This week I am going to blog about something a little bit different and for a lot of people probably one of their least favorite topics, insurance. Now you may ask what does insurance have to do with my job as an Employment Specialist for people with disabilities, but when I was looking online this morning I discovered that May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month.
While it is true that I help people find work, I also help my participants once they are employed for the first 90 days. I have also been asked to help participants understand their employee benefits One of them that has come up a lot is disability insurance. This is not something that all employers offer their employees, but it is something important for everyone to think about and be aware of. Earning a living is many people’s motivation for working.
If that paycheck was taken away due to an unexpected illness or injury that prevented someone from working, it could cause a lot of hardship. That is where disability insurance comes in; think of it as ensuring your paycheck. It ensures that if you are unable to work, you will continue to receive an adjusted income.
Attaining disability insurance is not always a high priority for many workers, or even something that they think about when accepting a job. Many people assume that they are either covered through Social Security, state-mandated Workers’ Compensation or employer-provided group plans, or that nothing will ever happen so why worry about it.
This is not to say that everyone needs to plan for the worse. Be aware that life does happen and know what your benefits are and what is available to you.
Statistically, approximately 45% of people who apply for disability via Social Security are denied. For the people who are approved, they get an average benefit of $1,063 a month, which does not replace many employees’ income. Also keep in mind that worker’s compensation covers only work-related disabilities. According to the National Safety Council, 73 % of disabling events or illnesses are not work related.
So, what does all of this mean? Explore your options when you start to consider insurance and make sure that disability is included. If your employer offers disability cover, make sure to learn what that entails. Take this month as the opportunity to do your research and make sure you are aware of your benefits and what is available.