I have STD and LTD through my employer. I'm receiving LTD benefits and have applied for SSDI.
Our financial planner nearly forced us to buy individual disability policies for my husband and myself 9 years ago. I worked in the insurance industry and didn't think we'd ever use it and thought my employer benefits would be enough. But then what if something happened at an employer who had no benefits or I was between jobs? I didn't realize I qualified for benefits at 6 months (thought it was after a year out of work) so I put in my claim this summer and it took them 3 months to make a decision - I was APPROVED and just got the check for a year's worth of benefits. This can't be deducted/offset from my LTD as premiums were paid solely by me and isn't employer sponsored in any way. So I got a huge check this week which got us out of most of our credit card debt as of this week.
The main reason I post this is that many of us are already disabled. But talk to your friends and family and tell them the struggle of disability income. Many think that SS will pay them what they were making, SS is automatic, every employer offers LTD, or no need to enroll for the higher benefit when offered that at work, etc. IF they are healthy they should apply for an individual disability plan (any individual insurance agent can help guide you). My individual disability policy premium was $500/yr and my benefit is now $700/mo. It won't make us rich but will help us meet our needs.
If we can all pass it on, if ONE person in your life takes it to heart maybe they'll breathe a sigh of relief if they become unable to work.
What a great idea for a thread! You have helped so very many people out on this board, and for that I thank you. I agree that we all should freely share our stories with those around us who are as blind as we once were, and we need to be reminded regularly to do this.
I'm 43, never had any serious medical issues, and I just had my hearing this past week and my attorney said I clearly won (woo hooooo!). I've had 5 spine surgeries over the past 2 years, and it's been over 2.5 years since my back problems began. I was one of the very fortunate ones to have LTD through my employer, but in reality I never had given it much thought. I remember thinking I would never need it, but it was nice I had it. Even when I was facing my first surgery I remember thinking I would have the surgery and be back to work in no time, but my symptoms got worse instead of better. After 2 surgeries and being approved for LTD, I remember scoffing when my LTD company forced me to file for SSDI as I was going to get better and go back to work - I still hadn't woke up to realize that I may actually need to get SSDI.
I also thought that in the event I ever had a health problem financially I would be taken care of. Wrong!!! I didn't factor in that even though I have health insurance through my husband my out of pocket has been around $5,000 each year since my problems began. Also, I make less money on the LTD compared to what I was previously earning. The stress involved in facing a major medical condition is bad enough, but then you add financial problems and worries in, and then you find out that SSDI is actually really hard to get. Yikes!
Our health is not guaranteed, nor is it a right of ours. Good health is a gift, and we can help those who still have it realize how precious their gift really is. Only by hearing stories like ours will people start to understand how very important it is to prepare their lives for the "what if's" life throws our way.
I heard not that long ago that approximately 30% of all Americans will find themselves in a long-term disability situation (not able to work for at least 6 months) before the age of 65. Wow!!!! If that doesn't wake people up I don't know what will.
Please share your stories freely with the people whose lives you are able to touch so you can possibly prevent a financial tragedy for them.
SpineAZ, congratulations on getting your disability check and being able to breathe a lot easier financially!
People may think % is high in your statistics, but we have to remember it includes those disabled permanently and those who may have a non-permanent condition but one that keeps them from being able to work for 2-4-12-24 months, etc. People are more likely to be disabled (for a limited period or permanently) during their working life than to die during their working life. Life insurance is vital and most people with a spouse and kids need more of that than they have. But they also have to think about disability insurance.
I have a friend who is buying her son and daughter in law disability coverage after all she's gone through. She had them apply and she'll pay the premium annually. She also thinks of it as cheaper than having to support their family should something happen. I guided my nephew and his wife to think about that early in life. But they still feel invincible.
SpineAZ do you have cerebral palsey? I'm just wondering because I saw a post you wrote. I'm interested because i do. And while I have cp I found a DR. that was so kind and sent me to many places to get the proper help. but I am having other problems and I am having to get mri/mra of head, brain,neck thoric spine, I'm just wondering if you do have c/p do you have it in addition to your other problems?