Fortunately for America, the unemployment rate has been gradually decreasing since 2009. This means more jobs are becoming available as the job market continues to grow. However, with the economy still on the rebound from the economic downturn even the middle class are finding it hard to make ends meet and it has become necessary to survive on more than one income. Families throughout the nation have struggled with finances at one time or another due to loss of income. When life takes an unexpected turn and you can no longer work, it can quickly interrupt a well maintained budget and even deplete an ample savings account.
Being out of work is not something we take into consideration too often so we rarely prepare for it. Some companies offer benefit packages to their employees that include paid time off, but depending on the size of the company they may not offer short or long-term leave. If you become pregnant, sustain injuries outside of work that require healing, or if you are suddenly diagnosed with an illness, your paid time off may not be sufficient for the time off necessary for your recovery. If you have used all of your paid time off and still need time to heal, you not only lose a paycheck but you could lose your job depending on your situation. As with many employers, benefits become available based on the length of your employment and may not be available immediately. If the company that you work for does not offer unpaid leave, or if you need longer than the typical 6 weeks offered, the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) allows up to 12 weeks unpaid leave. There are certain requirements to be eligible for FMLA benefits, for the employee and the employer. Some small businesses are exempt from this program due to the number of people they employ. You can contact Human Resources at your place of business to find out more, or see the eligibility guidelines which are available at the U.S Department of labor website.
Although there are federal programs available such as Social Security and parts of Social Security which include Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance, these programs are not immediate assistance. To become eligible for these programs as with the FMLA program, you must meet certain criteria. There are several factors considered when applying for Social Security Benefits and some cases take months or even years to be approved. If you are disabled for more than a year and unable to work, you can apply for these programs but you are still not guaranteed approval. The decision is ultimately based on whether or not the applicant is able to work or may become able to find other employment with the disability. It can be a very long process during which time you have little to no income. Unfortunately Minnesota is not one the few states in this country to offer short-term disability benefits that would grant the applicant a paid leave.
To ensure that you are not left without an income due to the inability to work, there are ways to prepare for the unexpected. Just as you would prepare for your future with life insurance, or protection for your possessions with homeowners insurance, Disability Insurance will protect your income. Disability insurance is also known as disability income insurance, or income protection, which entitles you to a portion of your monthly income if you become disabled and are unable to perform the duties of your job. Only about one-third of America’s working population currently has disability insurance. That means that more than 70 million people in the United States are at risk for financial hardships from missing work due to pregnancies, illness, and permanent disabilities. A Disability Insurance policy could replace most of your monthly income depending on what policy you choose. Since we rely heavily on our earned income for our expenses and daily life, there is no better feeling than knowing you will still be able to get by if you are temporarily unable to work.
Types of Disability Policies:
- Individual Policies are purchased by an individual whose employer does not provide benefits. Premiums vary depending on what level of insurance you choose. Policies that provide a larger monthly benefit will be higher. There are other factors to consider as well such as the length of time that benefits will be issued, the coverage based on type of illness, etc.,
- High-limit Policies are designed to keep monthly benefits above 65% of income. This coverage is issued in addition to group coverage. With high-limit disability insurance, benefits can be anywhere from an additional $2,000 to $100,000 per month.
When Considering the Level of Disability Insurance:
- Decide the amount of the monthly benefit you need
- Decide how long you want the benefits to continue
- Decide how soon you will need it to start
- Decide what supplemental benefits you will need
- Figure out what premium you can afford
- Will you need Short or Long-term disability benefits
Contact one of our insurance agents for more information and a free quote.