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What to Look for When Shopping for Short-term Disability Insurance

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Financial shocks come in many forms:  a crippling car repair, divorce, a surprising tax bill, legal proceedings and, of course, unexpected layoffs. However, one of the most unfortunate—and often overlooked—financial setbacks comes in the form of injury or illness that result in the loss of wages for weeks, months…or even longer.

While you might not think it, the risk of finding yourself out of work due to disability is real. The Social Security Administration estimates that one in four of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they reach age 67, and as reported by Consumer Reports, the National Information Institute predicts that 43% of 40-year-olds will find themselves “sidelined” for 90 days or more before age 65.

To protect yourself against the financial shock that accompanies these unexpected injuries or illnesses —there is short-term disability insurance.

How do you get short-term disability insurance?

For years, employers have remained central to whether or not, and to what extent, American workers will be covered should they find themselves unable to earn an income due to an illness or injury.

According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 39% of private-sector employers offer their workers short-term disability insurance. Perhaps not surprisingly, those in high-paid, full-time professional and management jobs were most likely to have some disability insurance policy, while workers in sales and service jobs fared much worse. More recently, an analysis by the Pew Charitable Trusts of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Compensation Survey reveals that not much has changed. Of the employers surveyed in 2017, still only 39% offered short-term disability insurance to their employees. If you are fortunate to be one of those whose employer does offer short-term disability, it isn’t always available at an affordable price.

The good news is workers have a new option. Short-term disability insurance offered by SafetyNet™ is an increasingly appealing option for many American employees. It’s affordable, customizable, and available by direct online purchase with no credit checks. Plus, SafetyNet does not require your employer’s involvement, offering a renewed sense of control and independence when it comes to financial security.

How do short-term disability insurance benefits work?

Some short-term disability policies pay out monthly installments after your claim is approved (subject to waiting periods) and stop or reduce those payouts earlier if you return to work. SafetyNet, on the other hand, pays your benefit all in one lump sum as soon as soon your claim is approved, often within days of a claim. If you need to apply for long-term government-run disability insurance, the lump sum can make all the difference as you make your way through frustratingly long application periods.

Coffee shop employee

What disabilities are covered by short-term disability insurance?

Every claim is different and handled on an individual basis, but SafetyNet’s policies may cover almost any condition that your doctor states will cause you to miss work for at least 30 days. Most short-term disability plans, including SafetyNet, will not cover pre-existing conditions (conditions that were apparent within a set amount of time before coverage was purchased). Make sure to look at each policy’s exclusions and benefits before purchasing to understand what is and is not covered.

How much does short-term disability insurance cost?

While other plans determine your premiums based on your income and/or occupation, with SafetyNet, you choose the amount you pay each month (your premium) from the options offered and, therefore, the amount you receive if your claim is approved (the benefit). With SafetyNet, you can get a plan for $10/month or less.  That means, for the cost of just one meal per month, you can buy yourself and your family some much-needed peace of mind.

Is private short-term disability insurance worth the hassle?

SafetyNet minimizes hassles altogether with transparent policies and an uncomplicated claims process that is designed to pay out within days. Other insurers may enforce certain restrictions (or charge you more) depending upon your gender, how old you are, what you do for a living and/or how much money you make. With SafetyNet, none of those factors determine your eligibility. You can apply within minutes online, and you don’t have to talk to an agent or have a medical exam.

In the end, the best short-term disability insurance should be affordable, simple, have clear coverage and exclusions and provide you with much-needed relief in a time of medical and financial stress.