The Most Common Misconceptions About Basic Coverage
"I Can Rely On My Savings Until I Get Back to Work"
Most people overestimate the resources they have to cover their expenses if a disabling illness or injury kept them from earning a paycheck. Often, disabling injuries can last for months—or even years.
"Why Do I Need Disability Coverage? My Job Isn't Dangerous"
You may feel your job isn't dangerous, but accidents and illnesses are often unavoidable. While it's true that people in professions like farming, law enforcement, and construction face greater risks, the odds of suffering a long-term disability are high for all workers. Disability insurance not only covers physical injuries, it covers illnesses—something that can occur regardless of your profession.
"The Government Provides Assistance When People Get Disabled"
According to the National Safety Council, 90 percent of long-term disabilities are the result of an injury or illness that is not work-related, therefore, not qualifying for state-based workers' compensation programs. If you were hoping for Social Security disability benefits, know that about 65 percent of those who apply are initially denied, and those who are approved receive an average monthly benefit of just $1,065—an income barely above the poverty line. Government programs are a good back-up plan, but they shouldn't be your main line of defense.
"I Have Disability Insurance at Work"
Disability insurance through work is a great benefit, but you need to find out exactly what coverage you have. According to the Social Security Administration, 69 percent of workers in the private sector don't have long-term disability insurance, and short-term or partial coverage wouldn't be enough to allow you to meet your current and future financial obligations if you were unable to work for an extended period of time.