We insure our cars, our homes, our jewelry and other property. But what about the most important asset we have – our bodies? Disability insurance is the most ignored insurance coverages out there. So what is disability insurance, what does it cover and how long does it cover the individual?
There are two types of disability insurance, short and long term. Though they offer distinct coverage, they also work together. For example, if you use up your short term disability, the long term disability steps in to take over.
Short Term Disability Insurance:
A short term disability policy normally is designed to replace 80% or more of your gross income, typically for 60 to 180 days. Usually you have to wait for an “elimination period” of five to 10 days before coverage can start. Many businesses offer short term disability but there is usually either a copay from the employee or they pay the whole premium amount.
Long Term Disability Insurance
Long term disability, as stated above, steps in after your short term disability ends. Although it can last much longer, even through the rest of your life depending on the policy, it only covers typically up to 60% of your salary. Although this coverage is offered by some businesses, others do not offer it.
Short term and long term disability differ from worker’s compensation in that it will cover you for injuries not sustained at work, such as a car accident. It also differs from Social Security Disability Benefits in that the definition of ‘disability’ is a lot harder to prove with Social Security. An example of this is if you are an injured factory worker who stood on their feet all day and Social Security could say you could work at a sedentary job and deny you payments.
If your place of work does not offer these insurance coverages, you can shop for personal coverage.
What if you have coverage and you are being denied?
There are horror stories associated with denial of personal injury disability cases. One of the biggest culprits of being denied is the Medical Consultant Review. If your doctor is not sufficiently informed about your symptoms and your condition, this review can terminate any benefits. Be aware that they can surveille you as well during the process of review. Also, there are a multitude of other ways the claim can be denied, such as not understanding your policy to the full extent. This is where a seasoned personal injury disability lawyer could help. Consulting with a licensed attorney to ask the right questions and navigate the difficult field of disability insurance can save you heartache, time, and a potential loss of disability coverage.
Short term and long term disability insurance are important and very often overlooked. These insurances help assure you can keep your life going after suffering a debilitating injury. If you don’t have disability coverage, it would be wise to research the subject and decide if getting policies in these areas are right for you.