Short Term & Long Term Disability

May 8, 2013

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Most people insure their material possessions—their homes and cars, for example. But many of these same people don’t insure what is probably their most valuable asset — their ability to work and earn income. Disability insurance is designed to replace your income should you become unable to work at your current job. Disability insurance is important because it can ease the financial burden on a household when someone has a serious illness or injury. There are two basic kinds of disability insurance:

Short-term disability insurance covers a percentage of your lost salary should injury or illness knocks you out of work for more than a few days. Payments generally kick in when you have exhausted any available sick leave. Duration of benefits varies by policy, but six months is typical.

Long-term disability insurance is a more typical insurance product in that it protects you from catastrophic illness or injury, including tragic twists of fate that permanently end your ability to earn a paycheck.  These policies usually pick up where short-term disability policies leave off. Some last only five or 10 years, but you want one that covers you until age 65.

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