Choose the Right Supplemental Disability Insurance

Edited by estrella sacragon, Anonymous, Robbi, Eng

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There's only one thing that's permanent in this world, and that is change! If you want to be assured, then choose the best insurance plan!

People who are financially conscious opt to diversify the way in which

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they make use of their income. They may invest their savings in business, the stock market, government bonds or insurance. Needless to say, these people are thinking about their future. It is not enough to grow their finances by either active or passive income. It is a must that they are financially covered should anything happen to them. Yes, that includes insuring against a disability.

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Disability insurance is the most underrated type of insurance. Some people even ignore it completely. What they do not know is that one out of three employees gets disabled at least once in their career life. The chances of being disabled at work are higher than dying at work.

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We insure our businesses, houses, cars, retirement, life and the like but sadly, the majority of us never think about insuring our capability to earn. This is where disability insurance comes in.

Sure, if you work as an employee and have tenure, you probably already assume that you are covered with whatever standard insurance your company has availed. Most of the time it is just retirement or death insurance but if the disability is covered then you are in pretty good hands. You still have to check at how much you are covered, as well as for how long.

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To help in the search, here are some tips in choosing the best supplemental disability insurance:

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Tips in Choosing the Right Supplemental Disability Insurance

  1. 1
    Specific Policy – "Own Occupation." This insurance will cover and protect you when the time comes that you cannot do your current job.
    If the option of "any occupation" has been ticked off, then if you are doing any other job aside from your current job, then you will not be protected by the disability insurance.
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  2. 2
    Duration.
    Do you have a Plan B? Get a policy that will cover you for disability until your retirement insurance kicks in, which is usually at the age of 65. The disability insurance will keep you secure during your active career days.
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  3. 3
    How long can your emergency funds last.
    When choosing supplemental disability insurance, you have to take into consideration your emergency fund. How long can you last (using your emergency fund) until the disability insurance starts? Get quotes for 90 days, 180 days or more. It will all depend on how long you will need it and how much you can afford.
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  4. 4
    Benefits.
    This is the most significant part. Decide how much benefit you want from a policy. Factor in the premiums that you need to pay as well as an estimate of how much you will be losing or paying should an actual disability come into the picture.
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  5. 5
    Guaranteed renewable.
    When you get a policy, make sure that the coverage is guaranteed renewable until its termination date as long as premium is paid on time. Normally the termination date would be until at the age of 65. The agent cannot change any feature of the policy except for the premium and terms of payment until termination date.
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  6. 6
    Occupation.
    What's your job? Job stability is a factor in choosing or getting the right disability insurance. For those in jobs whose actual pay is more difficult to verify – such as project-based works and freelance jobs, getting a disability insurance approved might take a while. Insurance companies need further information about the applicant before approving or granting an insurance policy.
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Dealing with insurance, and with so many options, can be difficult, confusing and frustrating. It is best to inquire with other insurance companies to check and review what they have to offer before signing on. And what is more important to is to find an insurance company that you can fully trust.

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Understanding the Run-Around of Disability Insurance

It can be  difficult for someone who has a disability to perform a lot of tasks, since their movement can be very limited. Among the most common questions when it comes to disability is how those people, who became disabled, are able to live well? 

Of course, the reality is that it is not easy for disabled people to work, because of their condition. Whether people like it or not, money plays a very significant role in the society nowadays. Without money, it would be difficult for one to surpass many challenges, even the basic ones.

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If only the people of today could go back to the barter time, whereby people could just exchange something in order to gain what they need. Because of this fact, many want to know how they could be eligible for insurance policies. When it comes to disabled persons, many of them are eager to know the run-around of Disability Insurance.

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The Disability Benefits

As mentioned nobody wants to have a disability, since it can hinder people from working, from providing the needs of their family, of themselves. However, based on the study, out of 10 there's a 3% chance that an individual, aged 20-years old, may become disabled, and that may happen before he/she reaches the age for full retirement. This is the primary reason why it is indeed crucial for everyone who is working to have pertinent knowledge about Disability Insurance.

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Who is Eligible for the Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security is considered as the one that is responsible for covering those individuals who can't work due to their disability or medical condition. Primarily, Social Security covers disabled persons whose condition may last for about 1 year, or whose disease has the probability to result to death. Nevertheless, the Federal Law is very particular when it comes to the definition of the term disability.

