Why Disability Insurance? Chances Of Becoming Disabled Are Greater Than Your Chances Of Not

If you and your loved ones depend on your salary for support, then you probably need long term disability income insurance.

Think about it: if you were to become disabled, even for a few months, how would you and your family manage? Who would pay your bills? Disabling illness or injury is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States.

Most people do not realize that their chances of becoming disabled are greater than their chances of dying prematurely. Yet they are more likely to buy life insurance than disability insurance. For this reason, people in the insurance industry call disability “the forgotten risk.’ According to statistics from the Journal of the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters, if you are age thirty to fifty-five, your chances of becoming disabled are two to three times greater than your chances of dying.

If you are thirty-five years old, you have a 50:50 chance of experiencing a disability lasting last three months or longer before you retire. One in seven workers will become disabled for more than five years before he or she reaches age 65.

Many people mistakenly believe that the government or Worker’s Compensation will pay them an income if they become disabled. Actually, more than 80% of the people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are rejected. Social Security does not pay benefits for partial or short-term disability. Your disability has to either last a year or be expected to last a year before you can collect Social Security. Worker’s Compensation pays only if you were injured on the job and benefits are often limited to a few years.

Your health insurance will cover your hospital, doctor and other medical bills, but you will still not have a salary. Long-term care insurance only covers bills from nursing homes or assisted care center. Disability insurance, however, does not pay bills. Instead the insurance company gives you money on a regular basis. It is designed to replace your salary so that you and your family will not experience financial hardship during any period when you are too sick or injured to work.

What should you look for when you are buying long term disability insurance? First, the insurance company itself should have a top rating from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard and Poor. These agencies rate companies in terms of capitalization, growth, earnings and other indicators of financial stability.

Secondly, you should make sure you understand the terms of your policy. Some policies require a waiting period before you start receiving benefits. For example, your policy may have a six-month waiting period before benefits are paid. In this case, your benefits would begin six months from the time of disability.

The waiting period is often called the elimination period. Choices usually range from 30 days to 720 days.

Look for a waiver of premium provision. This means if you become disabled, you will not have to keep paying for your disability policy.

What are the conditions for renewing the policy? If you’re policy is not automatically renewable, the insurance company has the right to cancel it.

Payment period options are another consideration. Some policies will only pay for a certain period of time, sometimes for only two years. Other policies last a lifetime. The most popular policies pay benefits until you reach retirement age, when you can begin to collect Social Security payments.

Most policies have a residual disability clause. If you suffer a disability, very often you will return to work part-time at first. Or because you were off work for a while, it may take you time to build your business back to the level it was before you became disabled. Your insurance should provide income for both these scenarios.

Check over the policy for a recurrent disabilities benefit. A recurrent disability is one that happens after you recover from your original disability. Your insurance should waive a new waiting period and/or not require proof that the two disabilities were related.

When you buy disability insurance, you buy it according to your income level. The more money you make, the larger the benefit of your policy. But you also have to figure that your income will rise as you get older. For this reason you want a future increase rider or automatic increase rider. These riders allow you to keep your policy but increase the amount of your benefits based on your increased earnings as you grow older.

When you buy your insurance, certain factors will affect your price. You will pay less for the insurance if you decide to replace 50% of your income instead of 80%. You also pay less if you opt for a longer elimination period. The insurance company factors in your current health and may exclude preexisting conditions. Women and smokers may pay more for disability insurance because they make more claims than non-smoking males. If you are in a high-risk job, your policy may cost you more.

Disability insurance policies can be confusing. It is always best to sit down with a professional insurance agent to discuss the terms of the policy together and to ask questions until you completely understand the details of the policy quotes being presented.

Disability Frauds And Anonymous Reporting

The world houses the good and the bad alike, which explains why there are some people who are unscrupulous enough to represent themselves as disabled so as to derive benefits from the government. These are the people who actually make the government be more rigid with their disability determination test, which makes the claims processing cumbersome and slow. The law is quite harsh on them and takes a very strict approach.

Under the law whosoever makes a false disability claim himself alone or in collusion with others is guilty of fraud. To explain it further, if one makes a false claim of having undergone a disabling injury or of being disabled by birth or having been disabled by some illness, he may not only be sued but may also be prosecuted under criminal law. Similar is the case with those who assist others in filing such false claims.

A person making such a claim is not only disqualified from receiving any further payments but is also made to cough up as much as 30% more in penalty on what he or she might have received in payment from the Social Security Administration.

