BOSTON (CBS) - Life insurance protects your dependents if you should die. If you are unable to work it is disability insurance that will protect you and provide an income stream for you and your dependents.
Between the ages of 25 and 55, you're more than twice as likely to become disabled as die.
Who needs disability insurance? Who will support you if you can no longer work? Could you move in with family? Would you want to?
Single workers need disability insurance. Families with children and a single worker need disability insurance. If you are a dual income couple, you both need disability insurance.
Insurance companies will not normally insure a worker for more than 60% of their current income. They want you to have some incentive to return to work after an injury. If they guaranteed you 100% of your income you may not ever want to return to work.
To purchase disability insurance look to your employer first for that's where it will probably be the cheapest. Because of the inherent abuses in the system fewer employers are offering disability insurance and it is becoming more expensive. If nothing is available then you may need to seek outside resources.
The chances of you experiencing a disability that will last three months or longer before you reach age 65 is around 50%. So if you don't have disability insurance be sure you have an adequate emergency fund stashed away.
If you are allowed to accumulate sick days and have accumulated 60 days or more you are probably covered for a short-term disability. It is the long term disability that you need coverage for.
Social Security does provide disability benefits, but it is extremely difficult to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. You also may be eligible for workers compensation that is provided by your employer and pays a disability benefit if the disability is job related.
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