What to Look for in a Long-Term Disability Insurance Policy

Having a long-term disability policy can provide you with income if you become disabled. When you are shopping for a long-term disability policy, there are several things that you will want to be aware of. Here are a few things to look for in a long-term disability insurance policy.

Payment Trigger Date

The first thing that you will want to look at is the payment trigger date of the policy. When you choose a policy, you are potentially going to have the choice of when payments would begin if you became disabled. This way, you will have some control over how long you have to wait to be paid when you become disabled.

Extent of Disability

When you are looking at long-term disability insurance policies, you will also want to pay special attention to the rules that talk about the extent of disability. You need to pay close attention to how your particular insurance company defines disability. Some insurance companies are going to pay out when you have a partial disability. Other companies are going to want to make sure that you are completely disabled before they will pay anything. There are different levels of disability and you want to make sure that you understand what level you have to be at before your insurance policy is going to pay.

Residual Benefits

Another aspect that you will want to look for is if the policy has residual benefits. Some long-term disability insurance policies will have residual benefits that help you make up the difference of your income if you are only able to work partially. For example, if you previously made $4000 a month and you are only able to make $3000 per month after becoming disabled, the residual benefits might pick up the other $1000 to make up the difference.

Presumptive Disability

Another feature that you will want to look for in a long-term disability policy is presumptive disability. This is a feature of the insurance policy that will pay you a certain amount of money if you lose your sight, hearing, speech, or limbs and you can still work. 

Inflation Rider

You might also look for an inflation rider with your policy. This is a feature that is going to increase the amount of benefits that you receive based on how much inflation has increased. This way, your buying power can keep up with inflation. With the way that inflation increases, your benefits could be worth very little if you became disabled many years after taking out your policy. Therefore, this is a very important coverage for you to add to your policy.


You also want to pay attention to how long the policy is going to cover you. Once you start receiving benefits, there may be a limit to how long you can keep receiving them. For example, they might continue paying your benefits for a certain number of years or until you reach a particular age. 


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