Long-Term Disability: What It Covers, Why You Need It
LTD, or long-term disability, is an insurance policy that provides something not covered by any of your other current policies. It provides you with the means to continue paying your bills and living your life without major changes in the event that you are seriously injured or become ill. A long-term disability policy differs from the short-term disability you probably have as part of your work benefits. It provides a much wider and longer scope of coverage.
How Long Is Long-Term?
Long-term disability insurance is designed to support you beyond the length of time that it takes to recover from a minor or moderate injury or to get over a short-lived illness. A serious illness that requires long-term treatment and care, or a major injury that leaves you facing a long rehabilitation process, are far beyond the coverage any short-term disability policy provides. When that coverage runs out, you will be left holding the bag.
Long-term disability provides coverage beyond a few weeks' time. Depending on the policy, it can provide for an extended period of coverage lasting for as long as you need to recover fully and return to work. It is designed for those cases when you really do not know how long the recovery period will be. While you might be able to get by on your savings if you don't have short-term disability coverage, a long-term illness or injury is very likely to outlast your savings. That is where your insurance policy comes in.
Who needs LTD?
You are young, you are healthy, and you are cautious, so what are the odds of something happening to disable you for a long time? It is a common belief that youth and good health protect you from the sort of thing that can result in an extended absence from work. Unfortunately, it's a mistaken belief. Anyone of any age can be involved in an accident that renders them seriously injured and unable to work. And many serious illnesses do not discriminate by age.
The simple answer to the question of who needs to carry LTD is everyone. Everyone who would not be able to get by without their income, which in this day and age is pretty much all of us. Long-term disability insurance protects you from the loss of your livelihood due to an unexpected injury or illness, and unexpected is the bottom line. No one expects to need LTD, but if and when you do need it, you will be glad you chose to take out that policy.