Have you ever been out of work, due to an injury or illness, for three or four days or maybe even a week? During this time, think back to how you felt. It probably wasn't fun. You most likely didn't have energy to do anything.
Depending on the type of job you have, you may have started to feel anxious about work piling up that you needed to complete. Chances are your income didn't suffer because you probably were able to use your sick time pay or other type of benefit.
Imagine an injury or illness prevents you from working six months or longer. Just like when you are out of work for a few days, you wouldn’t feel great, and unless you have money coming in to pay your bills, you may be worried or stressed.
Some employers have a short-term group disability insurance benefit and/or a group long-term disability (LTD) benefit to help supplement income for awhile. But when this runs out, you might have to tap into other resources, such as your savings to help make ends meet.
If you are self employed or part owner of a business, the responsibility of providing disability income insurance benefits rests entirely with you. As time passes, you worry whether you will still have a job to go back to because your employer can't indefinitely hold your job open.
If you lose your job, you'll no longer have income, insurance or any employer-provided disability insurance.
Throughout your disability, you might wonder:
- What is going to happen to my future?
- Where is my income going to come from?
- What is going to happen to my family?
- How long will my savings last?
Since it's usually only when we become sick or hurt and cannot work that we worry about how we are going to keep up with our basic expenses, it's important to imagine yourself with a long-term disability.
Taking this exercise seriously will help motivate you to evaluate whether you have enough disability income insurance in place, whether it is group LTD provided by your employer, individual disability income insurance or a combination of both, to help meet your expenses during a period when you cannot work due to an injury or illness.
Take a moment now to consider the following:
- Would you have the resources available to help cover your expenses from mortgage or rent, taxes, utilities and car maintenance bills to your health care, day care, insurance, food and clothing costs?
Disability insurance can help provide the means to meet your expenses if you ever encounter an unexpected disability.