According to the Social Security Administration , one in five Americans live with a disability today, and one in four of today's 20-year olds will become disabled before reaching full retirement age. Disability income insurance is designed to help people with disabilities meet their everyday expenses and health care costs by providing monthly benefit payments, or "paycheck protection," against the unforeseen.
Because disability income insurance can be a complex and sometimes confusing product, we have assembled the following list of frequently-asked questions - with answers - to help give you a better understanding of what this important coverage does, how it works, and why you should consider applying for coverage.
There are two different types of Social Security Disability protection. The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is intended to provide benefits to disabled Americans. However, it is a needs-based program with strict income and asset limits. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is not needs-based, but workers must have earned enough "credits" with the Social Security Administration in order to qualify.
In both cases, qualifying for benefits can be difficult and time-consuming. Although a disability may make it impossible to perform your current job, the Social Security Administration may find that you are still able to do some form of work and deny your claim for benefits. When you purchase an individual disability income insurance policy, you are purchasing coverage designed to kick in if you are unable to perform the functions of your job because of a covered disability, regardless of your ability to execute other work.
If you buy a short-term disability policy, you are buying protection for just a short period of time - often three to six months. If you become disabled, you'll have to wait for a short elimination period to pass (often 14 days or less) before benefit payments will kick in. Benefits will only last as long as the period outlined in your policy.
In contrast, a long-term disability income policy is designed to protect your income in the event a disability keeps you from working for a longer period of time.
There are several reasons you may want to consider purchasing an individual disability policy, even if you already have employer-sponsored coverage. For instance, if you change employers, you may not be able to take your group coverage with you. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your coverage needs.
The exact length of time your benefits will last will depend on what your policy says. In some cases, benefits are payable until age 67; in other cases, benefits are only payable for a specified time period (such as two years.) Of course, if you are able to return to work before the end of your benefits period, those benefits will end; however, many policies allow for recurring disabilities, so you can reinstate benefits payments if your condition worsens within a specified time period, making it impossible for you to continue working.
Disability insurance is not designed to cover 100 percent of your income, but some policies may cover as much as 80 percent of it. Your Symmetry Financial Group independent insurance agent can help you explore coverage options and will explain how various policies work.
If you become disabled, having a disability income insurance policy in place can help you and your loved ones continue to meet your financial obligations while you receive the care and treatment you need.
To learn more about how disability income insurance can protect you against the unforeseen or to apply for coverage, contact Symmetry Financial Group today online or call us at (877) 285-5402.