The Living Death
There is something that seems worse than death to an able -
bodied person. It is life
without an able
body. Especially for a breadwinner whom has accustomed
his/her family to a lifestyle, a
disability handicaps more that the body. The pride of an able person is to provide
for his/her own.
Almost everyone possesses insurances of various kids. We insure our homes, autos,
boats, businesses, life, health
and so on. What happens if we fail to insure our ability to bring in the bacon? If
you are like me, you were
immortal until around age forty. Then our mortality comes crashing in around us. A
disabling injury or illness
cripples our income even if we have one year of State disability income, Social
Security benefits, or even
Workers Compensation benefit from our job. Why? Because these benefits are minimal
at best. And guess who is the
most vulnerable of all? The
A disability in our youth is stressful. So is an older age disability, but seniors
often have retirement benefits
to draw from to reduce financial stress, less responsibility in raising a family
& less debt.
How can we protect our assets from a disability? By purchasing income replacement
disability coverage in our
working years and by purchasing Long Term Care coverage in advance of age. But it is
not as simple as that.
Why? Because our health is the crucial factor for
coverage. Our money cannot buy this coverage. Only
those who are privileged with good health now are free to use their money to
Likely we are all exposed to sales pitches for the Insurance industry. Most of these
at one time or another have
a place. Disability Income planning protects all of these. Nonetheless, it is the
most neglected form of
coverage in the insurance portfolio. We do
plan to fail. We sometimes just fail to plan.
I place long term plans with Mutual of Omaha and John Hancock.
- You can decide on Accident only coverage.
- You can obtain both Sickness and Accident coverage.
- You decide how long you can wait (Waiting Period) before the policy kicks in.
(Short term disability can
begin immediately whereas Long Term Disability does not begin until at least one
month passes). The longer
you wait before your coverage begins to pay, the less the premium cost is.
- You decide how long you want your policy to provide benefits. (Short term
usually will not go longer than
two years, whereas Long term can continue until you retire, usually around age
65. This would increase the
cost of your policy. The longer you want your policy to pay you, the more your
premium will cost.
- You decide if you want a policy that will pay above and beyond what Social
Security disability pays, and
beyond the time limit of Workers Compensation (if injured at work), and in
addition to short term disability
benefits from your job's benefit package (such as AFLAC or Colonial Supplement
plans). This would increase
the cost of your premium.
- You can purchase Money Back riders called Return of Premium- for extra policy
- You can also purchase a Waiver of Premium, meaning that once you begin filing (a
claim) for benefits the
Insurance Company will not bill you for as long as your disability lasts. This
rider increases the policy
- Be sure to have in writing whether the
Insurance Company will accept
the opinion of your personal physician about your condition, or if you
must obtain the opinion of
the preferred doctor that the Insurer uses.
- If you are self-employed, there is a Business Overhead protection policy
available. That deals with the
expense of running your business while you are disabled. That includes such
things as the cost to hire
someone to do your work, the cost of the facility from which you operate- etc.
- If you are disabled and unable to perform certain manual labor, you may be still
able to work in a
different, less demanding occupation. Be sure whether your plan will pay for
rehabilitation to get you back
- A plan that covers both sickness
accidents is more realistic.
- You can purchase a social insurance rider that assures to pay the difference
between your Long Term
Disability benefit amount and:
- What you receive from State Disability while it pays, (usually for one
- Workers Compensation benefits,(while it lasts).
- Social Security disability after it kicks in, (usually after about two
- Most plans will waive your premium payments once you have been disabled
for six months, and will
also refund those first six months of premium from the date your
- Be careful not buy a disability plan, (even through your employment), with Before
because your benefit income may then become taxable. Pay for your
disability premium with after tax
- Those who are self-employed and are declined coverage by Insurance Companies for
health reasons may be able
to get some coverage through EDD.
- You can purchase a rider for extra premium that will pay your benefit if you
cannot return to your
and there is no requirement for
rehabilitation to another occupation.
- There are varying classes of disability to consider. Total Disability Permanent,
Total Disability Long term,
total disability partial, Partial Disability Progressive, Short Term Disability-
total and/or partial.
- Be sure to ask about Mental Illness
benefits, as that is sometimes a legal loophole for
You need to be prepared to prove your health and income when you apply for coverage.
Most insurers will only insure you
for sixty percent
of your normal income.