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What are your insurance options if you’re unable to work?

If you suffer an injury or illness and are unable to work for an extended period of time, one of your primary concerns is obviously how you will support yourself and your family. That’s in addition to how you will pay for medical care, physical therapy and other costs involved with your treatment.

If you have disability insurance through your employer or have purchased an individual disability insurance policy, this can prove to be an advantage over having to rely on Social Security Disability Insurance. With private disability insurance, you may not have to prove that you’re unable to work at all, which you would with SSDI.

Depending on the terms of your private disability insurance, you may only have to show that you cannot perform the duties required in your present occupation. That’s called “own occupation” coverage. If you have “any occupation” coverage, which is similar to what SSDI covers, you would have to be unable to work at all.

Besides generally having less restrictive requirements than SSDI, private disability insurance pays a greater percentage of a person’s income than SSDI. Private long-term disability policies may cover as much as 70 percent of a person’s salary.

It may be possible to receive disability benefits from both a private insurer and SSDI. In many cases, a private insurance company may require that the insured person first apply for SSDI before submitting a claim to them.

Some people may also qualify for veterans’ benefits or workers’ compensation. If you’re unable to work because of an illness, injury or disability, it’s essential to explore all of your options for replacing your income.

Source: FindLaw, “Private Disability Insurance vs. SSDI,” accessed Dec. 08, 2015

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