income you receive from a private disability insurance provider will not, in most cases, be as much as you were earning from your employer. Read your disability insurance policy carefully to find out what amount of income you would be eligible to receive should you become disabled and unable to work.

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Private Disability Insurance

It is highly recommended that if your employer does not offer disability insurance, or if you are self-employed, that you purchase a disability insurance policy through a private insurance carrier.

Purchasing disability insurance gives you the security of a guaranteed income in case you become disabled and can no longer work, regardless of whether your work for someone else or are self-employed. It helps to protect your assets and financial resources should you ever become disabled and unable to work by providing a steady stream of income.

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Government Disability Options: SSI and SSDI

The United States Social Security Administration offers disability income to those who cannot work because of their disability and to those who can work, but cannot make enough money to live comfortably, because of their disability. There are two types of disability insurances provided for by our government to those who are born disabled or become disabled during the course of their lifetime. One is called Supplemental Security Income and the other is called Social Security Disability Insurance.

Supplemental Security Income is provided by general revenues from the United States Government to those who cannot work because of their disability and to those who may be able to work, but cannot make enough money to provide for themselves. Examples of persons who may qualify for this type of disability income include those who are blind or mentally or physically disabled, and do not have adequate income or enough resources to provide for themselves.

Supplemental Security Income will not be funded to a person who has more than a set limit of resources or income. This program is only for disabled persons without adequate forms of income or assets.

Social Security Disability Insurance is provided for those who have worked in the past, but have since become unable to work due to a disability. This form of disability insurance is funded by taxpayers and the benefit amount to someone who has become disabled depends on your earnings record with social security.

For example, a homemaker who has never worked and paid in to Social Security will not be eligible for this form of disability if he/she becomes disabled. Someone who is self-employed or worked “under the table” and has never paid in to Social Security will not be eligible. You must have at some point in your life contributed to Social Security in order to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance.

The type of disability insurance that you can receive when you are unemployed varies greatly and is dependent upon your individual situation. If you would like to find out more about whether or not you are eligible to receive disability benefits, please use the disability insurance quote tool below.

Type your zip code into the disability insurance quotes box to get free rate quotes now!