Four Common Misconceptions about Disability Insurance Benefits

If you are a principle or sole breadwinner in your family, your paychecks must continue uninterrupted to protect your home, standard of living and kid’s education.  When your monthly income is threatened by serious injury or illness, the security of disability insurance provides the means to protect the financial future of both you and your family.    Disability insurance offers financial support to pay your bills in the event that you cannot work for an extended period.  The policy will provide partial replacement for your income during your period of disability.

However, many people in the workforce do not have even basic protection against loss of income because they presume they do not need such protection.  This blog post highlights four misconceptions about disability insurance and its fundamental role in safeguarding your ability to continue generating income.

Misconception #1: Assuming you can live off savings until you return to work.

Many people presume they have enough money saved that they can live for an extended period off of their savings accounts.  In reality, most individuals underestimate the amount they need each month, so the duration of time that they can live off of this money is much shorter than the original estimate.  According to the Life Happens Disability Survey conducted in 2012, half of all survey participants conceded that they would feel a financial crunch during the first month they were compelled to live off of their savings.  Since disabling injuries and illnesses typically last for many months or even years, most people cannot rely on their savings to compensate for lost income.

Misconception #2: Expecting government assistance programs to provide funds to cover lost income.

Most people will not qualify for sufficient public assistance to replace lost income if they suffer a devastating injury or illness.  Although government programs may provide financial benefits, this may not happen for a very long time.  Further, 73 percent of long-term disabilities are not caused by a work-related illness or injury according to the National Safety Council.  If a debilitating injury or illness is not work-related, the disability will not qualify an individual for Workers Compensation benefits.

Misconception #3: Presuming that there is no risk of disabling injury or illness because an individual works in a low risk occupation.

While there are occupations that are more dangerous than others, it is inaccurate to assume that people in occupations that are considered relatively safe rarely are incapacitated.  Approximately 25 percent of all people who are 20-year-olds today will become disabled at some point during their career according to the Social Security Administration.  Most work-related disabilities are the result of an illness rather than an accident, so the likelihood they will occur is not dependent on the level of danger associated with the occupation.

Misconception #4: Presuming that the inability to work is covered by work-related disability benefits.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor reports that seventy percent of workers do not have employment-related long-term disability insurance.  Further, any short-term benefits will not generally be sufficient to cover an injured worker’s needed level of income or duration of disability.

If you have questions about long-term disability insurance, you are invited to contact our law firm to speak to an experienced Miami disability insurance claims attorney.  My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM. 

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