Long-Term Disability Insurance
If you have been injured, or have become disabled and are unable to work, it may be difficult to pay your bills. While no one likes to think about disabling accidents and illnesses, they can happen to anyone. And, as a dentist, an injury or sickness could leave you unable to practice – and without an income – for weeks, months or even longer.
Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance is designed for these situations. It provides benefits for individuals who are hurt outside of work. Under the plan, individuals who are unable to work for extended periods of time are offered a set percentage of their wages for a previously declared length of time.
Generally, you can choose a monthly benefit amount that replaces up to 60% of your pre-disability monthly earnings. This 60% limitation is an insurance regulation to prevent people from profiting from receiving disability insurance benefits.
Disability benefits are payable after a "waiting" or "elimination" period that starts after your covered disability is incurred. Common waiting period options are 60, 90 and 180 days. The shorter the waiting period, the sooner benefits are payable. Keep in mind, the shorter the waiting period, the higher the premiums. Before you decide on a waiting period, determine how long you can pay your bills and living expenses without a steady income.
Disability insurance plans vary. In addition to the monthly benefits payable, common features may include partial disability benefits, rehabilitation services, a waiver of premium benefit and survivor income benefit.
Disability insurance is important protection that all working dentists should consider. If you are hired as an associate in a dental practice, it may be provided by your employer.