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Dispelling Disability Benefit Myths
June 15, 2011
Workers often misunderstand long-term disability insurance. The Hartford insurance company recently released research showing only that only 25 percent of workers understand how disability insurance works. This may in part account for the declining numbers of insured workers.
The number of American workers covered by short-term disability insurance fell six percent last year. The number of long-term disability policies fell three percent. Currently, only 49 percent of workers in America have short-term disability coverage, and only 44 percent carry long-term disability insurance. For this reason, it is important to dispel common myths many people hold about long-term disability insurance.
Disability Insurance from Your Employer May Not Be Enough
Many think disability insurance replaces lost pay. However, disability benefits only cover part of your pay when you are out of work for an extended period. That means you should plan for potential disability. According to The Hartford Group Benefits executive vice president Ron Gendreau, “Approximately 2 million Americans have experienced a disabling illness or injury so far this year.” He goes on to explain that only “about half of those workers will continue to have an income to help pay for expenses while they are recovering from their disability.”
It is important to set aside a nest egg to cover the portion of wages that a disability claim will not pay. In addition, having an emergency fund can help you stay afloat in the early weeks when a disability claim remains under review.
Disability Insurance is Not Workers Compensation Insurance
One of the most common myths surrounding disability insurance is the idea that one can only apply for disability insurance if injured on the job. However, disability insurance covers those who cannot work for any medical reason. Workers compensation insurance is mandatory and covers work-related injuries. Disability insurance is optional and covers other injuries, even if the disability resulted from a car accident during personal time.
Disability Insurance Covers More than Injuries
Unlike workers compensation insurance, disability insurance covers disabling illnesses too. Many are surprised to learn that they can make a disability claim for depression, anxiety and other emotional disorders. Mental illness can be just as disabling as an accident, injury or fall. In the same way that injuries need time to heal, mental illness may require time off for treatment too.
Not All Disability Insurers are Unfair
With repeated transgressions by companies like Unum Insurance, many people assume that filing a disability claim is simply too difficult. However, not all companies treat policyholders unfairly. When problems do arise, disability lawyers are available to help. Do not put off filing a claim because you feel intimidated. Working despite a painful disability because you are afraid to file a claim makes little sense. Most disabling conditions require rest and time to heal.
If you or someone you care about suffers from a total disability and is having difficulty with a claim, contact our office. We have experienced attorneys waiting to meet with you free of charge to discuss your case. We review the facts and help you decide if a disability lawsuit is in order.