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New data shows the value, complexity of disability insurance

In a recent post on our blog, we made a note of data that outlined a problematic trend: fewer and fewer young adults are safeguarding their futures with disability insurance policies. Various factors, ranging from costs to changing styles of work for young professionals have attributed to a lessened interest in what could later prove to be a lifesaver.

However, additional new information only underlines the importance of finding the right disability insurance policy at any age. Although Californian industries have become more service and information-driven and thus less likely to cause physical injury to workers while on the job, the Social Security Administration has reported that “a 20-year-old in 2011 had a 30 percent chance of being disabled for at least six months before retirement.”

Many don’t take out disability insurance on their own because employers have provided it in the past, or it’s seen as too costly and not worth the extra expense. However, cancer actually stands as the second most common cause for a disability claim. And while Social Security disability does offer an average benefit of $1,188 per month, not every employee has worked long enough to receive these payments, which themselves are rarely enough to pay for mounting medical bills and lost income spent recovering.

Plans can prove to be complex in their design, with varying rates for individual and group plans in addition to waiting periods that may stretch beyond the entire length of treatment and recovery. Thankfully, resources such as legal counsel can help clear up these complications and direct workers toward the policy right for them.

While one’s risk of disabling injury or illness may be only 5 percent, the possible future earnings lost could be in the millions of dollars over an extended stretch of a career. Perhaps most importantly, disability insurance can offer stability through a potential job search if an old position is lost. Young professionals who are just beginning their career paths will find a firm specializing in disability invaluable as they explore the benefits of insurance policy options.

Source: New York Times, “Weighing the Odds of Disability, for Insurance Purposes,” Paul Sullivan, Oct. 19, 2012

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