Long term disability insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial support to individuals who become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. The coverage typically lasts until the individual reaches retirement age or is able to return to work.
Although most workers can be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or workers’ compensation, SSDI typically takes three to four months for a claim to be processed and workers’ compensation insurance will only cover work-related injuries or illness.
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Whether or not it is worth it depends on your ability to pay for living expenses if you should become disabled due to an injury or illness until your SSDI benefits kick in.
What is Long Term Disability Insurance?
Long-term disability insurance is a type of insurance policy designed to provide financial support to individuals who become disabled and unable to work for an extended period of time. The coverage typically lasts until the individual reaches retirement age or is able to return to work.
The policy provides a portion of the individual’s income to help them meet their financial obligations and maintain their standard of living during a disability. Long-term disability insurance can be purchased by individuals or offered as a benefit by employers.
The premiums are usually paid by the policyholder, but in some cases, they may be partially or fully covered by the employer. The policy is designed to act as a safety net in the event of a disabling injury or illness, providing financial security and peace of mind during a difficult time.
Is there a Waiting Period before I can Start Getting Benefits?
Yes, most long-term disability insurance policies come with a waiting period before benefits will start being paid. The waiting period is usually referred to as the elimination period and is the amount of time that must pass before the policyholder is eligible to receive benefits. The elimination period is usually between 30 and 90 days and can be longer or shorter depending on the policy and the policyholder’s specific needs.
During the elimination period, the policyholder is typically responsible for paying their own bills and meeting their financial obligations. Once the elimination period is exhausted, the policyholder can start receiving benefits if they are still unable to work due to their disability.
The length of the elimination period is one of the factors that can affect the cost of the policy, with longer elimination periods generally leading to lower premiums and vice versa. When choosing a long-term disability insurance policy, it’s important to consider the elimination period and how it aligns with your specific needs and financial situation.
How much Long-Term Disability Insurance can I Buy?
The amount of disability coverage you can get with a long-term disability insurance policy depends on several factors, including your income, the policy’s maximum benefit limit, and the coverage options you choose. Most policies will provide a portion of your income, typically between 40% and 70%, depending on the policy and the policyholder’s specific needs.
It’s important to consider your current income and future financial needs when determining the amount of coverage you need. Some factors to consider include your monthly bills, debt obligations, and any dependents you may have. In general, it’s recommended to aim for a level of coverage that will allow you to maintain your standard of living if you become disabled and unable to work.
Keep in mind that the maximum benefit limit of a long-term disability insurance policy can vary depending on the policy and the insurance company. Some policies may have a maximum benefit limit of $10,000 per month, while others may offer a maximum benefit limit of $20,000 or more.
Will my Benefits be Taxable?
Whether or not your long-term disability insurance benefits are taxable depends on how the policy was funded and how the benefits are paid out. In general, there are two types of long-term disability insurance policies: employer-sponsored policies and individual policies.
If your long-term disability insurance is an employer-sponsored policy, the benefits you receive may be taxable if the premiums for the policy were paid using pre-tax dollars. In this case, the benefits would be considered taxable income and would be subject to federal and state income taxes.
If you purchased an individual long-term disability insurance policy, the benefits you receive are generally considered tax-free. However, this is subject to change if new legislation is enacted, so it’s always a good idea to check with a tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the most up-to-date information.
In either case, it’s important to keep accurate records of your long-term disability insurance benefits and to seek the advice of a tax professional if you have any questions about the tax implications of your benefits.
Are the rates different for a Blue-Collar worker versus a Professional?
Yes, the rates for long-term disability insurance can vary based on the occupation of the policyholder. Typically, blue-collar workers and professionals are rated differently due to differences in their job duties and the risk of disability associated with their occupations.
Blue-collar workers, such as manual laborers and tradespeople, often have physically demanding jobs that carry a higher risk of injury or disability. As a result, their long-term disability insurance rates may be higher than those of professionals, such as office workers or managers, who generally have a lower risk of disability.
Additionally, some insurance companies may use different underwriting criteria for blue-collar workers and professionals. For example, a blue-collar worker may be required to undergo a medical exam as part of the underwriting process, while a professional may not. The insurance company will take into consideration the policyholder’s occupation and overall health when determining the rates for a long-term disability insurance policy.
What about Pre-existing Conditions?
Preexisting conditions can impact the availability and cost of long-term disability insurance coverage. A preexisting condition is a health issue or medical condition that existed before the policy was purchased.
When applying for long-term disability insurance, the insurance company will typically review the policyholder’s medical history and may ask about any preexisting conditions. If a policyholder has a preexisting condition, the insurance company may still provide coverage, but at a higher premium or with exclusions or limitations on coverage.
It’s important to disclose any and all preexisting conditions when applying for long-term disability insurance coverage. Failure to disclose a preexisting condition could result in a denial of benefits if the policyholder becomes disabled and files a claim.
If you have a preexisting condition, it’s important to compare coverage and rates from multiple insurance companies and to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent or financial advisor who can help you find the right coverage for your specific needs. Keep in mind that some insurance companies may be more willing to cover a preexisting condition than others and that the cost of coverage can vary greatly depending on the insurance company, the policyholder’s age and health, and the terms of the policy.
Does a Claim have to be Work-Related?
