Long-term Disability Insurance

Written by Patricia Tunstall
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Long-term disability insurance is not a luxury--it's a necessity. One out of seven employees will be disabled for five years or more before retirement. Temporary disability is serious enough, financially and emotionally. Loss of income for several weeks, months--or permanently--can result in financial disaster.

One of the most important beliefs about disabilities is that Social Security will provide support. The fact is, you must be disabled for 12 months before you are considered for eligibility. Once you pass this hurdle, seven out of 10 applicants are turned down the first time. On top of this, there is a six-month waiting period once you do become eligible.

Traditional Coverage

Traditional income protection insurance provides for employee groups in case of prolonged illness or injuries. Often, these plans are flexible in that they offer varying elimination and benefit periods, a return-to-work benefit, and varying "own occupation" definitions. Any disability insurance provider will have Social Security advocacy services to help those dealing with disabilities obtain all the financial support possible.

For individual coverage, any insurer has several plans for long-term disability insurance that have differing terms, depending on your needs and financial resources. Be sure to familiarize yourself with terms and definitions because these determine your benefits. Also scrutinize any riders, exclusions, and options for their consequences to your future.


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