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What are some common causes of long-term disability claims?

It is only natural to assume that we won't become seriously ill until well after retirement when we are in our elder years. However, disability is no respecter of age, and many people will find they become disabled while they are still young and working. In fact, the Council for Disability Awareness reports that, on average, a person with a long-term disability will not be able to go to work for over 34 months. To put it into perspective, that's nearly three years that a person will be unable to earn money to support themselves and their families.

In 2013, the most common reason a person would suffer a long-term disability was due to issues with their musculoskeletal and connective tissues. The second most common reason a person would suffer a long-term disability was due to cancer. The following ailments were also responsible for many long-term disability claims: injuries and poisoning, cardiovascular issues, mental disorders, disorders of the nervous system and complications due to pregnancy and childbirth.

Sometimes, a person has enough in their savings account to support themselves while they are out of work due to a long-term disability, but, for many people, this simply is not possible. That is when it can help to have long-term disability insurance.

Some people have long-term disability insurance as part of their benefits package offered by their employer. However, if a person's employer does not offer such a benefit or if a person is self-employed, they can still purchase an individual long-term disability insurance plan. A long-term disability insurance policy will kick in around three to six months after a person becomes disabled and any short-term disability insurance funds they have access to are depleted. While each policy is different, in general, a long-term disability policy will cover around 50 to 60 percent of the policyholder's income while the policyholder is disabled. These benefits will continue until the policyholder is able to re-enter the workforce or for a certain number of years. Sometimes, they will even last until the policyholder is 65.

As this shows, people should not take their good health for granted. Disabilities can occur to anyone of any age. Therefore, it is important to be prepared by obtaining long-term disability insurance.

Source:, "The basics of long-term disability insurance," June 3, 2016

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