No, a claim for long-term disability insurance benefits does not necessarily have to be work-related. Long-term disability insurance is designed to provide financial protection if you become unable to work due to a non-work-related injury or illness.
In general, long-term disability insurance policies cover a wide range of disabilities, including both on-the-job and off-the-job injuries and illnesses. This can include conditions such as back injuries, heart disease, cancer, and other disabilities that prevent you from working.
It’s important to understand the specific terms and conditions of your long-term disability insurance policy, including any exclusions or limitations on coverage. Some policies may exclude certain conditions, such as pre-existing conditions or disabilities caused by substance abuse.
If you have a long-term disability insurance policy and become unable to work, you will need to file a claim with your insurance company. The claim process typically involves providing proof of your disability and information about your medical history, treatment, and prognosis.
What About When I Retire?
Retirement brings a number of profound changes to your life, but chief amongst them is how your income is derived. With folks in America getting ready to retire as early as 60 years old, it’s important for those considering this momentous step in life to start their preparations correctly and effectively.
The following are some tips that soon-to-retire Americans can utilize during this multifaceted phase of their lives.
When getting ready for retirement, you should:
- Consider your post-employment goals -Setting objectives for yourself – like residing in a certain area or doing particular activities – is a great way to go about this process, as working toward a goal can help you focus. Another way of looking at this is to set a specific amount of money you want to save for retirement.
- Examine your assets and liabilities – Taking stock of your financial standing is absolutely vital, as this will influence how you are going to live when you retire. Settling any outstanding debt obligations is helpful, as these will become an increasingly larger drain as you stop bringing home paychecks. You’ll also want to look into the state of your retirement accounts and Social Security account to see what kind of income you’ll actually be collecting.
- Make plans and stick to them – When it comes to retirement plans, consistency is key. Once you’ve decided what kind of post-employment life you want to have and the goals you will strive for, you need to develop strategies and plans for doing so. It takes perseverance, but with time and luck you’ll be able to enjoy the retirement you deserve.
The Solution: Disability Retirement Protection
There’s a special kind of disability income protection that will cover your retirement contributions in the event of your disability. In addition to the income you would receive from your disability policy, this special program would make contributions to a special trust in your name with a trust company, with various options to invest in similar to a retirement plan. The funds will build up and at age 65 you can withdraw the funds, similar to a retirement plan. If you die before age 65 the value in the account would go to your named beneficiary.
Not only that, you can also include a provision that will increase the deposits into the retirement account based on inflation so the deposit amount paid by the insurance company on your behalf can increase.
How Much Disability Retirement Protection can I Get?
You can apply for additional disability insurance to cover your pension contributions for 100% of the amount that you and your employer put into a retirement program. This is usually limited to a benefit of $42,000 per year (paid as $3,500 per month). In some cases it can go higher if you’re over age 50 and are using a “catch-up provision.”
Which Insurance Companies do This?
There are three major insurance companies that insure your retirement contributions
in case of disability. It can be issued as a separate policy or as a rider to your disability income policy. The experts at LifeInsure.com can advise you on the differences, which one(s) make sense and get you quotes for this important coverage. Just call us toll free at 866-868-0099 or email us and let us know you’re interested in disability retirement protection and we’ll get to work on it for you.
What if you have all the disability insurance that you can get based on your income already?
Disability retirement protection may be an answer if you are a professional who has “maxed out” his or her coverage i.e. the insurance companies won’t give you more disability insurance even though your income is not covered fully. Insurance companies have maximum issue limits. No matter your income, some won’t give more than $10,000 per month or $15,000 per month. This type of coverage is issued somewhat independently of your existing insurance. So, if you have hit a ceiling but you and/or your employer do make contributions to a pension plan, here’s an opportunity to get more.
What are the Rates Based On?
The rates for long-term disability insurance are primarily based on several factors, including:
- Age: Younger policyholders typically pay lower rates for long-term disability insurance, as they are generally considered to be in better health and have a lower risk of disability.
- Occupation: As mentioned earlier, the rates for long-term disability insurance can vary based on the policyholder’s occupation, with blue-collar workers generally paying higher rates due to the higher risk of disability associated with physically demanding jobs.
- Health: The insurance company will take into account the policyholder’s overall health and medical history when determining the rates for a long-term disability insurance policy. Policyholders with pre-existing medical conditions or a history of health problems may pay higher rates.
- Coverage amount: The amount of long-term disability insurance coverage you choose will impact your rates. The more coverage you purchase, the higher your rates will be.
- Policy terms: The length of the benefit period and the elimination period (the amount of time you must wait before benefits begin) can impact the rates for long-term disability insurance.
- Location: Insurance rates can vary by state, with some states having higher rates due to factors such as a higher cost of living or a higher prevalence of disabilities.
It’s important to compare rates from multiple insurance companies and to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent or financial advisor to find the best policy for your specific needs and budget. Keep in mind that the cost of long-term disability insurance can vary greatly depending on the insurance company, policy terms, and policyholder’s age, health, and occupation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom LIne
The bottom line regarding long-term disability insurance is really quite simple. Unless you have significant savings or other liquid assets available to you if you become disabled and cannot work, purchasing Long-Term Disability Insurance may be the only thing standing between your assets, savings, 404(k) and bankruptcy.
Is Long Term Disability Insurance Worth it? You bet it is! Contact us at 866-868-0099 for more information and a free no-obligation quote or contactc us through our website at your convenience.