May is National Disability Insurance Awareness Month
What is your most valuable asset? What asset do you most need to protect? A majority of people would most likely say their homes, cars, electronics, or jewelry. What about your ability to earn an income? Consider this: All of your future plans- owning a home, paying for your children’s college education, retiring while still young and healthy – all assume that you’ll continue to earn a paycheck until you reach your goals. What if those paychecks stopped?
If you suddenly lost your ability to work and earn a living due to a sickness or injury, how would it impact your life? Disability Income Insurance allows you to protect your income in the event you become too sick or hurt to work. Think of Disability Insurance as insurance for your paycheck.
Determining if you need disability insurance is pretty simple. If you have a job, you need it. Why then do a majority of American workers lack this basic protection? Common misconceptions are mostly to blame. Here are four big myths surrounding this essential insurance coverage along with the reality:
- MYTH: “I’d rely on my savings until I could get back to work.”
REALITY: Most people overestimate the resources they have to cover their expenses if a disabling illness or injury kept them from earning a paycheck. Keep in mind that disabling illnesses or injuries often last for months or even years.
- MYTH: “I don’t need it-I don’t work in a dangerous profession.”
REALITY: You actually have a three in 10 chance of suffering a disabling illness or injury during your career that would keep you out of work for three months or more. While it’s true that people in professions like farming, law enforcement and construction face greater risks, the odds of suffering a long-term disability are high for all workers because illness-not accidents-account for 90 percent of disabilities that keep people out of work.
- MYTH: The government provides assistance when people get disabled.
REALITY: According to the National Safety Council, 73 percent of long-term disabilities are a result of a non work-related injury or illness that would therefore not qualify for state-based Workers’ Compensation programs. If you were hoping for Social Security disability benefits, know that about 45 percent of those who apply are initially denied, and those who are approved receive an average monthly benefit of around $1,100, which would leave you with an income barely over the poverty line. Government programs are a good back-up plan, but shouldn’t be your main line of defense.
- MYTH: “I have disability coverage at work.”
REALITY: Disability insurance through work is a great benefit, but you need to find out exactly what coverage you have. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 70 percent of employers don’t offer long-term disability coverage. And short-term or partial coverage wouldn’t be enough to allow you to meet your current and future financial obligations if you were unable to work for an extended period of time.
In short, income is critical to most employees’ financial security, yet employees rarely think about how an illness or accident puts their income at risk. Your ability to earn a living is vital. Make sure you protect your largest, most critical asset. It can be more affordable than you think. Call our office today to find out more about this very important insurance coverage.
Source: Ameritas Life Insurance & LifeHappens.org