Determine whether or not you require disability insurance.
Disability insurance can assist protect you and your family if you are unable to work due to an unforeseen sickness or accident.
In general, disability insurance covers between 60% and 85% of your usual income for a certain period of time, up to a maximum amount, if you:
- are temporarily unable to work
- are permanently incapacitated due to an injury or illness
The term “permanent” relates to the nature of the impairment. It does not imply that you will continue to receive advantages indefinitely.
Disability insurance is provided by many employers. A life and health insurance agent, on the other hand, can help you get your own disability insurance plan. You can also receive disability insurance if you’re self-employed, which will cover many of your business expenditures if you’re unable to work.
Things to Think About When Purchasing Disability Insurance
If you’re thinking about getting disability insurance, make sure you do the following:
- Check with your employer to determine if you currently have group disability coverage through their plan.
- Please look about, especially if you’re thinking about purchasing private disability insurance.
Consider joining a union, guild, or professional or alumni association for group insurance. As you get older, your premiums for this sort of coverage normally rise. Your insurance will need to be renewed every few years.
Disability insurance for the short term
Short-term disability insurance usually pays out for up to six months while you’re sick or wounded.
If your employer offers a short-term disability plan, you must file a claim through that plan. Employers are not obligated to provide paid sick leave, and each one is unique.
Consult your employer’s human resources department for more information on your plan, including any sick time or vacation policies that may apply. If you don’t have short-term disability insurance and your company doesn’t provide it, you may be eligible for sickness benefits under Employment Insurance (EI).
To be eligible for EI sickness benefits, you must have used all of your sick leave and worked a sufficient number of hours.
Long-term disability insurance
When the following benefits finish, long-term disability insurance benefits usually begin:
- short-term disability insurance
- sick leave benefits from your employer
- EI benefits
The majority of long-term disability policies will replace 60% to 70% of your typical income.
Every disability plan is unique. If you’re unable to return to the employment you had before becoming disabled, certain insurance companies may provide disability benefits for up to two years. Only if you are unable to work at any job after two years may you continue to get benefits.
The term “disability” is defined as
The definition of disability varies depending on the insurance company. Even amongst different insurance policies from the same firm, the definition can differ.
If you are unable to return to work, some disability plans may require you to participate in a rehabilitation program.
To find out what your plan’s definition of disability is, contact your insurance plan administrator or agent.
According to the terms of a “any occupation” plan, you will only be eligible for disability benefits if you are unable to work at all. This means that your illness or injury precludes you from doing any job for which you are fairly qualified. If your skills, experience, and education allow you to work in a job that is different from the one you had before your handicap, you will not be eligible for payments.
Regular or self-employed
If you’re unable to perform the principal functions of the employment you had when your impairment began, you’ll be eligible for benefits under a “regular or own occupation” plan.
Benefits will continue to be paid even if you are able to work in a different position than before your disability, based on your training, experience, and education. If you start working in a different employment, several policies will prevent you from receiving benefits or may limit your payments.
Policies with regular or own occupation plans for a fixed period of time are typical in group policies. The disability policy will frequently convert to the any occupation definition after the end of the set length of time, usually after the first 2 or 5 years. Own occupation plans, which do not vary in definition, are frequently acquired separately and typically cost more than other occupation plans.
If you have a specialized job that would force you to accept a considerable wage drop to work in another industry, you might want to explore an own occupation plan.
What questions should you ask before purchasing disability insurance?
Make sure you understand the following before purchasing disability insurance. If you have any questions, contact your benefits administrator or insurance agent.
Terms and Conditions in General
- What is the definition of disability in the plan?
- Are there any exclusions?
- Are there any pre-existing condition clauses in the plan that you should be aware of?
- How much the insurance will cost
- Do you still have to pay premiums if you live with a disability?
- How much money you’ll get each month
- Are the benefits taxable?
- Will the benefits be adjusted to account for inflation?
- How long do you have to wait before receiving benefits?
- Is there a provision for partial disability benefits in the plan?
- Is it possible to enhance your coverage without having to take a medical exam? —Individual plans
- Is the policy “guaranteed renewable,” which means you have the option to renew it without having to provide additional evidence?
- Is your firm’s group plan sponsored by an insurance carrier or is it self-funded?
- Will you be covered by a self-funded plan if your employer goes bankrupt or has financial problems?
- Is there a way to keep your current coverage till you acquire new coverage if you leave your job?
For more information, consult the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association’s Guide to Disability Insurance.