If you become injured in Hawaii when you’re on the job, help is available in the form of workers’ comp payments. If you’re ill or hurt while NOT at work, you are still eligible to receive temporary Hawaii disability payments. And if your health issue or injury becomes permanent, two separate programs may pay you monthly disability. Keep reading to learn how these three benefit programs may help you stay afloat financially.
How to Get Short-Term Hawaii Disability Benefits
Your first step in receiving benefits payments for your short-term illness or disability is to learn more about your state’s Temporary Disability Insurance program, TDI. The state designed TDI benefits to partially replace the wage loss resulting from your inability to work.
To qualify for TDI benefits as a worker in Hawaii, you must have:
- Worked for a Hawaii employer at least 20 hours per week for at least 14 weeks before you apply. The 14 weeks does not have to be consecutive or with only one employer.
- Earned not less than $400 in the 52 weeks preceding the first day of disability.
There are a few additional factors that determine your eligibility as well:
First, your injury or illness is not work related; meaning your disability didn’t arise from doing your job. Second, your injury or illness prevents you from performing your regular work duties. And third, your disability is certified by a licensed physician, surgeon, dentist, chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, advanced practice registered nurse, or an accredited practitioner of a faith-healing group. You must be under a medical provider’s care.
IMPORTANT: You need to file your TDI claim within 90 days from the commencement of your disability. There is a seven-consecutive-day waiting period before you’ll receive a payment. If you file your claim more than 26 weeks after your disability began, you will not be entitled to any state benefits.
How Do I File a TDI Claim?
If you can’t work and don’t qualify for workers’ comp benefits then, follow these steps:
- Notify your employer immediately of your disability.
- Ask for Form TDI-45, Claim for TDI Benefits, from your employer or contact Hawaii TDI.
- Complete Part A, Claimant’s Statement, of the claim form.
- Take the form to your physician to certify your disability on Part C, Doctor’s Statement.
- Have your employer complete Part B, Employer’s Statement.
- Mail the form to your employer’s TDI insurance provider if your employer’s not self-insured. Your employer or the insurance carrier will notify you of your entitlement to benefits.
Do I Qualify for Hawaii’s TDI Payments?
To quality for Hawaii short-term disability payments, you must be in current employment in the State of Hawaii. This means that you were employed immediately before the date you suffered your injury or illness. Or, your disability occurred within two weeks from your last day of work.
Your employer must provide TDI coverage to you as an employee, with a few exceptions. If you had more than one job at the time you became disabled, you may qualify for TDI benefits from each employer. Some employees are exempt and cannot apply for TDI payments. These workers without automatic TDI coverage include:
- employees of the federal government
- certain domestic workers
- insurance agents and real estate salespersons paid solely on a commission basis
- individuals under 18 years of age in the delivery or distribution of newspapers
- certain family employees
- student nurses
You are also not eligible for benefits if you:
- Earned a work paycheck for any day during your period of disability
- Have an intentional or self-inflicted injury or were committing a criminal offense at the time
- Were denied unemployment insurance benefits because of a work stoppage due to a labor dispute
- Received or will receive unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation or federal disability benefits
- Knowingly made a false statement or failed to disclose information in order to obtain benefits
- Filed your claim more than 90 days after your disability period began without a valid reason
How Much TDI Benefit Will I Receive in Hawaii?
If your employer’s plan provides benefits according to minimum state standards, then you are entitled to 58% of your average weekly wages. However, you cannot receive more than the maximum weekly benefit amount annually set by the Disability Compensation Division. The maximum TDI weekly benefit for 2022, for example, is $697. You can only receive a maximum of 26 weeks of benefit payments during a benefit year. If your employer has a plan that differs from statutory benefits, ask your employer for details of the plan. It may provide for higher payments.
Long-Term Hawaii Disability Benefits Are Also Available to Those Who Qualify
If your injury or illness lasts longer than TDI payments are available to you, there are two other federal programs you should explore. The first, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), comes from the federal government and is designed to help replace lost wages from longer-term disabilities. SSDI is coverage that you’ve already earned. If you paid enough Social Security taxes through your lifetime earnings, the SSDI program replaces some of your income if you’re disabled and cannot work. To qualify for SSDI, you must be at least 18 years old, but younger than 65.
How to Get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits in Hawaii
Gather the information and documents you need to apply. Print and review the Adult Disability Checklist and gather the information you need to complete the application. Submit your application. The SSA reviews your application to make sure you meet some basic requirements for disability benefits and checks whether you worked enough years to qualify. The SSA evaluates your current work activities (if any), processes your application, forwards your case to the Disability Determination Services office in your state, and your state agency makes the disability determination decision.
Only one in five first-time SSDI claimants get approved for benefits the first time and just 35% of all SSDI applicants eventually get approved. Get a Hawaii disability benefits lawyer to help you file. All Social Security lawyers work on contingency and don’t get paid unless your claim is approved. If your condition improves enough for you to start working again in less than 12 months, your claim will be denied. It is important to have copies of your full medical records from your doctor to submit with your SSDI application.
Who Qualifies for SSDI?
The Social Security Act has a strict definition of disability. This benefit is only available if you can’t work due to a serious medical condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or result in death. The SSA defines disability as the inability to engage in substantial gainful activity because of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment.
In addition to benefits for individuals, the program also makes payments to certain people with disabilities who are dependents of insured individuals.
How Big Are the Payments from SSDI?
Right now, the average Social Security disability benefit is $1,358 nationwide. The maximum SSDI payment amount for 2022 is $3,345/month.
The SSA determines your benefit amount using your highest average wage earnings over a 35-year period. It takes approximately 3-5 months to review every SSDI claim, and the Social Security Administration has a required five-month waiting period before you can get any SSDI benefits.
A Third Option: Federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
If you have disabilities and limited income and resources, you may qualify for SSI. If you haven’t worked five in the last 10 years full-time or are 65 and older with few assets, you may be eligible. SSI has the strictest eligibility requirements of the three programs. To qualify, you must not exceed income or asset limits. Assets are things you own, including real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks, or bonds.
You may be able to get SSI if your assets are worth $2,000 or less ($3,000 for couples). The SSA does not count economic impact payments, or CARES Act payments, as income for SSI.
SSI payments are $841/month per person (at most), or $1,261/month per couple.
If you’re an adult wishing to file for SSI and SSDI, you can apply for both benefits at the same time.
You May Qualify for Professional Claim Assistance
A Hawaii disability lawyer makes you much more likely to get paid benefits. All Hawaiian disability lawyers work on contingency, so you’ll pay nothing for legal assistance up front. A qualified Social Security attorney charges you nothing if you don’t win benefits. If you win, you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee. Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Laura Schaefer is the author of The Teashop Girls, The Secret Ingredient, and Littler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at lauraschaeferwriter.com and linkedin.com.