The medical practitioners are also not spared under the law. Thus, any one of them who falsely certifies a person as having disability may also have to pay 25% in penalty over the received amount. Criminal prosecution is also possible under which a person may receive a severe penal sentence.

There are governmental institutions in place that are enjoined with the duty to find and prosecute such defrauders. If you suspect that anyone whom you know is fraudulently siphoning off the money meant for the disabled, it is your duty as a responsible citizen to report it to the authorities. Most of the time the authorities tend to keep the identity of the informant secret, so that the complainant is not put in any danger on account of the complaint. There are many governmental websites that enable such anonymous reporting. So, rest assured there are no dangers involved in exposing a cheat. Having done that you’ll have helped the cause of the disabled.

Medicare, Medicaid, and Disability

When you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, it is due to having some form of medical condition that impairs your ability to work. Oftentimes, these conditions require ongoing medical care so that the patient can experience as high of a quality of life as possible. Of course, those who are on either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income tend not to have a lot of expendable cash on hand to help pay for medical treatment. This is where another facet of disability comes into play – that of Medicare and Medicaid. One or both of these programs may become available to you once you get approved for disability treatments.

What’s The Difference?

Medicaid is a poverty program that is run differently in every state, whereas Medicare is the national insurance program. The premium for Medicaid for both of these programs is deducted from your disability check, but the medical attention that you are entitled to is well worth the cut from the check. There are four different parts of Medicare, which are called A through D. If you would like to learn more about Medicare or learn how to enroll for these benefits, you can visit the website.

Medicaid is a little more complicated because it is run by the states and thus there are different rules, requirements, and provisions that it offers depending on where you live. There are no premiums deducted from your disability payments when you are part of Medicaid, but you may have to furnish money for a co-pay depending on your state. Not all doctors will accept Medicaid, but Medicaid tends to be better for covering prescription drugs as compared to Medicare.

If you are approved for either Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income, you will be eligible for Medicare through the federal government two years after you are accepted to the program. If you are awarded Supplemental Security Income, you will be entitled to Medicaid as soon as you are accepted to the program. Those who only have Social Security Disability Insurance are generally not considered eligible for Medicaid, due to the fact that Supplemental Security Income is considered a form of welfare whereas Social Security Disability Insurance is reliant on the work the claimant did prior to sustaining the disability in question.

No matter which program you apply for, there are medical benefits that can come alongside the monetary ones. Remember to stay healthy and keep going to the doctor!

What Every Social Security Disability Attorney Wants You to Know

The unfortunate reality about disability insurance is that many claimants who file for Social Security are denied, particularly during their appeal for benefits. Legal representation, such as a Social Security disability attorney, can increase your chances of approval during your initial claim, or if need be, during your appeal process.

Who Should File for Social Security Disability?

Social Security is a type of disability insurance that pays benefits to recipients and certain members of their family who meet specific criteria. The recipient must have worked for a long enough period in order to be eligible. In addition, they must have a medical condition currently preventing them from working, one that is expected to prevent them from working for a minimum duration of 12 months, or one that is expected to end in death. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not mandate it, individuals who are looking to submit claims for this benefit can utilize legal representation for the process.

Obtain Representation as Soon as Possible

One of the biggest mistakes that potential claimants make in the filing process is that they don’t seek out a Social Security disability attorney as early as possible. The truth of the matter is that securing legal representation early in the process can potentially lead to a desirable outcome. How? A lawyer who is knowledgeable about this particular claim process can give you the benefit of their experience, and most importantly, they can present your case in the most legally favorable light.

According to the SSA, many applicants only seek out a disability attorney after their initial claim has been denied. Certainly, lawyers versed in these types of disability claims are more than willing to assist a claimant with what is called the reconsideration appeal process; however, there is usually very little that they can do once a claimant has been denied. In fact, the SSA reports that the reconsideration appeal rate is between 85 and 87 percent, which only serves to emphasize the grave importance of obtaining counsel before beginning the filing process. The majority of the cases won during the appeal process are the result of the legal representation’s labor.

Other Information to Consider

A disability attorney is entitled to receive 25 percent of the claimant’s back payment in the event of a win in court. This is standard operating procedure, and the fees should alarm no potential claimant looking for legal representation. However, be advised that the fee is typically deducted from whatever back pay is owed to the claimant first before the claimant receives their benefit.

Expertise in this particular type of disability takes focus. As a result, a Social Security disability attorney that only deals with this type of law is likely your best bet should you have a choice between a lawyer whose time is divided between other areas of the law and one who solely devotes their time to these types of cases.