A common issue many people struggle with is determining how much insurance to have. With so many different types of insurance and policies, it can be daunting to even start thinking about what type of, and how much, insurance coverage to get. Along with the obvious answers of health, life, and auto insurance, having long-term disability insurance may be the mechanism that saves you from complete financial ruin. In our current economy, there is a good chance you are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and you understand that any number of occurrences can quickly lead to financial catastrophe. You can fall ill, be diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or become seriously injured in any number of ways. If you become unable to work, what protection do you have for your income? How will you be able to pay your bills? These questions can cause you a substantial amount of stress. One way to alleviate that stress and answer these questions is to maintain disability insurance coverage.
Long-term disability insurance provides protection of your income in case you become disabled and are therefore unable to perform your job. Without disability insurance, if you become unable to perform your job for a long enough period of time, you or your employer may have no option other than to terminate your work. If you get injured at work, you may be compensated for your injury through worker’s compensation. But where does that leave you when you have no ability to continue working, and therefore are left without income? What if you are injured outside of work and are not entitled to worker’s compensation, or you are diagnosed with a serious illness and are unable to work due to your medical condition? You may be able to collect some benefits from your state or through Social Security, but that will almost certainly not be enough to support you and any dependents you have. If you are covered by long-term disability insurance, you will receive some, or in some instances, all, of your income as long as you are unable to work, with some exceptions and limitations. For example, if your disabling condition is limited to a mental and/or nervous condition, the term during which you will receive benefits will likely be limited, often to two years. Similarly, many policies include a provision that says that you are entitled to disability benefits if you are unable to perform your own occupation for the first two years, then requires you to be unable to perform any occupation after two years. Even with these exceptions and limitations, you should consider being covered by long-term disability insurance to be just as important as carrying life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or even health insurance. Being covered by long-term disability insurance may very well be what helps you avoid being financially devastated by a situation that is out of your control.
As with any other type of insurance, you must submit a claim to the insurer, which the insurer must approve, in order to receive benefits. And just like with other types of insurance, disability insurance companies deny claims, both properly and improperly. If your claim for disability benefits is denied, you should seek the help of an experienced and knowledgeable disability attorney. However, if you are not covered with disability insurance to begin with, you will not even have the opportunity to make a claim in the first place. Therefore, you should be sure to always have disability insurance.