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There are many schemes that render financial support to those individuals who have short-term disability, as well as to those who have partial disability. However, Social Security doesn't do the same. However, as emphasized by Social Security, some family members of the Social Security insured disabled person could receive financial aid.

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How can an individual meet the requisites of Social Security for the Disability Benefits?

Same with other kinds of schemes, people have to meet some criteria before they could be legible for the Social Security Disability benefits.

2 Earnings Tests for Disability Insurance

  1. 1
    Recent Work Test.
    This type of test depends on the person's age (by the time the person has become disabled).
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  2. 2
    Duration of Work Test.
    This test determines whether or not an individual has worked for a long period of time, and that the working time would suffice the requirements of Social Security
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  3. 3
    Special test for the blind.
    However, when it comes to the blind individuals, they only have to meet the Duration of Work Test.
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The following shows the guidelines for how much an individual should work in order to meet the requisites for the Recent Work Test. Primarily the guidelines are based on the so-called Calendar Quarter, whereby the individual turned or will be turning to a particular age.

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The Calendar Quarters

1st Quarter: Runs from January 1 up to March 31 2nd Quarter: from 1st of April up to the 30th of June 3rd Quarter: Runs from July 1 up to the 20th of September 4th Quarter: from 1st of October up to 31st December

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Rules of Recent Work Test

If an Individual has become Disabled The applicant generally requires Prior to or in the quarter the person turns 24 Applicant requires 1.5 working years during the 3-period, finishing with the quarter the disability has started

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Within the quarter after the person has turned 24 however; prior to the quarter the applicant turns 31 Applicant requires to work during ½ the time for the span starting with the quarter he/she has been disabled. For instance: If the applicant has been disabled within the quarter the person has turned 27, then the person needs to have 3 working years out of the 6 year period, finishing with the quarter when the person has been disabled.

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Within the quarter, the individual turns 31 or beyond - Applicant then requires 5 working years out of the ten year span finishing with the quarter his/her disability has begun.

On the next table, the following aspects are some of the examples of how much a person requires in order to meet the so-called Duration of Work Test, if the person has been disabled at different selected ages.

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When it comes to the Duration of Work Test, the individual's work doesn't need to fall within a particular span of time.

If a person has been disabled before reaching the age of 28, the period of work should have been 1.5 years. 30 years old 2 work years 34 years old 3 work years 38 years old 4 work years 42 years old 5 work years 44 years old 5.5 work years 46 years old 6 work years 48 years old 6.5 work years 50 years old 7 work years 52 years old 7.5 work years 54 years old 8 work years 56 years old 8.5 work years 58 years old 9 work years 60 years old 9.5 work years

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How can an Individual Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Basically, there are actually 2 methods in order for people to apply for Disability Insurance. They could:

  1. 1
    Send their application online via the state website
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  2. 2
    Apply through calling the toll-free phone number.
    This is to book an appointment for filing a disability claim to Social Security, specifically at the local office. This is also must be done to book an appointment in an event that someone will be taking the claim.
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To set expectations, the interview regarding disability claims has the possibility to last for about an hour. However, in an event that the caller has difficulty in hearing or is totally deaf, then they should call Social Security's toll-free TTY phone number, specifically between the times 7am and 7pm, only during business days.

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If the caller aims to book for an appointment, the Social Security will be sending the so-called Disability Starter kit, which could help in preparing for the incoming interview about the disability claims. Nevertheless, it can also be checked at the website of Social Security.

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When is the Right Period to Apply for the Disability Benefits and What are the Requirements?

An individual who wants to sign up for the Disability Insurance, should forward the application as soon the disability started. To set expectations, the process could last for a long period of time, particularly for about 3 to 5 months. In order to accomplish the application for the Disability Insurance, the applicant needs to apply for the Adult Disability Report, as well as for the Social Security benefits.

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To report, applicants should go to the applicable state website. Applicants may as well print the Adult Disability Report, and then fill it up with all the required info, then return it to the local office of Social Security. Social Security could make the process quicker if the applicants are able to give the following information. As highly cognizable, in almost all government processes, as long as applicants are able to provide the necessary details, there's a possibility that the process could be expedited.

