Your ability to earn an income may be your most valuable asset. It might be difficult to make ends meet if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
According to one report, only 34% of men and 20% of women said they felt extremely confident in supporting their households during a period of income loss.1 It’s important to assess your own situation and determine whether you have appropriate financial backup in the event that you cannot work due to a disability.
Your employer may offer long-term disability coverage, but you could lose your subsidized coverage if you change jobs. Even if you remain covered through your job, group plans typically don’t replace as large a percentage of income as an individual plan could, and disability benefits from employer-paid plans are taxable if the premiums were paid by the employer.
An individual disability income policy could help replace a percentage of your income (up to the policy limits) if you’re unable to work as a result of an illness or injury. Depending on the policy, benefits may be paid for a specified number of years or until you reach retirement age. Some policies pay benefits if you cannot work in your current occupation; others might pay only if you cannot work in any type of job. If you pay the premiums yourself, disability benefits are usually free of income tax. And the policy will stay in force regardless of your employment situation as long as the premiums are paid.
Social Security offers some disability protection, but qualifying is difficult. And the monthly benefit you might receive ($1,258, on average) will probably not be enough to replace your lost income.2
Having an individual disability income insurance policy could make the difference between being comfortable and living on the edge.
A complete statement of coverage, including exclusions, exceptions, and limitations, is found only in the policy. It should be noted that carriers have the discretion to raise their rates and remove their products from the marketplace.
- Council for Disability Awareness, 2019
- Social Security Administration, 2020