Many people seem to think of disability insurance as accident protection. There is indeed an advantage to disability coverage, but it is far from the only thing.
If you could not work for weeks or months, would you be able to pay your bills? When back-to-back operations in January and February 2020 kept Isabel Restrepo out of work for an extended period, she took out disability income insurance that her employer gave up where her pay ended.
"I was completely out for a total of 11 weeks, none of which was planned," she says. “If I did not have coverage, I would not have been able to focus on my recovery. You never realize how important disability insurance is until you actually need it.
For many workers, if their employer does not provide cover, it is not a matter of applying for individual disability insurance. But even if it is provided, paid sick leave only lasts that long, and with over half of Americans living pay to pay, it can be a mistake. Think of it as income protection insurance: if you become ill or injured and cannot work, disability insurance replaces part of your paycheck to help you survive. That way, you can worry about getting better, rather than bills.
It's also easier on the budget than you might think, with monthly premiums starting at less than the cost of a couple of streaming subscriptions. (Seriously. See for yourself a 30-second disability insurance quote.)
In this article:
Types of Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance, such as Haven Disability, will help you meet immediate needs if a physician's condition prevents you from working. Depending on the options you choose, the elimination time can be as short as 14 days. This means that you would be entitled to disability benefits after missing only two weeks of work. You can also choose between short-term disability benefit periods of three months, six months or one year. With a one-year benefit period, you would receive disability benefits for up to 12 months for each approved claim.
The amount of income short-term disability benefits vary, but it is generally about 60% of your income. If you receive the coverage through work, any disability insurance benefits that you receive may be taxed. Disability benefits from individual insurance companies such as Haven Disability are paid with money after tax, so they will not be taxed further. A benefit of 60% means that you will receive 60% of your gross income.
Long-term disability insurance usually does not start until you have missed 90 days of work or more, and reimburses 40-60% of your income. But just as it sounds, long-term disability insurance can pay out a monthly benefit over a period of years, or even decades. The longer the benefit period, the more you can expect to pay.
If you are wondering what type of disability insurance you need, it does not have to be an either or proposal. Short-term and long-term disability insurance complement each other well, as long-term can take off where short-term ends. If having both is not an option, the right choice depends on your personal situation. If you do not have savings to get through a rainy month or two, short-termism may be a priority. However, if your emergency fund is large enough to last for several months, long-term planning may be the right option.
The most common disability insurance requirements
Many people seem to think of disability insurance as accident protection. There is indeed an advantage to disability coverage, but it is far from the only thing. The vast majority of injuries for both short- and long-term disability insurance come from medical conditions such as arthritis and cancer, rather than broken bones. The most common causes of injuries are also slightly different, according to the Council for Disability Awareness.
The most common short-term claims
- Pregnancy (25%)
- Musculoskeletal disorders affecting the back and spine, knees, hips, shoulders and other parts of the body (20%)
- Indigestion, such as hernia and gastritis (7.8%)
- Mental problems including depression and anxiety (7.7%)
- Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains in muscles and ligaments (7.5%)
Most common injuries in the long term with disability insurance
- Musculoskeletal disorders (29%)
- Cancer (15%)
- Pregnancy (9.4%)  Mental health issues including depression and anxiety (9.1%)
- Injuries such as fractures, sprains and strains in muscles and ligaments (9%)
What conditions are covered by disability insurance?
If you are wondering how to qualify for disability coverage, it depends on the specific disability policy you choose, so we can not provide an answer that suits everyone. However, we can say with certainty what Haven Disability covers. As this is an important section, we must use the language of the contract. That means there will be some legales. It can not be avoided, but we will keep it short.
You will be entitled to Haven disability if you suffer from a total disability. This means …
- You have a condition caused by illness or injury that prevents you from performing the important tasks, functions and operations normally required for your profession that cannot reasonably be omitted or modified
- You are under the doctor's care
- The disability begins while the policy is in force
- We believe that your profession is your regular profession or company at the beginning of a disability for which you receive or can receive compensation.  If you are curious, disease includes infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and other viruses. When it comes to disability insurance, Haven Disability cannot help with lost income due to company closures, but if a COVID diagnosis keeps you unemployed after your elimination period, you are covered.