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Among the needed details are:

  1. 1
    The baptismal or birth certificate of the applicant.
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  2. 2
    The applicant's Social Security Number
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  3. 3
    The name, contact numbers, as well as the addresses of the healthcare practitioners, such as doctors and caseworkers, who took care of the applicant.
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  4. 4
    The dates of the applicant's visits to the healthcare practitioners.
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  5. 5
    Medical records that the applicant already has, which came from therapists, doctors, caseworkers, clinics, as well as hospitals.
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  6. 6
    Names as well as the dosages of all the medications that the applicant is taking in.
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  7. 7
    Record of the laboratory examinations that the applicant has undergone, as well as the test results.
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  8. 8
    The applicant also needs to provide a detailed summary regarding where the work took place, as well as the nature of the work.
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  9. 9
    The applicant also requires to have a copy of the most recent Wage and Tax Statement, or the so-called W-2 Form.
    In the case of those who are self-employed, they need to have the previous year's federal tax return.
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On top of the above mentioned application requisites for the Disability Insurance, the applicants may be asked to fill out other kinds of forms. There is a form that amasses information regarding their medical condition, as well as how the medical condition affects their capacity to work.

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There are forms that need to be filed by healthcare professionals who handled their case, like doctors and caseworkers, whereby the have to explain to Social Security the nature of the applicant's condition. The applicants should remember that they should not delay the application. After all, Social Security could help the applicants amass all the needed information.

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So who's going to decide whether the applicant is disabled or not?

Social Security will certainly evaluate the application in order to ensure that all or some of the basic requisites for the insurance are met. Social Security will certainly determine if the applicant has sufficient work years in order to be legible for the benefits. Also, Social Security will determine the applicant's any present work activities.

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If the applicant is able to meet all of the requisites, Social Security will then forward the application to the office of Disability Determination Services, in the state where the applicant lives. This particular state agency will then be the one to render the disability decision. For the record, the Disability Determination Services have their own healthcare specialists.

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Thus, their disability specialists and doctors will scrutinize the healthcare professionals, who handled the case of the applicant, to acquire more relevant information. Therefore, the disability specialists and the doctors from the office of Disability Determination Services will be utilizing all the medical evidences, which come from the doctors, clinics, hospitals or all the healthcare institutions where the applicant has received treatment. They will get other kinds of related information.

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The disability specialists and doctors from the Disability Determination Service will ask the applicant's doctors about:

  1. 1
    What is the applicant's medical condition
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  2. 2
    When did the applicant's medical condition started
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  3. 3
    How does the applicant's medical condition hedges his/her activities
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  4. 4
    What are the type of treatments the applicant is receiving
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These experts from the Disability Determination Service will as well gather info from the healthcare practitioners who attended the applicant, about the person's capacity to carry out work-related activities, for instance, lifting, sitting, remembering and carrying out instructions, and walking. Nevertheless, those who attended the applicant won't be asked about their opinion, whether the person is disabled or not.

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The experts from the state agency of Disability Determination Service may require more medical details before they can finally come up with a sound decision. In an event that more details can't be acquired from the present medical sources, state agency may then require the applicant to undergo a special examination.

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Social Security primarily prefers the examination to be done by the applicant's attending doctor, though it could as well be done by other doctors. The applicant doesn't have to worry about the cost of the special examinations, since it will be Social Security that will take care of the payment, as well as the related travel expenditures.

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How to Decide a Disability Case

Basically, Social Security makes use of a 5-stage process, in order to decide whether an applicant is disabled or not.

