Disability Insurance Awareness Month is here

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, which means it is a good time for Wisconsin residents to make sure that they understand their disability options. Disability insurance is an important lifeline for those who become disabled before retirement, and this happens much more frequently than most people realize. The Social Security Administration estimates that one-quarter of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled prior to retirement.

Wisconsin residents may have access to a group disability plan, an individual disability plan, a supplemental disability plan and/or Social Security disability insurance.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance: SSDI provides disability benefits to those who have worked long enough to pay enough Social Security taxes into the system. For those who have not met this threshold prior to becoming disabled, Supplemental Security Income provides benefits dependant on financial need.
  • Group Disability Plans: Group plans are typically offered through employers. While this coverage can be important, the plans generally do not offer full paycheck replacement and they may have a limit for the timeframe in which benefits will be paid.
  • Individual Disability Plans: Those who are not happy with their employer’s group plan, or whose employers do not offer disability insurance at all, may shop around for an individual plan. While these may include a lot more coverage options, they tend to be more expensive.
  • Supplemental Disability Plans: These plans are meant to fill in the gap if a person is worried that an employer plan or Social Security may not be sufficient.

It is important for Wisconsin residents to understand their disability policies, and before submitting a claim it is wise to obtain a complete copy of one’s policy. While disability insurance is a very important type of insurance coverage, unfortunately many long-term disability insurers do not always honor claims. Long-term disability claims are often wrongfully denied, and when this happens claimants should seek legal counsel.

In many cases, it is possible to fight the insurer in order to attain the benefits that one is rightfully entitled to–be it LTD benefits or SSDI. It is often helpful to have legal representation in order to successfully appeal a denial or termination of benefits.

Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Employees need to understand their insurance coverage,” Adrienne Packer, May 19, 2013

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