Is Disability Insurance Worth It


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The Length Of The Benefit Period And The Income Replacement Amount

How Much Does Disability Insurance Cost?

Long-term disability insurance policies usually pay benefits for a specific number of years, like five, 10, or 20, or simply cover you up to a chosen retirement age. The longer the benefit period, the higher your disability insurance premiums will be. Its smart to balance your future needs with what you can fit into your budget today. In addition, you can choose to cover anywhere from 40% to 70% of your income. If you can get by with receiving less per month, this is a way to lower the cost of disability insurance.

Other Ways To Find Disability Insurance

The following programs also offer financial help in case of a disability, but they have limitations.

  • Social Security pays disability benefits, but its difficult and time-consuming to qualify, and the payments are low. The average monthly disability benefit in 2017 was $1,172.

  • State disability programs are offered in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. They provide short-term disability coverage, in most cases for up to six months, according to Life Happens, an insurance industry trade group.

  • Workers’ compensation insurance replaces a portion of income if youre disabled because of a work-related injury. All states require employers to have workers compensation coverage for their employees. Most long-term disabilities, however, are not the result of work-related injuries.

Although these programs can help, they dont fully cover the risks of losing the ability to work after an illness or injury. Disability insurance is the smart bet to provide a safety net for your future.

Student Loan Planner Disclosures

Upon disbursement of a qualifying loan, the borrower must notify Student Loan Planner® that a qualifying loan was refinanced through the site, as the lender does not share the names or contact information of borrowers. Borrowers must complete the Refinance Bonus Request form to claim a bonus offer. Student Loan Planner® will confirm loan eligibility and, upon confirmation of a qualifying refinance, will send via email a $500 e-gift card within 14 business days following the last day of the month in which the qualifying loan was confirmed eligible by Student Loan Planner®. If a borrower does not claim the Student Loan Planner® bonus within six months of the loan disbursement, the borrower forfeits their right to claim said bonus. The bonus amount will depend on the total loan amount disbursed. This offer is not valid for borrowers who have previously received a bonus from Student Loan Planner®.

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Disability Insurance Replaces Your Income If You Get Seriously Ill

Some of those most common disability insurance claims relate to cancer, musculoskeletal disorders, and depression. While you hopefully never have to deal with any of these unfortunate situations, they are quite common.

In fact, one of them is affecting my family right now. My dad is receiving disability insurance payments related to prostate cancer. My family never expected my dad to get a stage four cancer diagnosis at any point, but here we are. Im so glad for my parents finances that they had this critical insurance coverage. You just never know when a major illness could strike.

Short Term Vs Long Term Disability

Is disability insurance worth it?

When obtaining disability insurance, you usually either obtain short term or long term disability insurance, although sometimes both! Short term disability is intended to provide benefits for a term between 3 -12 months depending on the plan, and covers up to 70% of your income. Long term disability on the other hand provides benefits for anywhere from 5 years, or all the way to retirement age, and pays out 40-70%, again depending on your plan.

Its important to note that these payments are based on gross income, and if you pay the premiums yourself, they are not taxed. So a short term benefit of 70% of your gross income may be the same amount you were seeing on your checks before. If your employer pays for the insurance as part of your salary package however, the paid benefits will likely be considered taxable by the IRS.

It is generally recommended to obtain long term disability insurance over short term, as ideally you would have an emergency fund that would be able to cover short term losses of income. For incidents that cause you to miss out on years of income however, long term disability would be your better choice.

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Common Factors That Affect The Cost Of Disability Insurance Are:

The length of the waiting period

The length of the waiting period for your disability insurance plan is inversely related to your premium rate. The shorter it is, the higher the premium.

Monthly benefit amount

Generally speaking, a disability insurance policy pays out a percentage of your pre-disability income. The payout usually ranges from 40% to 80% of your income. The higher the monthly payout, the greater the cost, other things being equal.

Benefit period

This refers to how long the disability insurance plan will payout for. Typically, disability insurance plans that issue benefits over a longer period cost more. For instance, a policy that pays a monthly amount for 10 years is likely to be more expensive than a plan with a one-year payout period.

How Likely Are You To Experience A Disability

Although people dont like to think about it, having a disability is more common than you might think.A quarter of Canadians will be unable to work due to an injury or illness for 90 days before the age of 65. If the disability lasts longer, its average length is almost 6 years.1Footnote 1

Government programs like theCanada Pension PlanOpens a new website in a new window – Opens in a new window andWorkers Compensationcan help, but youll need to meet certain conditions to qualify .

