Before the need arises, you should find out what type of insurance is offered by your employer. Most states require a minimum level of coverage, and almost 50% of larger employers offer policies in addition. Long-term group policies can pay about half of your normal salary, up to the coverage limit, and provide benefits that may last until you are eligible for Social Security.
A disabling injury can have economic impacts ranging from belt-tightening to bankruptcy filing, but Disability insurance can counteract that financial hardship. Disability coverage is a safety net for injured workers, but you can easily slip through the cracks if you are unfamiliar with the system.
If you cannot get insurance through your employer, or if the coverage is inadequate, you can buy your own policy. Most private policies pay up to 70% of your pre-disability income. You can choose a non-cancelable policy, with premiums that can’t increase, or a guaranteed renewal policy, where you cannot be denied coverage.
Even if you have your own coverage, you should file a Social Security claim if your disability is expected to last for an extended time. Policyholders receiving long-term benefits must apply for SS coverage after they’ve received payments after two years. The SSA pays two different kinds of benefits: SSDI and SSI (Supplemental Security income). SSI is for workers who do not have enough earnings credits to be eligible for retirement benefits.