A staggering fact is that up to two out of every 10 American workers between the ages of 25 and 65 will sustain a non-work related disabling injury or illness at some point in their lives. Some estimate that this number could be as high as three out of every ten workers. A disabling injury is one that renders the individual unable to perform the duties of his or her job. The average length of disability is two and one half years. For almost every American worker, that is a long time to go without a steady income.
Disability insurance was created to allow workers to receive income when a serious injury or illness renders them unable to work. Qualifying individuals generally receive up to 65 percent of their weekly income during the time of disability. Policy holders need to be aware of specific plan benefits, restrictions, and limitations.
The majority of plans stipulate that a waiting period is required before benefits are paid for a disabling illness. The logic behind this is that it often takes several days to determine that an illness is grave enough to be considered disabling. While some plans enforce a waiting period for accidental injuries, that waiting period is often shorter than that for an injury. A number of plans do not require any waiting period at all when the disability is the direct result of an injury. These benefits may be payable from the date of injury.
There are two basic types of disability insurance. The first type is short term disability insurance, and as the name implies it provides coverage for an abbreviated period of time. Most short time disability policies limit coverage to no more than six months, although some plans extend to one or even two years. When plans are purchased through an employer, disabled workers may be required to expend all existing sick leave benefits prior to receiving short term disability benefits. Individuals who purchase disability insurance online through an independent agent are rarely subjected to this caveat.
Long term disability insurance is designed to provide benefits for an extended period of time. Many policies pay benefits for a period of up to five years. Disabling injuries or illnesses of longer duration are generally covered until federal disability programs. When disabled workers reach the age of 65, benefits paid under most disability plans will cease.
Both types of disability insurance plans are inexpensive. The average worker can obtain this valuable coverage for just pennies per day. Workers lacking a sufficient savings account to cover expenses for an extended period of time are well advised to purchase this coverage. Disabling injuries and illnesses can not only cause serious physical ailments, but they can also cripple a family’s financial well being. Disability insurance coverage protects a family’s financial stability.
In the past, employers often paid the cost of these insurance plans. Today, in an effort to save money fewer and fewer employers are providing this benefit. Coverage may still be offered through employers, but is often paid by the individual. Third-party insurers generally provide both short and long term disability coverage.
Individuals who are not offered this coverage through their employer have a viable option. A number of companies provide the opportunity to purchase disability insurance online. Comprehensive disability coverage is very affordable and available to almost everyone. Purchasing disability insurance online provides workers with a distinct advantage. When individuals pay for the insurance premiums themselves, the disability benefits are not taxed. This is not always the case when policies are purchased through or provided by employers. Those benefits are often subject to income tax.
Workers without disability insurance are putting themselves and their families in serious financial peril. Few workers are prepared to go weeks or months without income. The majority of Americans lack the financial resources to weather weeks without a paycheck. Savings accounts are seldom adequate to replace income that could be lost for an extended period.
Workers can avoid possible financial ruin by purchasing disability insurance online or through an employer provided program. These benefits are paid directly to the insured and not to a doctor or hospital. Becoming disabled creates more than enough stress on a worker. The low cost of disability insurance can reduce the financial stress caused by a disability.
Employed individuals are urged to purchase short and long term disability insurance coverage. When employers do not offer this protection, workers are urged to contact an agent to purchase disability insurance online. It takes only minutes to apply. Investing a few minutes and a few dollars could make all the difference in a family’s well being should a worker become disabled.