No one plans to be disabled, especially the young. Most people consider the chances of suffering an injury or illness that could be so disabling as to prevent them from working to be remote. But the truth is that tragedy can strike at any time, even to the young and healthy. The Social Security Administration (SSA) estimates that more than one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement age. One of the best ways to prepare for a disability that could affect your livelihood is long-term disability insurance, which a Baltimore long-term disability lawyer can assist you with.
What Long-Term Disability Insurance Does
Long-term disability insurance is an insurance policy that will pay you a portion of your income should you become disabled and unable to work. You may purchase it directly from an insurance company or elect to receive it as a benefit from your employer (if applicable). Each long-term disability insurance policy is different, but, generally, they pay the insured anywhere from 60-80% of his or her working salary. Most policies also continue to pay benefits for two, five, or 10 years, or until the insured reaches retirement age.
How Long-Term Disability Insurance Differs from Social Security Disability
While the Social Security disability program is technically a long-term insurance program, it is not synonymous with long-term disability insurance. Social Security disability is a government program administered by the SSA, while long-term disability insurance is handled by the private sector. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must have worked for a certain amount of time and your condition must meet the SSA’s very strict definition of “disability.” Qualification criteria for long-term disability insurance can be more flexible, depending upon the policy.
A few advantages of long term disability insurance over Social Security disability include:
- Shorter waiting times to receive benefits (generally)
- A looser definition of “disability”
- Availability of benefits for partial disability
- Higher benefits (in some cases)
- Greater flexibility in coverages
When to Consider Long-Term Disability Insurance
While the Social Security disability program can provide adequate protection for most people, there are some situations in which long-term disability insurance may make more sense. You should consider purchasing a long term disability insurance policy if:
- Your employment history is sparse or contains recent gaps
- Your spouse and/or children are dependent upon your income
- You are at high risk of a disabling condition that is not covered by Social Security disability
- Your employer subsidizes the costs of long term disability insurance premiums
- You own a business
Contact a Baltimore Long-Term Disability Lawyer for More Information
Deciding whether to purchase long-term disability insurance can be a difficult decision, but an experienced attorney can help you weigh the pros and cons to get a better idea of what’s best for you. For more information, please contact Baltimore long-term disability lawyer Emmett B. Irwin by calling 443-839-0818 or using our online contact form.