  1. 1
    Is the Applicant Working.
    If the applicant is currently working, and the average of the person's earnings is above a particular amount every month, Social Security certainly won't consider the applicant as disabled. The amount may change every year, thus, in order to ascertain the present figure, applicants must check the Update. In case the applicant is not working anymore, or the average for the monthly earnings is less than the required amount, the state agency will then compare it to the applicant's medical condition.
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  2. 2
    Is the applicant's condition chronic.
    In order for the state to decide whether the applicant is disabled or not, the medical condition of the person must significantly prove that it does hedges the capacity to accomplish even the most basic work tasks, like sitting, walking, as well as remembering instructions, for about a year. However, if the applicant's medical condition is not severe enough, then the state agency won't be considering the person as disabled. If the state agency found out that the person is indeed suffering from a chronic condition then they will proceed to step #3.
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  3. 3
    Is the applicant's condition part of the List of Impairments.
    The state agency of the Disability Determination Service uses a List of Impairments, which outlines the medical conditions that are deemed as severe, whereby they automatically decides that a person is indeed disabled, as quoted by the Federal Law. In an event that the medical condition or the medical conditions of the applicant is not part of the List of Impairments, the state agency will then have to see if the condition is as chronic as those that are on the list. If the applicant's medical condition is equivalent to or meets the severity of those that are on the List of Impairments, then they will consider the applicant as disabled. However, if the condition didn't meet the said criteria, then the agency will proceed to step #4.
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  4. 4
    Is the applicant still capable of working.
    At this particular time, the agency has to render a decision whether the applicant's medical condition is preventing the individual from doing the work same with before. If the medical condition does not hinder the applicant, then the agency will consider the individual as not disabled. However, if the applicant is considered as disabled, then the agency will push through step #5.
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  5. 5
    Is the applicant capable of doing other kinds of work.
    In an event that the agency found out that the applicant can't already do the kind of work as before, the agency will ascertain if the person could do other kinds of works. Thus, the state agency will have to evaluate the applicant's medical condition, the age, person's education, the skill which could be used in doing other types of works, as well as the past work experience. In case the applicant is deemed as incapable of doing other kinds of works, the agency will consider the individual as disabled; however, if they found out that the applicant is capable of doing other kinds of works, then the case won't be considered as a disability.
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Once the State Agency Has Made their Decision

Once the state agency has made a decision regarding the applicant's case, they will send a letter. If the state agency has approved the application, the letter will provide the amount of the applicant's benefit, as well as when the person will begin receiving payments. However, in an event that the application has been revoked, the explanation will be included in the letter, as well as provide instructions about how to make an appeal, in case the applicant doesn't agree with the decision.

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In case the applicant disagrees with the decision

In an event that the applicant disagree with the decision of the state agency to revoke the application for Disability benefits, the person can make an appeal, and Social Security will render the guidelines on how to do it. The revoked applicant definitely has the right to have an attorney and be represented.

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How the Applicant will be Contacted

In majority of cases Social Security will contact the applicant regarding the benefits via mail or they will call the person. However, there are instances whereby a representative from Social Security goes to the applicant's home. The representative will certainly render identification before informing the applicant about the benefits. Nevertheless, it's still best to call the office of the Social Security to ascertain if they have sent somebody to talk about the benefits.

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In an even that the applicant has difficulty in seeing or is totally blind: The individual has the option to choose the mode of receiving the Social Security notices, based on the methods approved by the department. Among the choices are:

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  1. 1
    Standard Print Notice- to receive via certified mail
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  2. 2
    Standard Print notice- to receive via first-class mail
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  3. 3
    Standard Print Notice- to receive via first class mail, and then there will be a follow-up phone call
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  4. 4
    Microsoft Word file that is on a data CD, as well as a Standard Print notice via first-class mail
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  5. 5
    Braille Notice, as well as a Standard Print Notice via first-class mail
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  6. 6
    Standard Print Notice along with Audio CD via first-class mail
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  7. 7
    Large Print notice, specifically 18 point size, as well as a Standard Print Notice via first-class mail
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If such disability claim has been allowed or approved by the Agency

Social Security will be forwarding a letter to the applicant stating that the application for such benefits has been approved and other relevant information.

Is it possible for the beneficiary's family to receive the benefits?

There are some family members who could qualify for the Disability benefits, based on the applicant's nature of work.

  1. 1
    Beneficiary's spouse, if the spouse is 62 years old or beyond
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  2. 2
    Beneficiary's spouse, no matter what the age is, if the spouse is taking care of the beneficiary's child, who is younger than 16 years old or if the child is disabled.
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  3. 3
    The unmarried child of the beneficiary and that includes adopted child.
    There are some cases whereby grandchild or the stepchild could be legible. However, the child must be younger than 18 years old or younger than 19 years old, if the child has disability which began prior to 22 years of age. Note: The disability of the child should as well meet the criteria used in determining the disability of adults.
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Recent edits by: Robbi, Anonymous, estrella sacragon

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