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Long-term disability benefits are a financial lifeline for some

While people in Garden City may acknowledge that in general people should have long-term disability insurance, few have actually taken steps to obtain such coverage. According to one survey, 65 percent of respondents claimed that individuals in general should have a long-term disability insurance policy. However, only 48 percent of respondents reported that they personally should have such coverage. Furthermore, merely 20 percent of respondents actually had such policies.

Long-term disability insurance may not seem like the most exciting benefit an employer has to offer, but it deserves consideration. According to one professional, long-term disability insurance is a "critical safety-net." Such a policy can provide the policy holder a certain percentage of what they would normally earn (typically half of a person's earnings to 60 percent of a person's earnings) if the policy holder suffers an injury or illness that renders them unable to work for a certain amount of time.

Usually there is a waiting period a policy holder must go through before he or she can receive long-term disability benefits. Oftentimes this amounts to around three to six months. However, if a person has a short-term disability insurance policy, that policy might cover the time between the illness or injury occurred and the time a policy holder must wait before he or she can receive long-term disability benefits.

Long-term disability coverage is also important given the fact that many people do not have much in the way of savings. According to one survey, over 50 percent of respondents reported that they did not have enough savings that would last them for three months should they be unable to work. In fact, of those surveyed, over 45 percent reported that if they incurred a $400 medical bill, they would not have enough cash to pay it. Therefore, long-term disability insurance benefits can help a person financially if they do not have the savings to afford their day-to-day expenses if they are unable to work.

As this shows, having a long-term insurance policy can pay off if a person suffers a serious injury or illness and is unable to work for an extended period of time. Many employers offer such a benefit, but even if they don't, seeking out a private insurance policy may be better than having no policy at all. In the end, long-term disability insurance can be the financial lifeline needed during what is a difficult time.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Long-term disability insurance gets little attention but can pay off big time," Michelle Andrews, Oct. 20, 2017

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