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Disability Insurance

What is disability insurance?

Disability insurance pays you a percentage of your earned income for non-job-related injuries or illnesses that prevent you from working. Disability insurance is often provided by your employer as part of a financial benefits package. Individual disability insurance is an additional purchase option. This is a policy you own completely separate from your employer benefits. Your individual disability insurance policy follows you wherever you go whereas your employer disability insurance policy would terminate if you left that job.

Elimination Period

What is a disability insurance elimination period?

The disability insurance elimination period, also referred to as the waiting period, is the time between the onset of a disability and the time you are eligible for benefits. Common elimination periods for individual disability insurance coverage are 30, 60, 90, 180, and 365 days. For an individual disability insurance policy, the typical elimination period is 90 days. The shorter the elimination period, the higher your premium.

Occupation Class

What are disability insurance occupation classes?

The type of work a person performs and the nature of the industry can have a tremendous impact on their risk of becoming disabled. A person’s occupation puts them into an Occupation Class. The occupation class determines the individual disability insurance policy’s premium costs. Occupation class is determined by your job duties, work environment, and income, among other factors.

Benefit Period

What is a disability insurance benefit period?

The disability insurance benefit period is the period of time you are eligible to collect benefits while on a disability insurance claim. Benefit periods can include one year, two years, three years, five years, ten years, to retirement, or even your lifetime. The longer your benefit period, the higher your premium.

Residual Income Rider

What is a residual income rider?

Residual disability means that you are gainfully employed and are not totally disabled under the terms of a typical disability insurance policy, but because of sickness or injury you lose a percentage of your income. You can add an optional residual income rider to your individual disability insurance policy that will pay a monthly benefit if this event occurs.

COLA Rider

What is a COLA rider?

A cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider is an optional add-on for your individual disability insurance policy. A COLA rider is designed to help the beneficiary’s disability insurance benefits keep pace with inflation after a claim period begins. COLAs generally adjust your disability insurance policy’s monthly benefit equal to the percentage increase in the consumer price index.

Catastrophic Rider

What is a catastrophic rider?

A catastrophic rider is an optional add-on for your individual disability insurance policy. This rider can provide a monthly benefit in addition to any other disability benefit payments under the policy if you are catastrophically disabled.

Catastrophically disabled means that, due to injury or sickness, you are:

  • Unable to perform two or more ADLs (activities of daily living) without human standby assistance; or
  • Cognitively impaired; or
  • Irrecoverably disabled.
Noncancelable Provision

What is a noncancelable provision?

A noncancelable provision means that the disability insurance policy cannot be canceled and the contract provisions cannot be changed without your consent, and the premiums cannot be raised for the life of the policy as long as you continue to pay your premiums.

Future Insurability Option

What is a future insurability option?

A future insurability option is an add-on for an individual disability insurance policy that allows policyholders to increase their insurance coverage annually as their income increases without needing to go through medical underwriting again.