Hey Millennials: Who would pay your bills if you couldn’t?

5 reasons to check out disability insurance

Five important reasons to check out disability insurance


When you’re young and healthy, disability insurance can seem like something to check out down the road. After all, your paycheck already has to cover a long and growing list of bills. Plus, that’s something for older people—right?


As you’ve likely guessed from the headline, it’s not that simple. If you’re single, or a critical source of income for your family, here are five reasons why you should learn more now.

  1. Disability is more common than you think.

    Becoming seriously ill or injured can happen at any age. And being sick or injured enough to have to stop working—for anywhere from a few months to forever—just isn’t that unusual.


According to the Social Security Administration, more than one in four 20-year-olds will become disabled before hitting retirement age (67).[i] And the Council for Disability Awareness reports that illnesses, not accidents, are responsible for most disabilities.[ii]


One more item to throw into the mix: If you work in a field where injuries are common and could end your career, disability coverage could be even more important. Check out this list of the 25 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.


  1. You might not have the protection you think you have.

    Assume you’re covered by your employer or the government (through Social Security)? Both of those could be at least partially true—but they might not provide the coverage you think.


Let’s start with coverage through work


Maybe you think workers’ comp will protect you. But say you have to miss a couple months of work because of a snowboarding accident. Unless your job description includes snowboarding—and you suffered the injury at work—workers’ comp won’t kick in.


Your employer might provide some kind of disability protection, but short-term coverage is more common than long (42% of private industry employees have access to short-term vs. 34% for long-term).[iii]



  Short-term vs. long-term disability insurance


·      Short-term typically provides three to six months of coverage.


·      Long-term can be anywhere from a few years to the rest of your career.




If you’re lucky enough to have coverage through work, make sure you understand the following.


  • What percentage of your salary does your disability insurance cover? Somewhere between 40%-60% of your gross salary is common. Could you live on that?


  • How long is your waiting period? This is the amount of time until your disability insurance kicks in. Can you afford to wait it out?


  • How does your policy define “disability”? Some insurance will only kick in if you’re not able to do any job—not necessarily the job you were hired for. If you had to go through years of school, training or career building for your current position, it’s important to have an “own occupation” policy. This will cover you if you’re not able to do your current job (and probably isn’t the type of coverage you have at work).


And what about Social Security coverage?

There’s no guarantee of coverage. You’ll only qualify for this if you have a medical condition that will last at least a year or result in death.[iv] Plus, you’ll only be considered disabled if you can’t do any job, not necessarily the job you held at the time of the disability. Plus, you’ll have to wait at least five months before you can start receiving benefits.[v]  And, as this summary at Nolo.com captures, you could spend months navigating the system—and still end up with a no-go.


  1. Your family probably can’t afford to bail you out.

    Unless your parents/other family members are independently wealthy, they’d probably have a hard time covering your salary while you recuperated from an illness or injury. Sure, they might want to be there for you, but can they really afford to be? And do you want to put them in that position?


  1. Disability coverage might be less expensive than you think.

    You’ll need to investigate this for yourself, but the cost could be lower than you expect. Check out this calculator to get an idea


  1. Disability coverage helps put you in charge.

    This insurance could help protect you—and your family if you have one—and be one less thing to keep you up at night.


Sure, you can’t protect yourself from everything life might throw your way. But isn’t it worth understanding your risks and the type of protection that makes sense for you and the people you care about most?




Wondering what other kinds of coverage are a good fit for you now?


Investigate the benefits of Wage Protector® for yourself. Its just-right mix of disability, involuntary unemployment and salary gap protection could be just the coverage you need.



Wage Protector® and SALARYGAP® are registered trademarks. The use of trademarks without the express prior written consent by SALARYGAP Partners LLC is strictly prohibited.


[i] Social Security Administration. “Fact Sheet” Accessed 9-13-2019 https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/basicfact-alt.pdf
[ii] Council for Disability Awareness. 2018. “Disability Statistics” March 28, 2018. Accessed 9-13-2019 https://disabilitycanhappen.org/disability-statistic/
[iii] Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2018. “Employee access to disability insurance plans.” October 26, 2018 Accessed 9-11-19 https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/employee-access-to-disability-insurance-plans.htm
[iv] Social Security Administration “Disability Benefits” August 2018. Accessed 9-11-19 https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10029.pdf
[v] Social Security Administration. “When Your Benefits Start” Accessed 9-11-19 https://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/approval.html