Although disability insurance can be considered as only needed for occupations with high physical risks, such as construction, there are several reasons that employees in any occupation could need the additional security of disability insurance. Here are just a few:
- Disability insurance can help if you are unable to work for a variety of reasons.
The benefit employees receive from disability insurance replaces a portion of their income if they are unable to work due to an illness, injury or giving birth. Having disability insurance can give employees the peace of mind they need to help them recover, so they can get back to work.
- Illnesses such as COVID-19 or the flu can last longer than expected.
No matter how common, illnesses can keep employees out of work for days or even weeks. Recent COVID-19 research by Harvard Medical School shows that employees with mild cases of COVID-19 are out for one to two weeks, but the average is about two to three weeks, with severe cases out for six weeks or more.1
- There may not be another breadwinner in the family.
Disability insurance is a financial security benefit and can be especially important for households in which one person is the major or only breadwinner. Replacement income from disability insurance payments can help prevent financial hardships.
- Social Security payments may not be enough.
If the injury or illness is serious and lasts longer than a few months, employees may be able to receive disability benefits through Social Security. However, those benefits only begin once someone has been disabled for 6 full months, can take a long time to be approved – as long as a year – and may not meet all of the employee’s needs.
- Receiving a portion of income can help with day-to-day costs.
Most disability plans will cover a specific percentage of an employee’s salary – typically 60%. While employees are recovering it is helpful to get even a portion of income to help with living expenses.
- It can be less expensive than expected.
If it’s an employer-paid plan, the cost is typically between $15 and $20 per employee per month for Short-Term Disability or Long-Term Disability. These plans can also be offered on a voluntary basis, where costs can be between $25 - $30 per month.
Learn more about Equitable's suite of insurance products.