Disability Insurance

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Disability insurance replaces a portion of your income when you can’t work for a short or extended period of time because of an illness, injury, or pregnancy.


Your chance of missing work due to an illness, injury, or pregnancy is greater than you think.

Nearly six percent of workers every year will experience a short-term disability due to illness, injury, or pregnancy.1 Three quarters of these claims last up to two and a half months, and the rest can last for up to six months or a year.2 How will you pay your bills if you aren’t earning an income during this time?

More than one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will be out of work for 12 months or more for a variety of reasons before they reach normal retirement age.3 This includes common health conditions such as knee, shoulder, or back injuries, cancer, heart problems, or depression.

Short-term disability insurance (STD) plans usually protect your income for between three days and six months — although some policies offer coverage for up to two years. Short-term plans typically replace between 60 and 70 percent of your pay, depending on the policy. When you choose a plan, be aware of the waiting period, also known as the elimination period. This is the time between you being diagnosed with an illness, injury or having a baby, and the payments kicking in.

Long-term disability insurance (LTD) protects your income if you need to miss work for longer than three to six months. It usually covers 40 to 70 percent of your income. The time your coverage pays benefits will range depending on your policy. It can be for a specific period — ranging from two to five or ten years — or until your Social Security retirement age. The waiting period for most LTD policies is three or six months — so you’ll need a plan to cover costs before the payments begin (usually this time is covered by your STD plan or your savings.) If your employer pays your STD or LTD premiums, your benefits are taxed.

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Disability insurance is income insurance. Disability insurance provides critical financial protection that is very different from other insurance products. Millions of working Americans don’t have it, and many don’t fully understand what it protects. The reality is that illness or injury can happen to anyone. If you have a family that depends upon you, this insurance gives you an income stream if you need to leave work.
Disa​​bility statistics

At least 51 million working adults in the United States are without disability insurance..

Almost half of American adults indicate they can’t pay an unexpected $400 bill without having to take out a loan or sell something to do so.

The most common reasons for short-term disability claims are:

  • 25% - Pregnancies  
  • 20% Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the back and spine, knees, hips, shoulders, and other parts of the body 
  • 7.8%- Digestive disorders, such as hernias and gastritis 
  • 7%- Mental health issues including depression and anxiety  
  • 7.5- Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains of muscles and ligaments 

The most common reasons for long-term disability claims are:

  • 29%- Musculoskeletal disorders 
  • 15% Cancer 
  • 9.4%- Pregnancy 
  • 9.1%- Mental health issues including depression and anxiety 
  • 9%- Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and strains of muscles and ligaments
Workers’ Compensation only covers time away from work if the disabling illness or injury was directly work-related. In 2016, only one percent of American workers missed work because of an occupational illness or injury11.