Life can be very uncertain, and you never know when you may find yourself incapacitated and in a position where you may no longer be able to provide for yourself and/or your family. Disability income insurance comes into play in such a scenario, and this article is meant to help you learn about disability income insurance and its necessity ahead of any disaster!
Certain professions or occupations may provide for disability income insurance, paid for by the employer or the government. However, a majority of jobs do not offer any such protection in the event of a disabling injury and private disability income insurance is the only way out!
Long-term disability, i.e. being out of work for periods greater than 120 days, means a loss of income – present and future – and the inability to save money. Savings accumulated at the time of the disability could be inadequate, especially if you’ve been working full-time for a period of 10 years or lesser. Disability income insurance covers this loss of income and potential savings, by providing you with enough money to take care of your day-to-day living.
Types of disability income insurance
- Government programs such as workman’s compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Group disability plans provided by employer – plans can cover short or long-term disability or both, depending on the employer.
- Individual disability insurance policies – paid for by you, as an individual, over and above government/employer coverage or lack thereof.
SSDI and Workman’s Compensation are the two disability insurance schemes provided by the government. In most cases, the disability income or compensation received is quite low and insufficient for a family of four to make a decent living. Listed below are some of the downsides of SSDI and Workman’s compensation:
- Average monthly payout under SSDI is around $1,000; stringent proof of disability lasting for 12 months or death is required to qualify; processing of claims are long-drawn and benefits are almost always delayed.
- Worker’s compensation is limited only to injuries or disabilities arising out of work-related activities and not for other general injuries or damages.
- In many cases, the sum total of SSDI, worker’s compensation or other special disability benefits may not even come up to 80% of income earned prior to the disability.
What to look for in a disability income insurance policy
Given that government or employer provided disability insurance will never match up to previous income earned, you may need to invest your own money in a private individual policy as a safety net against eventual disabilities. Planning ahead and making arrangements for taking on disability insurance, must take cognizance of the following:
- Types of disability covered and to what extent?
- Term and amount of benefits provided and from what date benefits will be paid out?
- Is there provision in the policy for changes in cost of living due to inflation or other economic factors?
- Is the policy non-cancelable as long as premiums are paid on time and what are the renewal options available?
The information provided in this article should give you a fair idea of what is disability income insurance and how you can plan for any potential calamities.