Disability Income Insurance

What if I am disabled and can't work?

If you are disabled or unable to work as a result of an accident or illness, disability income insurance, which complements health insurance, can replace lost income. There are basically three ways to replace income:

   1. Employer-paid disability insurance
   2. Social Security disability benefits
   3. Individual disability income insurance policies


Will my employer provide disability coverage?

Most employers offer some kind of disability insurance, but you should find out exactly what your employer offers before you have to file a claim. Most allow some short-term sick leave, which might last from a few days to as much as six months. Five states and Puerto Rico have Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs to provide income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work-related illness or injury.

How can I save money on disability insurance?

Disability insurance is critical protection against loss of income, but if your employer doesn't provide it, it can be an expense. Learn how to save on your policy.

How are disability premiums determined?

Disability premiums are based on your age, sex, occupation and the amount of potential lost income you are trying to protect.

In general, the lower the chance that your occupation puts you in harm’s way, the lower the premium. The higher the chance of injury, the bigger the premium. So, for instance, an accountant working in an office would have much lower disability premiums than a construction worker.

What are the types of disability insurance?

There are two types of disability policies: Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD):

  1. Short-Term Disability policies - have a waiting period of 0 to 14 days with a maximum benefit period of no longer than two years.
  2. Long-Term Disability policies - have a waiting period of several weeks to several months with a maximum benefit period ranging from a few years to the rest of your life.

Disability policies have two different protection features that are important to understand:

How can I insure against loss of income?

Forty-three percent of all people age 40 will have a long-term disability event by age 65. Learn how you can replace lost income and help protect you and your family from an otherwise financially catastrophic illness or injury.

Buying disability insurance

Talk to the agent who sells you your life, health, auto or business insurance—he or she may either sell disability coverage or will be able to refer you to an agent who does.

Your state's insurance department will also have names of agents and companies writing policies in your state.

Make sure that you understand what you are buying and don’t be afraid to ask your agent to explain exactly what is in the policy.