What is not covered Do you have a disability?
Not all injuries or illnesses that cause you to lose your job will be eligible for coverage. Some of the conditions that are not normally covered include normal pregnancy (but pregnancy complications are), self-inflicted injuries, addiction and most elective cosmetic surgeries.
The exact list of excluded conditions may vary depending on your location. If you want details for your condition and your situation, our Customer Success team can give you the details. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 1 (855) 950-1395 weekdays from 8:30 to 16:30 Eastern. No hard sales, just helpful answers. Pinky promise.
Does the invalidity insurance already cover existing conditions?
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you can still purchase Haven Disability in most cases, but disabilities caused by that condition may not be covered. Or at least not directly. When you apply, we will ask about your history with certain medical conditions.
A disability caused by a permit we ask about during the application is not covered if it starts before the policy has been in force for 24 months. A disability caused by an existing condition that we do not ask about in the application is not covered until the policy has been in force for 12 months. After these periods have elapsed, disabilities caused by pre-existing conditions are excluded.
How are already existing states defined?
Since this is another important term, we must use the contract language again. An already existing condition is one for which (regardless of whether it is revealed in the application or not) …
- There were symptoms that would reasonably cause a normally cautious person to seek diagnosis, care or treatment within the year before the date of the police issuance, or
- Medical advice, diagnostic testing or treatment was recommended or received by a physician within two years prior to the date of issue of the policy, or
- A qualified healthcare professional prescribed medication or medication within two years prior to the date of issue of the policy.
How much does the disability insurance cost?
If you are wondering how much the disability insurance costs, the examples below will give you an idea of the premiums for a few different ages and professions. They are all based on healthy, non-smoking adults. See important information about policy restrictions and exceptions.
30-year-old male, lawyer
Healthy non-smoker, MA
3 months benefit period
(elimination period of 14 days)
$ 5.44 $ 10.32 $ 17.65 6 month benefit period
(elimination period of 14 days)
$ 6.69 $ 14.08 $ 25.17 12 month benefit period
( 30 day elimination) period)
$ 7.48 $ 16.44 $ 39.87
35 year old female graphic designer
Healthy Non Smoker, NJ
3 month benefit period
(elimination period of 14 days))
$ 8.71 $ 20.12 $ 37.23 6 month benefit period
(elimination period of 14 days)  $ 11.32
$ 27.95 $ 52.89 12 months benefit period
(Elimination period of 30 days)
$ 13.53 $ 34.52  $ 66.15
40-year-old man, cook
Healthy non-smoker, IL
3 months th Fri Monthly period
(elimination period of 14 days)
$ 8.02 $ 18.07 $ 33.13 6 month benefit period
(elimination period of 14 days)
$ 10.58 $ 25.73  $ 48.46 12 month benefit period
(30 day elimination period)
$ 12.26 $ 30.78 $ 58 , 56
Want to know how much coverage will cost you? Good news. It only takes 30 seconds to get an estimate of the disability insurance. Only 7 questions and no contact information needed.
Our editorial policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance company that is 100% supported and owned by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigation decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly easy.
Our Editorial Policy
Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance company backed and 100% owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe that navigation decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall well-being can be refreshingly easy.
Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not support the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less difficult if they suit your situation.
Haven Life is not authorized to provide tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide and should not be relied upon for tax, legal or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult their own taxes or attorneys.
Haven Term is a life insurance policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in some states, including NC) issued by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and is offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a simplified life insurance policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Companies, Enfield, CT 06082. Numbers and functions for insurance forms and riders may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our agency's license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.
MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best companies like A ++ (Superior; Top Category 15). The rating is from Aril 1, 2020 and may change. MassMutual has received various ratings from other rating agencies.
Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name of the Plus Rider, which is part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits free of charge or at a discount. The rider is not available in all states and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made available under Plus Rider, provided by third party providers (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, visit: https://havenlife.com/plus.htmlphia] Good fast service
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