CPP benefits only cover disabilities that are severe and prolonged enough to prevent you from working any kind of job,notjust the job you had. Meanwhile,WorkersCompensation only covers disabilities caused by workplace incidents.

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Do I Need Both Short Term And Long Term Disability Insurance

As you can probably tell, short term and long term disability insurance policies are designed to work together. Short term disability is intended to cover you immediately following a serious illness or injury, and long term disability insurance is intended to maintain income replacement if your condition keeps you out of work past the end of your short term disability benefit period, even to retirement, depending on your plan. If you have both short term and long term disability policies in place, short term disability will pay you benefits during the waiting period before your long term disability coverage begins, at which point youll transition from one policy to the next to receive benefits. For that reason, it makes sense to have both policies to help ensure an unexpected health problem wont derail your financial confidence for a few months or for several years.

Long Term Disability Insurance Quote

Short Term Disability Insurance | Best Value of Benefits For Your Money

Looking for a long-term disability insurance quote? Below are some factors that will be considered. Read them over then click the button below to get a quote.

  • Benefits as a percentage of income:This will range from 40%-85% of your gross income.
  • Benefits cap:The cap is the amount you can legally collect. For example, if you make $9,000/month while working, an insurer may cap your benefits at $5,000/month. If you pay the premium yourself, the benefit is tax free. If your employer pays the premium, you will be taxed on the benefit.
  • Length of benefits:This is the time period for when your benefits will be paid. It varies depending on the policy it could be until you return to work, until you turn 65, or until you retire, for example.
  • Waiting period: In most cases benefits do not pay out right away. Short-term usually requires just a few days wait, but long-term can be weeks or months. Structuring long-term to follow short-term can be useful in preventing benefit lapses, but you should still aim to have cash savings to cover the waiting period. A popular choice for the waiting period is four months.
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    How Do I Qualify For Disability Insurance

    Short Term Disability

    To qualify for short term disability, you generally need to be unable to do your normal work for at least 8 days before you qualify for benefits. From there, you need to be under the care of a physician until you are able to go back to work.

    Long Term Disability

    To qualify for long term disability, you have to be totally disabledthrough the waiting period, which is generally around 60-90 days. To be considered totally disabled, you need to have a sickness or injury that

    • Starts while the policy is active,
    • Requires continuous physicians care unless the physician certifies maximum recovery
    • For the first two years, keeps you from performing the substantial and material duties of your own occupation.
    • After benefits have been paid for two years, it keeps you from performing the substantial and material duties of any gainful occupation that fits you by education, training, or experience, and replaces at least 60 percent of your prior monthly income.

    For example, if you are an electrician and become totally disabled and are not able to perform your job you would qualify for long term disability after the waiting period. You would receive benefits for two years, and would only be able to continue collecting these benefits after those two years if you do not have training or experience in another job, or if that new job does not replace at least 60% of your previous income.

    What About Other Options

    Of course, there are a few other sources of income you might be able to draw on if you become disabled. Many people have whats called group long-term disability insurance through their employer. This can be a helpful benefit, but there are some important things to remember.

    First, if you leave for another job, you probably will not be able to take your disability coverage with you and your new employer may or may not provide the same benefit.

    Second, if your employer pays for the policy, the benefits you would receive if you became disabled would be taxable.

    Most important, the kind of disability insurance you get from work typically only covers about 40 percent to 70 percent of your income, not including any bonuses or commissions you may normally receive. The balance is up to you.

    You might be thinking that theres always savings. If you have enough money in the bank to cover your living expenses for more than a month or two, youre in better shape than the large majority of Americans. If you dont, youd need to consider another option. Also keep in mind that the average disability lasts a lot longer than the one-to-two month range. Most peoples savings would run out long before that.

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    How About Group Ltd

    The advantage of group LTD insurance is that your employer may subsidize a portion of it, lowering your cost. It can even pay for the entire thing, in which case you dont need to ask whether its worth it.

    The downside of group long-term disability insurance is that you have less opportunity to tailor the policy to your needs. For example, you cant choose to add optional riders. A rider that you can buy on your own disability insurance policy is called the cost-of-living adjustment. With this rider, your disability insurance benefits increase every year to keep up with inflation. Your group LTD doesnt let you choose this type of rider.

    Another downside is that you will lose your coverage if you change your job.

