What is Disability Insurance and Do I Need It?

Disability doesn’t discriminate and can come to you at any time. For this reason, disability insurance is one of the most important insurance policies that one can get. It’s something that most people treat as an afterthought.

While life insurance and health insurance are the first two coverages that you should have, disability insurance is just as vital.

What is disability insurance?

signing insurance
When you suddenly get ill or injured and are unable to work, disability insurance provides financial safety until you can go back to work. If you don’t have disability insurance, the loss of income can open up a lot of financial problems for you and your family, especially if you don’t have an emergency fund to cover at least a few months of your basic needs.

Why do I need disability insurance?

In Long Beach and other locations, personal injury and wrongful death attorneys deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of denied claims every day. That said, even if you can file for workers’ compensation benefits, there is no guarantee that you will get approved.
With disability insurance, you can rest assured that you will still have an income if you are unable to work. Not only is disability insurance invaluable for you, but for those who you support with your salary as well.

Who needs disability insurance?

disabled person on a wheelchair can be a boy or girlIdeally, everyone should have disability insurance regardless of age, sex, or the nature of their work. If you are working, have people depending on you for financial support, and cannot go for months or years without pay, disability insurance is highly recommended.
There is a common notion that if you don’t work in a high-risk environment, disability insurance isn’t necessary. However, most short-term and long-term disabilities are caused by medical conditions rather than accidents. That means whether you are an electrician or an office worker, disability insurance is something you shouldn’t overlook.

What are the differences between short-term and long-term insurance?

There are several types of disability insurance that you can get, but the two most common types are short-term and long-term disability insurance
Here are the differences between the two:

  • How much of my income does it cover?​
    • Short-term – roughly 60-70% of your salary
    • Long-term – roughly 40-60% of your salary or more
  • How long will I be covered?
    • Short-term – typically 3-6 months, depending on your insurance policy
    • Long-term – five years or more
  • How much do I need to pay?
    • ​Short-term – 1-3% or your annual income (can be more expensive than long-term)
    • Long-term – 1-3% of your annual income
  • Will my employer cover it?
    • Short-term – employers typically cover the entire or part of the cost of short-term disability
    • Long-term – most employers don’t cover long-term disability
  • How soon will my coverage kick in?
    • ​Short-term – usually around two weeks from your doctor’s visit (confirming that you are unable to work
    • Long-term – about 3-6 months after your disability is confirmed

If you rely on your income and don’t have backup plans in case you are unable to work, disability insurance can help you stay financially afloat. That said, whether or not the risk is there, getting disability coverage is always worth it.