We’re not sure exactly why May was selected as Disability Insurance Awareness Month by the Council for Disability Awareness but we are pretty sure that didn’t happen by accident. Few things in this sector do.
Being skeptics, we wonder if it’s because May is when people who are disabled and have been indoors during the winter months feel like they absolutely must somehow get outside and spend a little time in the sunshine, when a private investigator armed with a GoPro records their one trip to the front yard and pronounces their claim a fraud. We could be wrong, but we’ve seen it happen too many times.
Disability insurance month is said to have been created and organized by a nonprofit called “Life Happens.” This is not a nonprofit that feeds the hungry, houses the homeless or cares for the indigent. It definitely gets our goat that savvy insurance lobbyists are able to create and position an entity that is really all about sales as a helpful informational nonprofit.
While we remain cynical about the best efforts of these massive insurance companies to put a warm fuzzy face on their products, we also do maintain that everyone who works and has a family to protect does need to own disability insurance. The problem comes when the companies seek to restrict or deny the benefits that they contracted to provide.
Disability insurance is kind of like having a will. We’d rather not spend our hard-earned income on something that we don’t want to think about. Most people don’t like to think that one day they will die. We don’t either. But we also know that chances are good that even the healthiest person will at some point in their lives suffer from an accident or illness that will require them to be out of work for a period of time.
We would like to see the Disability Insurance Month organization and supporters, i.e., disability insurance companies, take a slightly different approach. Let the disability insurance companies devote May to revising their claims process, without being directed to do so because of litigation. For just one month, pay every single claim without requiring a decade’s worth of medical and financial records. Even if it’s just for Disability Insurance Month, let us see a kinder, gentler disability insurance sector where claimants are treated with care and compassion. That would be a month worth celebrating.