What is Disability Insurance?
In simple terms, disability insurance is a type of plan that gives account holders periodic payouts as they are no longer capable of working because of their disability. If the insured individual is disabled or has a serious illness that prevents him or her from earning monthly salary, then this type of insurance will grant the policy holder up to 65 percent of the gross income, depending on what the policy term states. The amount of money received is also usually tax-free, which should help pay for the insured basic life expenses.
For professionals or employees who have dependents, disability insurance is worth purchasing. The same holds true with any individual who may not have a family, yet hopes to maintain a comfortable lifestyle despite encountering an accident that results in severe illness or disability. In fact, even employees may consider getting this type of insurance even if their employer provides them with disability coverage since the level of coverage may not suffice for his or her needs.
Types of Disability Insurance
There are two main types of disability insurance, which include short term disability and long term disability.
1. Short Term Disability
If the illness or injury incurred by the account holder only lasts for a few days or weeks, then this type of disability insurance is applicable for this scenario. In this case, a percentage of the lost salary is covered if the insured cannot work for more than a few days due to the injury. The payment is given to the policy holder once the available sick leave has been used up.
During the first few weeks of receiving payments, the amount of money given to the insured is almost as much as he or she normally receives every payday. However, the payout goes down to as much as 60 percent during the succeeding payments. The coverage depends on the policy, but the common scope is six months. Since there is a limited number of payments (as it is only for short-term disability), the insured runs the risk of worrying about further source of income in case full recovery has not been achieved once payouts have ended.
2. Long Term Disability
Should you suffer from a catastrophic and debilitating injury, disease, or depression that prevents you from making money from your job, then long term disability insurance works best for this type of situation. Generally, the policy lasts for 5 to 10 years, although there are some policies that go on until the insured is 65 years of age. If your short term disability policy has already ended, and there appears to be no improvement to your condition after suffering from a serious injury or illness, then a long term disability policy should cover your financial concerns.
However, keep in mind that in addition to the payouts from short term or long term disability policies, you can receive money from other sources, depending on the cause of your injury. If you incurred injury due to an accident at the workplace, then you may qualify for legal compensation as your employer is liable for such mishap. In case you were involved in a vehicular accident that resulted in an injury or disability, you could get coverage from your auto insurance or from the other driver who was responsible for this situation.
Keep in mind, though, that you need to review your insurance policy clearly. Depending on the insurance company, account holders may receive their payouts from their short- or long-term disability insurance policies while obtaining income from auto insurance, legal compensation or other sources with or without any penalties.