We’ve already talked about the difference between short-term and long-term disability coverage, but if you forgot, here’s a quick recap:
- Both are designed to assist in replacing wages lost due to illness or injury.
- There are multiple ways you can purchase disability insurance, including through your employer or privately.
- You need disability insurance because the typical worker has at least a 25% chance of experiencing a three-month disability before the age of 67—according to the Social Security Administration.
So, the question isn’t whether or not you need disability insurance, but what type of disability coverage you need. To determine this, you need to consider the differences.
Short-Term Disability Coverage
Short-term disability coverage is designed for shorter periods of time—typically no longer than one full year. It usually takes about 14 days for benefits to kick in, and they can be used until you:
- Exceed the maximum coverage amount
- Reach the coverage period
- Recover and return to work
Because short-term disability requires covering your salary for a shorter amount of time, the premiums tend to be less expensive. You should seek short-term disability when:
- Treatment for an illness exceeds your job benefits
- You are expecting, or have recently had, a child
- You are concerned you may sustain an injury from which you can shortly recover
Most employers offer short-term disability coverage through their benefit packages. If you are self-employed, you can purchase coverage through a reputable agency—like Smallwood and Small!
Long-Term Disability Coverage
Long-term disability coverage plans are similar to short-term plans, with a few significant differences. First, terms are significantly longer, ranging from several years to retirement age—or even to the end of your life. Due to medical review in determining your disability, it typically takes 90 days or more to process a long-term disability claim and to receive those benefits.
You should consider purchasing long-term disability coverage if you are at risk of a long-term incident that prevents you from working, such as:
- Illnesses like cancer
- Permanent injury
- Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cardiovascular and circulatory disorders
As long-term disability coverage is for a more extended period of time, the premiums are likely to be higher—depending on when you purchase it. As stated in one of our previous blogs, purchasing disability coverage at a younger age helps you lock in on those lower premium rates.
Many recommend having both short-term and long-term disability coverage, as both may be necessary during different times in your life. Short-term disability coverage may come in handy if you or your spouse just had a child and need the time to recover, while long-term disability coverage will help you out should you encounter any unanticipated health scares down the road. With most employers, disability coverages are packaged together. Short-term coverage kicks in during the period of time when the long-term disability is being investigated and verified.
Having both insures your way of life while ensuring your peace of mind!
Thinking of purchasing short-term or long-term disability coverage? Call us at our Martinsburg office at 304-263-3361, or the Inwood office at 304-229-7227 to talk to an agent today! You can also contact us for a free quote on our website here.
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