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Disability insurance: Benefits, how it works

Life insurance helps protect those you leave behind. But what if you are severely injured and unable to work? Insurance protection is available to help you.


Short-term disability insurance is designed to provide income replacement for individuals who are unable to work due to a temporary illness, injury or disability. There is usually a waiting period, known as the elimination period, before you can start receiving benefits. Short-term disability insurance typically provides a percentage of your pre-disability income, usually around 60-70 percent of your regular salary. Short-term disability benefits are meant to cover temporary disabilities, usually for a period of up to six months. To qualify, you must provide medical documentation from a qualified healthcare professional that certifies your disability and inability to work.


Long-term disability insurance is designed to provide income replacement to individuals who are unable to work for an extended period due to a disabling illness or injury. After a disability occurs, there is usually an elimination period during which no benefits are paid. This period can range from 30 to 180 days. Typically, the benefit amount is a percentage of the individual’s pre-disability income, such as 50-70 percent. Some policies may consider individuals disabled if they can’t perform the duties of their own occupation, while others may require the inability to perform any gainful occupation. Some policies provide benefits until the policyholder reaches retirement age, and others may have a limited benefit period, such as two to 10 years.


When shopping for disability insurance, consider the following:

  • Start by evaluating your financial situation, including your income, expenses and savings, to determine how much income you would need in the event of a disability.
  • Look for reputable companies with a strong track record of providing disability insurance. Consider their financial stability, customer reviews and ratings from independent agencies. This information can help you gauge the company’s reliability and trustworthiness. Ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions before deciding.
  • Remember, disability insurance is a long-term commitment, so take your time to thoroughly research and compare options.

By following these steps and seeking professional advice, you can find the disability insurance policy that best suits your needs and offers financial protection in the event of a disability.

Written by Angelyn Treutel Zeringue

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at, (228) 385-1177 or

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