Long-Term disability often only pays out claims for 2 years or 5 years and then payments end. This is common with group policies.
For disability, it’s all about the definitions! If you are trained as a Chartered Accountant, incur a brain injury, yet can still do factory work then your “any occupation” disability policy may not pay you!
When did you become disabled? Some coverage only protects you during work hours. As well, some policies only protect you from injury and not illness.
Mary works as a tax lawyer. Sadly, Mary slips and falls at home and becomes disabled according to the definition of her group disability policy. Even though Mary is able to work at other types of work, Mary’s policy covers her for her “regular or own occupation” therefore her claim is approved. Mary’s policy has no waiting or elimination period and consequently Mary begins receiving benefit payments right away (Disability coverage often comes with a 30, 60, 90 day or greater waiting or elimination period). She receives a monthly benefit equal to 70% of her gross salary. Mary receives her benefit for a period of 720 days (roughly 2 years) or less if she recovers from her disability before the end of the 720-day period. Normally, at the end of 720 days Mary would find herself in a difficult situation with the end of disability benefits, but unable to go back to work. However in Mary’s case her advisor helped her to identify this gap and many years ago she purchased private disability coverage. Mary’s private policy kicks in after a 720 day waiting period, right after her group policy cuts out and it continues coverage until Mary gets better or up to age 65.One final aspect of Mary’s private coverage is that it has a yearly cost of living adjustment (COLA) feature built in that is indexed to the Canadian Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Think of it this way. Imagine that in your home you have a money machine. Each morning you take it out of the closet and press a button and it prints out enough money for the needs of your family. The machine works without any problems for years. Then all of a sudden the machine stops working and needs repair. To fix it might take months, years; in fact it may never work again! That machine is you! You can protect yourself and your family from such devastating circumstances with a comprehensive disability policy!