Like many people, it’s probably hard for you to imagine being so disabled from an injury or illness that you could no longer work and earn a paycheck. However, it happens more often than you might think. According to disabilitycanhappen.org:
- One in four of today's 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching age 67.
- Only 33 percent of private sector employees have access to long-term disability benefits through their employer, and 40 percent have access to short-term disability benefits.
- Over two million people a year apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and over 700,000 are approved.
- The most common causes of long-term disability claims are back problems, other joint and soft tissue pain, cancer, heart disease and mental health.
To help bring attention to the need for disability insurance, May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month. Created and organized by the nonprofit Life Happens and supported by the Council for Disability Awareness, it’s an annual campaign to help educate the public about the very real risks of disability and the importance of income protection planning.
Are you financially prepared for a disability?
Unfortunately, many of us aren’t – and if you’re among the unprepared, you’re rolling the dice. Just think about it – your earning power is your biggest asset, and if you can’t work, you have no income. That means you quickly start burning through your savings, the money you put away for a vacation or a child’s education, and maybe even your retirement nest egg. And in the process, you end up jeopardizing the financial security of those who depend on you.
The truth is, most Americans would have a hard time keeping up their current lifestyle for even six months without a paycheck. And according to a recent Bankrate survey, only 37 percent of Americans say they could cover an unexpected $500 car repair bill or $1,000 emergency room bill out of their checking accounts. The other 63 percent would have to go into debt or cut out other expenses to afford those unexpected surprises.
But paycheck protection isn’t just a personal issue – it’s also a business issue.
If you’re a business owner, what would happen if you or another key employee became disabled and were unable to work? How would it affect your daily operations, your sales, your customer service, your company’s reputation and your bottom line? Just as it’s vital to protect your own personal earning power with individual disability insurance, it’s vital to protect the earning power of your key employees – including yourself.
Don’t forget about your other employees.
Even though you may have a few key people that are vital to your operations and business continuity, don’t forget about the rest of your team. It’s a good idea to include disability insurance as part of your voluntary benefits package, even if you already offering some disability coverage as part of your standard benefits package. As this infographic explains, disability insurance is a good benefit to both you and your employees.
Protect your most vital asset.
You don’t think twice about insuring your home, car and other possessions. So why wouldn’t you protect the one thing that pays for all those things – your paycheck? That’s what disability insurance is all about – it’s insurance for your paycheck.
To find out just how easy and affordable it is to protect your paycheck, contact the experts at Higginbotham Insurance.