Disability Insurance

What is disability insurance?

Disability insurance helps replace a major portion of your income when you are sick or injured and unable to work. Some people think of it as “paycheck protection.” Others view it as a way to protect their home since a mortgage payment is often a family’s most significant monthly expense.

Having disability insurance can provide a sense of security, knowing that if the unexpected should happen, you’ll still receive a monthly income.

If you think about it, everything you have today – your home, car, groceries, savings – basically your lifestyle, depends on your ability to earn an income. Most people are quick to insure their possessions, such as their home and car. And they generally have life insurance that would provide for their family. But the one thing that makes all this possible is – your income. It’s your most important asset. So, protecting it with disability insurance isn’t just a good decision – it’s essential.

Truth is:

  • Most disabilities don’t happen at work and more than 95 percent are caused by illness, not injury4.
  • Employer provided disability insurance replaces about 60 percent of a person’s income. But payments are taxable, therefore reducing benefits to about 40 percent of income.
  • Social Security Disability insurance may not be there when you need it. 65 percent of initial benefit applications were denied in 2017.5

The facts alone don’t tell the whole story. A disabling injury or illness may have a very personal impact on you and your family. Suddenly, the future seems unpredictable, the calendar changes and immediate concerns are the focus. Recovery becomes the “new normal”. At a time like this, when life feels off track, it can make all the difference to know the bills are paid: that you have a way to keep it going.

What would you do?
If a disabling sickness or injury happened to you today, how would you pay your bills? Would your savings cover your expenses for 60 to 90 days? That’s assuming the disability is short-term. What if it wasn’t?

Research conducted by the America’s Health Insurance Plan indicates that most Americans cannot afford to miss more than two months of work without having to borrow money. However, it wouldn’t be feasible to get approved for a loan without an income.

Think about how stressful it would be to cope with a disability. Having disability insurance would help relieve the added stress of losing your income.

Would I have other income sources?
There are three other sources of income that may or may not be available to you depending on your situation.

  • Employer-provided Disability Insurance
  • Government Disability Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation

However, income from these sources may not be as accessible or sufficient as you may need.

Employer-provided Disability Insurance
Even if you have group disability insurance through your employer, plans provided typically only cover 60 percent of a worker’s monthly income, up to a specified maximum monthly benefit. Would this amount of coverage be enough to pay your bills? Employer-provided disability coverage is not portable when you leave the company.5

Government Disability Insurance
More than 65 percent of the 2.1 million people who applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) were denied in 2017. Even if you were approved for this government program, SSDI benefits alone may still leave you below the Federal Poverty Level.6

Workers’ Compensation
In 2017 only one percent of American workers missed work because of an occupation illness or injury.5

How much does it cost?
A disability insurance policy would be tailored to you, your unique situation and the amount of protection that’s right for you. The monthly premium for a disability insurance policy varies based on several factors:

  • Type of policy selected (short-term disability insurance or long-term disability insurance)
  • Type of disability covered – accident only or accident and sickness policy
  • Optional protection you wish to add

(for example, critical illness benefit, hospital confinement benefit,
future insurability option to name a few.)

  • Elimination period* you select
  • Benefit period* you select
  • Your age at time of purchase
  • Your occupation and income
  • Medical underwriting

As you can see, every person and situation is unique. That’s why it’s so important to work with a licensed insurance agent who can help you determine the right amount of coverage in a policy that will fit your budget.

* Elimination and/or benefit periods may vary by state.

When should I buy?
The best answer is – now. The sooner you consider disability insurance protection, the better. Here’s why:

  • Losing your income due to a disabling illness or injury could put the lifestyle you’ve worked hard to build at risk
  • A disabling illness or injury can happen at any age. Then it would be too late to purchase this valuable protection
  • Premiums are based in part on your age at time of purchase. So, waiting will cost you more
  • There’s no obligation to talk to an insurance agent. Our disability insurance experts would be glad to help you review your needs and the options available to fit your budget

Considering all that your income provides, and the financial goals you’ve set, isn’t it important enough to talk to an agent today?

4CDA – Consumer Disability Awareness survey, Long Term Disability Awareness (2016) claims review.
5Social Security Administration – Applications for disability benefits and benefit awards table (1965 – 2017)

6Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illness 2017 Table 1.

Securities offered through Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc., A Registered Broker/Dealer Member. FINRA/ SIPC. Richard McDaniel, Registered Representative. Advisory Services offered through Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm. Richard McDaniel, Investment Advisor Representative. McDaniel Financial Services and Mutual of Omaha Investor Services, Inc., are not affiliated. The information provided is general in nature. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but no warranty is made as to its accuracy, timeliness or completeness. The information is not intended, and should not be construed as legal, tax or investment advice, or a legal opinion. Consult with your legal, tax or investment professional before taking any action based on this information. This is not an offer of solicitation in any jurisdiction where we are not authorized to do business.