It’s devastating when (because of an accident, injury or illness) an employee loses his or her capacity to earn a living. Not only does it affect one’s livelihood, but it also places a person in the unfortunate condition of dependency. When before you would wake up in the morning for work in order to put food on the table, now you’ll have to sit at home and wait for the food to be brought to you. Disability can leave you bed- or home-ridden and unable to live without a degree of assistance. Such a lifestyle change can be difficult without financial backing.
Basically, long-term disability insurance (LTD) is an insurance policy that shields an employee from loss of income in the case where he or she cannot work for a long period of time because of an illness or injury. It is a safety net that is meant to protect employees from the uncertainties of everyday life. Despite popular belief, long-term disability insurance does not cover occupational accidents and injuries, as that is the province of workers compensation insurance. And whilst some people argue that it’s not as important as life insurance, the fact remains, for every employee, there’s a one in five probability of becoming disabled.
Originally offered by employers seeking to advance comprehensive employment benefits to long-serving employees, disability insurance has been greatly transformed by insurance companies that are now offering disability insurance as a standalone package. Taking on various forms, insurance of this kind is therefore additional in nature, covering other employment uncertainties such as unemployment insurance. However, here’s the thing about getting additional individual insurance: It’s expensive. So unless your employer doesn’t have disability insurance as an employment benefit, it’s not worth having additional insurance as long as that offered by your employer is still decent.
It All Differs
At the same time, your disability may be of such a serious nature that employment benefits may not be sufficient to help you meet your daily physical and financial needs. Judging by the nature of your job and the associated daily risks, you should know first hand whether you might need it at some point. In such a case, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have additional disability insurance.
And if your claim gets denied, an experienced disability lawyer in Los Angeles can help you appeal the denial.
How Different Is Long-Term from Short-term Disability Insurance
It’s really about the duration of the disability rather than anything else. Whilst long-term disability insurance covers the insured for the rest of his or her productive years (i.e., had the person been actively working), short-term disability insurance applies to temporary disability. In the latter case, employees are still paid a portion of their salary, albeit for a short period of time, which is usually five years at most.
Overall, LTD is of great help. Considering that you’re being insured for injuries and illnesses unrelated to the work environment and still being paid a portion of your salary, how can you complain? For employees who have it as an employment benefit, you can safely say it’s definitely helpful. And if that’s insufficient, there’s the option of getting additional coverage from a regular insurer.