Whether you've been working for years or you're just now entering the workforce, disability is a risk that must be addressed. You may not take the risk of an accident or illness seriously enough to worry about being disabled, but if that's the case then you're falling victim to one of many myths Americans believe about the condition. If you want to protect your future self from financial and emotional hardship, you have to get to the root of these myths and uncover the truth.
Myth 1: Disability Is Too Rare To Happen To You
Roughly 3 in 10 Americans who start working today will suffer from a permanent or temporary disability before they retire. However, 9 out of 10 Americans greatly underestimate their own risk for a disability, meaning that many workers today are not nearly as prepared for a potential disability as they should be.
Even those who accept the risk of getting hurt still don't know the full risk: most people think their disability will last 3 months or less, but the workers in the US are disabled for 2.5 years on average. In fact, 20% of workers can expect to be disabled at some point for at least one year, which for many could mean permanently losing their jobs or even their homes if alternate income is not available.
Myth 2: Workers' Compensation Will Definitely Pay For Your Disability
Members of today's workforce often feel reassured that the cost of work-related accidents will be covered by their employer's worker's compensation insurance. However, small businesses are less likely to carry such insurance and may also misunderstand whether or not their employees are covered. If an uninsured worker is injured, getting compensation for the medical bills is far more difficult and may even be impossible.
Worker's compensation also won't help you make ends meet if your injury took place outside of the workplace. Instead, you'll suffer the double blow of losing your job and having to cover the bills on your own. You may think workplace accidents are more likely, so the risk of a disabling injury elsewhere is low, but you'd be wrong. Over 90% of such accidents happen in a setting that is entirely unrelated to work, which means worker's compensation insurance will not apply.
Myth 3: Government Benefits Are Enough To Support Disabled People
Social security disability payments can be as low as $721 per month in the US, unless you live in a state that also pays benefits to disabled people. If you're in a couple with another disabled person, your individual benefit can be even lower: disabled couples qualify for only $1,082 in monthly benefits together. Unless you lived an extremely frugal life before your accident, you'll need additional coverage in order to keep your home and your good quality of life.
Don't fall victim to these common disability myths. Get informed today and learn what steps you can take to protect yourself from the risk, like buying additional disability insurance (consult with professionals, such as those from Reinard Insurance Agency Inc). With careful planning, you may be able to weather the storm of a disability, no matter how severe it turns out to be.
Insurance is something that I carry in the hopes that it never has to be used. Along with life coverage, I also have low cost auto insurance and a health plan through my employer. I'm toying with the idea of adding some additional coverage, just in case something happens and I'm no longer around to take care of my family. The question that is on my mind is how much insurance is enough? Do I really need more, or would it be better to cultivate other assets that my loved ones can draw on if needed? If you are in the same boat, let's journey together for a while. Read on and I'll explain what I'm trying and why. Together, we can figure out when it is time to add more coverage and when enough really is enough.