Your other primary option is to buy disability insurance through your employer. Most larger companies offer such insurance, both short-term and long-term. You’ll need to know a few things before you settle on a policy, including;
- What does the policy pay? Most policies pay out as a percentage of salary. But does that include bonuses or commissions. Your human resources rep should be able to sort that out for you.
- Does it transfer? You might have a great disability process, but what happens if you leave your job? Can you take the insurance with you? Find out beforehand. If not, prepare to go through the process all over again at your new firm.
- What conditions trigger a disability payout? Not all policies are the same. Usually, if you have an injury or illness that prevents you from doing your specific job (i.e. a construction worker with a broken hand, or a nurse with ligament damage in her knee), you’ll qualify for disability.
Also, ask your employer if there is a maximum payout you should know about, and whether or not your disability benefits are taxable. Remember to ask about any illnesses or injuries that are excluded in your firm’s disability plan.
If you’re a sole proprietor, you’ll need to explore individual coverage. Start by visiting some good online sources on disability coverage. Two of the best are:
Disability coverage can literally be a lifesaver, so don’t go without it. That said, tread carefully when shopping for coverage, and ask the right questions before signing on the dotted line.
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