Disability Insurance FAQs
- What is disability insurance?
The purpose of disability income insurance is to replace lost income should you become disabled and unable to work. A disability insurance policy will state when you are eligible to begin receiving benefits; there is usually a waiting period from the time the disability begins to when benefits can be paid out. After the specified period of time, benefits will be paid to you. Every policy will outline the amount of benefits that you are eligible to receive, as well as a detailed definition of disability for your specific policy.
Premiums for disability insurance policies are determined by a number of factors, including:
- The amount of benefits, or payments, that you will receive
- The length of time you are eligible to receive payments for
- The definition of disability
- Your personal risk factors, such as your age, health and the type of work that you do
- Is disability insurance difficult to obtain?
If you are in reasonably good health and have a steady income, you should be able to purchase a disability income insurance policy.
- Who should purchase disability insurance?
Anyone who works and receives an income should consider disability income insurance. Before purchasing a policy, check to see what other coverage you might have including group disability insurance from your employer.
- What are the two different types of disability insurance?
There are two types of disability income insurance: short-term disability (STD) insurance and long-term disability (LTD) insurance.
Short-term disability policies typically have a waiting period of 0 – 14 days before benefits kick in, and a maximum benefit period of no longer than 26 weeks.
Long-term disability policies typically have a waiting period of several weeks to several months before benefits kick in, with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life.
- What does disability insurance cover?
After an initial period called the elimination period, or the waiting period, disability income insurance pays a specified percentage of your pre-disability income while you are disabled. The payments continue for the duration of the disability, or until you reach the maximum time limit outlined in your policy. Disability insurance policies never pay more than 66% of your normal taxable income.
- Some disability insurance policies cover only accidents or only illnesses, or both. Should I buy a policy that covers both accidents and illnesses?
You never know what events might occur in your future. Anyone can sustain a disabling injury or be struck by a serious, long-term illness. Most people are advised to purchase disability insurance policies that cover both accidents and illnesses.
- What type of disability insurance do employers provide? How can I find out how much income replacement I will receive should I become disabled?
Some people have disability coverage from their employers without really knowing how much they would receive in benefits if they were disabled. Take the time to review your employer-sponsored disability insurance program. While it may be the first step in protecting you, the coverage may be insufficient.
Strate Insurance Group can help you review and evaluate your employer-sponsored disability insurance plan and determine if you have gaps in coverage.
- Does my occupation have any impact on my eligibility for disability income insurance?
Some occupations can make purchasing disability income insurance more difficult or more expensive. The knowledgeable agents at Strate Insurance Group can help you find a plan that fits your needs.