    Thats why even if you have group LTD, you may want to consider adding an individual policy. One that you can use to supplement your group LTD.

    Long Term Disability Insurance For The Self

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    There are several options for disability insurance for the self-employed. You can purchase your own policy, and you may qualify for Canada Protection Plan-D if you have contributed to Canada Protection Plan as a self-employed worker. Low-income self-employed individuals may qualify for program such as ODSP. EI sickness benefits are also an option, but only if you have paid into the program.

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    Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset

    With any luck, youll never have to deal with a disability that keeps you from being able to work. But its a good idea to have a plan in place, so that if you ever did become disabled you could still cover your expenses and provide for the people who count on you.


    1 Council for Disability Awareness, Chances of disability, March 28, 2018.

    2 Social Security Administration, Fact sheet..

    3 Square, States Where You Can Find the Cheapest Cup of Coffee, Sept. 29, 2015.

    About Kristina Smith

    Get A Disability Insurance Quote Today

    So is disability insurance worth it?

    We believe that every individual should evaluate their personal needs, budget, and risk tolerance before deciding on an answer.

    Choosing the right policy can be difficult with many to choose from and different terms that sound complicated. We know it can be hard deciding on which insurance company to trust when there are so many options out there. Thats why were here!

    By offering competitive pricing from many insurance providers in Canada, we can help you choose the right policy for your needs. Our knowledge and experience also ensure you are getting the best policy. Whether you need short or long-term, temporary or permanent coverage, we have options to meet any situation.

    If you need disability insurance or want an expert opinion about what would work best for your family, email us at give us a call today at !

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    Filed Under: Disability Insurance

    About Caitlin See

    Caitlin is a personal finance writer specializing in student loans, debt repayment, credit cards, and budgeting basics. She holds a Masters in Public Administration and has spent the last decade building a career in service of others. Her work has appeared on The Ascent, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance and The Financial Gym.

    What Does Long Term Disability Insurance Cover

    Short Term Disability Insurance | Is It Worth It?

    Basically, long-term disability insurance covers income lost due to an injury, accident, and some forms of illness .

    Its important to note, however, that different styles of disability insurance cover different situations. For example, WSIB only covers work-related incidents, but private individual insurance covers incidences that occur on or off the job.

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    What Does Disability Insurance Cover

    The two main categories of disabilities that disability insurance covers are accidents and sicknesses. Lets briefly go over how these two events can cause you to become disabled.


    Its no secret that accidents can be quite dangerous and disabling.

    Accidents can happen at work or in your personal life. Think about the many accidents that can happen: falls, car accidents, injuries from playing sports, and much more. If youre in an accident, it can take a long time to recover, and your monthly income will be interrupted. Disability insurance ensures that money keeps coming into your life even if you cant work for monthsor even years.


    Like accidents, sicknesses can happen to anyone, even someone living a healthy lifestyle. Cancer is a leading cause of disability, as well as mental health issues, musculoskeletal disorders, and much more. As long as your sickness makes you unable to do your job for an extended period, you will receive benefits.

    You never know when an accident or sickness may occur. Thats why you need to have protection in place before it happens. If you wait until after the event, it will be too late.

    Student Loan Payment Protection

    Student loan payments are often the budget item that determines bankruptcy or bounty, so if you have a substantial loan balance, check if you can get extra coverage to pay your student loans. It gives you a higher benefit than youd qualify for with your income.

    Not all companies offer it, but the other option the federal loan Total and Permanent Disability program is challenging. And also hard to qualify for. And bankruptcy wont get rid of your loans.

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    Group Long Term Disability Insurance

    The term group long-term disability refers to a policy sponsored by an employer or association . Group coverage ends when you leave your employer or association. There is, on most group policies, a limited timeframe where you can convert the coverage to an individual policy. In many cases you can do this without a medical exam, so if you need to do a conversion, make sure you do so promptly.

    How Much Do I Need

    Is Disability Insurance Worth Your Money?

    Thereâs no hard-and-fast rule about how much disability insurance you need. But itâs typically a good idea to get enough to replace as much of your income as possible. To go back to the initial comparison, what if your house burned down? Would you want a policy that paid you for 50 to 60 percent of the cost to replace it? Or would you want a policy that paid to replace your whole house? If you could use an assist in this area, a financial professional has the tools and training to help you arrive at a solution that matches your goals. He or she can show you how all the pieces of your financial life, including disability insurance, fit together.


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