Your health and ability to work may be your most important asset. Most people buy their house and their car using financing: mortgages and/or car loans and leases. They plan to pay for these necessities over time – from future income. You insure your house, your life, and your car, wouldn’t it make sense to insure the asset that makes it all happen – your paycheck?
Short-term disability provides important income protection should you have an accident, or develop an illness and were unable to work. Statistics show that you are much more likely to be injured in an accident than to die from one. Advances in medicine are allowing us to live longer. However, recovery from a serious illness often requires time away from work. Short-term disability can replace up to 70% of your income should you become disabled. Benefits can begin as quickly as within seven days for an illness, and with no waiting period for an accident. Benefits can last as long as two years.
Create Maternity Leave Income
Workingwomen who are planning a pregnancy have an extra incentive to buy this valuable coverage: they are planning to use the benefit, and will likely generate maternity leave income that far surpasses the premium cost. Short-term disability pays a six-week benefit for a vaginal delivery, and an eight-week benefit for a c-section delivery, less the elimination period. Benefits may be extended if delivery complications require an extended time away from work.
Apply preconception to lock in your short-term disability benefit for maternity leave, with at least a three-month buffer in case of premature birth. Most short-term disability policies contain an exclusion for normal delivery within the first nine months of the policy effective date. By applying several months before conception, your delivery will likely fall outside the exclusion period, even if your pregnancy does not go full term.
Coverage for High Risk Pregnancies
Each year almost 25% of expectant mothers will have one or more complications of pregnancy. Many women will need to leave work weeks or months in advance of their due date. Others may miss work when they suffer a miscarriage. Short-term disability plans provide income protection for these circumstances, which becomes especially important for high-risk pregnancies.
Ask your Employer
Short-term disability with pregnancy and maternity leave benefits are only available through your employer. Your opportunity for a positive return on your maternity leave income is a loss for the insurance carrier. Insurers are willing to absorb losses on pregnancy and maternity leave policies, provided they have the opportunity to market other policies to your co-workers.
It’s easy to get your employer on board, even if they don’t offer such a program now. There is no direct cost to your employer, as you pay the premium. Your employer simply needs to deduct the premium from your paycheck, and forward the money to the insurance carrier once a month. The policies are portable. If you separate from your employer, you can keep the policy at the same rate. You own the policy.
Contact a local agent specializing in voluntary employee benefit programs. The agent can speak to your employer, and provide you the opportunity to pay for this coverage through payroll deduction.