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My Own Short-Term Disability Insurance

Self-Insurance As An Option

by Thomas Lloyd

The clear assumption made here is you’re looking to obtain your own short-term disability insurance. Many individuals look for this type of coverage when venturing out on their own or their respective employer does not offer it as a benefit. Moreover, many women inquire about it to cover their maternity leave following a healthy pregnancy.

physical therapist working on kneeWhat is short term disability coverage? It typically provides income protection up to 66 2/3 percent of a person’s salary for the first 90 or 180 days of disability or sickness. This is a taxable benefit. By contrast, long-term disability plans usually pick up the coverage going forward from 91 days to either age 65 or 67.

How can I get short term disability (STD) insurance coverage for myself? Sadly, there are few companies in the market which currently offer this type of product for an individual and even those plans are extremely expensive. Typically, the only way to obtain affordable STD coverage is to participate through an employer sponsored group plan. Individuals can, in some cases, take their coverage with them after they leave the group but must have it activated as an employee through that group plan before leaving.

By contrast, individual long term disability (LTD) policies are readily available for individuals and may be a payable benefit for a sickness or disability as soon as 31 days after the onset of the disability. The problem with such a selection is the cost of the insurance (premium) is extremely expensive. In some cases, it can double or triple the cost of the policy.

text quote - more importantly though is understanding how to protect yourself if you cannot obtain std insurance
Unless you can participate through a group plan, a general recommendation is to open a savings or money market account with enough funds to cover your first 90 days of a sickness or disability. Following that, the purchase of a long-term disability plan is crucial – to protect your standard of living beyond that period of time if you cannot return to work.

Providing you a safety net with individual disability insurance is an imperative portion of any financial plan. More importantly though is understanding how to protect yourself if you cannot obtain group STD insurance through an employer and implementing a plan to protect yourself – both in the short and long term.

Disability income products underwritten and issued by Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, Pittsfield, MA, a wholly owned stock subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY, or provided by Guardian. It is offered for the purpose of education and information only and is not intended to constitute tax or legal advice. For information on your specific situation, please consult your personal legal or tax advisor.

2015-2480 Exp. 2/2017

Published March 30, 2008 by Thomas Lloyd


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