Five things to consider regarding long-term disability benefits – Part 2

Last time we spoke about long-term disability benefits and began to talk about five things that Wisconsin workers should consider when thinking about their long-term disability benefits. During the previous post we talked about monthly caps and the idea of getting an individual policy when a company policy may not be enough. This time we will finish the discussion by examining the last three points.

The third point to consider is that your long-term disability coverage could suffer if your pay varies from year to year. About a decade ago, insurance companies got hit with higher claims than they expected to pay out and as a result underwriting has become stricter. Today, insurance companies review multiple years of tax returns before they assess how much coverage to offer. For example, if your salary was predominantly based on commission or bonuses and you have experienced a few bad years during the recession, then you may only qualify for an individual policy that pays a small percentage of a more recent year with higher income.

The details of a policy can water down coverage. Many individual policies contain provisions that will weaken your coverage and make it less valuable. For instance, some policies will only pay if you are unable to perform any work and not just the position you currently hold, and other types of policies only pay if you are full disabled and not partially disabled.


Alan Olson writes this web-log to provide helpful information regarding long-term disability cases. He practices long-term disability law throughout the United States from his offices in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Attorney Olson may be contacted at [email protected] with questions about the information posted here or for advice on specific disability benefit claims.

The fifth and final point to consider when thinking about long-term disability benefits is smart cost cutting. One way to reduce costs is to delay your payout. A delayed payout can reduce your premium, and it can be a good choice if you have a six-month emergency fund. According to an actuary, if you have a six-month emergency fund, then you can increase the elimination period from 90 days to 180 days and you can save around 10 percent.

Source:, “Five things to know about disability insurance,” Michelle Andrews, 6/2/11


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