The emotional and physical pain of being partially or fully disabled only compounds with the new financial strains of disability. Not only are there significant medical expenses, there are basic living expenses such as car or mortgage payments to take care of. In fact, 48% of home foreclosures and 17% of bankruptcies are due in part to an overwhelming medical issue. Disability can erode all of the other financial protections you have built over time; your may find yourself depleting your savings, withdrawing or borrowing against your retirement programs, or liquidating assets that have taken your entire working life to accumulate.
Under strict guidelines and rules, the Social Security Administration may issue Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) to disabled individuals. But the process to qualify can be difficult. From 2001 to 2010 an average of only 45% of Social Security Disability claims were eventually approved. This means that more than half of the of claims submitted in this time period were not approved. Even if you do qualify, SSDI benefits do not begin until the sixth full month of disability and generally will not substitute your former earning power.
The Social Security Administration has a very strict definition of disability, based on your inability to work and to adjust to other work because of your medical condition. Your disabling condition must be must expected to last more than a year or result in death. The program assumes that working families have access to other resources in the instance of short-term disability.
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This is where privately-owned Disability Income Insurance may be a viable solution. This type of insurance provides income when you cannot work due to disability, often under much more flexible terms than SSDI.
It is crucial to evaluate benefits and features when selecting a disability income insurance policy. Some features to consider when shopping for disability income insurance are:
- Benefit Amount – How much you receive on a monthly basis
- Benefit Period – How long the benefits are to be paid
- Waiting Period – The length of time you must be disabled before benefits initiate
- Definition of Total and Partial Disability – The physical conditions that define eligibility for disability under policy terms
- Waiver of Premium – Premium payments waived during a disability
Give us a call with all of your disability income questions. We are committed to walk you through this process and to give you the best information and service possible.