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How Much Is Disability Insurance

How Long Does Short

How much disability insurance coverage do I need?

While benefit periods may vary across different providers, most short-term disability policies provide benefits for three to six months. Some policies, especially those connected with a long-term disability policy, may provide short-term coverage for a full year. If an employee needs additional coverage beyond the initial short-term disability period, a long-term disability policy may be needed to extend the benefits.

What Type Of Disability Insurance Should You Buy

Disability insurance coverage should replace about 60% of your monthly pre-tax income if you are unable to work due to an illness or injury. When youre shopping for disability coverage, you have three primary choices: long-term, short-term, and Social Security disability insurance.

Long-term disability insurance is the best option for most people.

Long-term disability is easier to qualify for than Social Security disability insurance, and short-term disability insurance only offers coverage for up to a year. A long-term policy the most comprehensive and cost-effective form of income protection you can buy to keep your financial goals on track.

However, each type of disability insurance can complement each other for instance, a short-term policy can pay benefits during the waiting period before your long-term policy coverage kicks in.

Cost Of Disability Insurance By Location

Did you know certain geographic locations have higher disability rates than others?

The claims history of some states may determine the risk its residents pose to insurance companies. Therefore, residents of certain states like California that have more disability insurance claims will pay higher rates than less populated states like Wyoming.

For example, a 50-year female technical worker making $100,000 will pay $162 a month for a $5,000 monthly benefit that lasts five years in many parts of the country.

However, in Los Angeles, California, that same applicant would pay $199 a month, about 23 percent more.

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What Are The Most Common Disabilities For Di Recipients

Many beneficiaries have multiple conditions. Of the nearly 9 million individuals receiving disabled worker benefits at the end of 2014, 31 percent had mental impairments as the main disabling condition, or primary diagnosis. Musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis, back injuries and other disorders of the skeleton and connective tissues were the main condition for 32 percent of the disabled workers. These conditions were more common among beneficiaries over the age of 50. About 8 percent had conditions of the circulatory system as their primary diagnosis. Another 9 percent had impairments of the nervous system and sense organs. The remaining 20 percent includes those with injuries, cancers, infectious diseases, metabolic and endocrine diseases, such as diabetes, diseases of the respiratory system, and diseases of other body systems. Moreover, many beneficiaries have life-threatening conditions: about 1 in 5 men and nearly 1 in 6 women who enter the program die within five years.

Types Of Disability Policies

Be Prepared: How Much Disability Insurance Do I Need?

There are two types of disability policies.

  • Short-term policies may pay for up to two years. Most last for a few months to a year.

  • Long-term policies may pay benefits for a few years or until the disability ends.

Employers who offer coverage may provide short-term coverage, long-term coverage, or both.

If you plan to buy your own policy, shop around and ask:

  • How long do benefits last?

  • How much money will the policy pay?

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Is A Disability Insurance Benefit Paid Monthly

Yes, unlike critical illness insurance which pays out a one-time lump sum, disability insurance issues monthly or bi-weekly payments. The reasoning is that the benefit payments mimic regular income earnings even if you are not able to work. The idea is that monthly disability payments will ensure stability and enable you and your family to maintain your cost of living prior to losing the ability to work.

Depending on where your disability benefits are coming from , they may or may not be considered taxable income. If you are receiving benefits through an employer who pays the policy premiums, your monthly disability benefit income will likely be taxable.

With an individual disability insurance policywhich are becoming more popular as employers cut back on benefits and people are increasingly self-employedyou are responsible for paying premiums to keep the policy active. One of the greatest advantages of individually-owned coverage is that the monthly benefits you receive are tax-free.

How Your Health Affects Your Disability Insurance Policys Cost

When people ask: How much does disability insurance cost, the answer is dependent on several factors.

Your health plays a large role in your ability to buy an individual disability insurance policy. From your height and weight to major heart issues or cancer, health conditions greatly affect your disability insurance policy.

Disability insurance applications have four outcomes: approved as applied, ratings, exclusions, and declines.

Approved as applied

The simplest outcome, approved as applied, means just that. Following our K.E.E.P. process , we quoted the best disability insurance policy that fits your needs, and your policy was approved as applied.

That means all the benefits and premium costs we discussed were accurate, and the next step is placement- putting the policy in force so your income is protected.

This is always the decision we hope for


A rating is an increase in the cost of your policy.

Normally applied to a health condition, a rating keeps all the benefits of your policy, but it costs more.

Ratings typically increase your costs in 25% increments. Unlike life insurance, which may have up to 16 different rating classes, disability insurance normally only has four.

These are sometimes called tables a rating may be acceptable depending on the rationale.

One reason to work with an independent agency is for flexibility.

Not all companies view health conditions the same.


Exclusions arent the worst thing that can happen to you.

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How Much Work Do You Need

In addition to meeting our definition of disability, you must have worked long enough and recently enough under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits.

Social Security work credits are based on your total yearly wages or self-employment income. You can earn up to four credits each year.

The amount needed for a work credit changes from year to year. In 2022, for example, you earn one credit for each $1,510 in wages or self-employment income. When you’ve earned $6,040 you’ve earned your four credits for the year.

The number of work credits you need to qualify for disability benefits depends on your age when your disability begins. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which were earned in the last 10 years ending with the year your disability begins. However, younger workers may qualify with fewer credits.

For more information on whether you qualify, refer to How You Earn Credits.

Is Your Condition Found In The List Of Disabling Conditions

How Much Does Disability Insurance Cost?

For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions we consider severe enough to prevent a person from doing SGA. If your condition is not on the list, we must decide if it is as severe as a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you have a qualifying disability. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.

We have two initiatives designed to expedite our processing of new disability claims:

  • Compassionate Allowances: Certain cases that usually qualify for disability can be allowed as soon as the diagnosis is confirmed. Examples include acute leukemia, Lou Gehrigs disease , and pancreatic cancer.
  • Quick Disability Determinations: We use sophisticated computer screening to identify cases with a high probability of allowance.

For more information about our disability claims process, visit our Benefits for People with Disabilities website.

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How Can I Figure Out How Much I Need

So, try to put a number on all of the items discussed above and enter them into this simple formula:

Your total current monthly expenses



equals Minimum monthly disability benefit

Remember: Long term disability coverage is meant to last a long time, providing a monthly benefit that could last for decades. That kind of coverage comes at a cost. The lower the monthly benefit you can comfortably live with, the easier it will be to pay premiums while you are healthy and working.

How Much Disability Income Insurance Do I Need

Use this calculator to estimate how much disability insurance you need to protect yourself and your family.

These interactive calculators and tools are provided by CalcXML for educational use only and are not intended to provide financial, legal, investment, or tax advice. All examples are derived from inputs provided by you, are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. CalcXML is not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Group. We encourage you to contact your advisor regarding your personal situation.

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How Much Disability Insurance Costs

Most people pay between 1% to 3% of their salary for disability insurance.

The younger and healthier you are when you buy disability insurance, the cheaper it will be. But high-earners will usually pay more because they need a higher benefit amount. Additionally, women tend to pay higher rates than men. For example, a healthy 35-year-old female doctor would pay about $2,422 a year for a monthly benefit of $5,000. Her male counterpart would pay about $1,605 for the same amount.

The actual cost of a disability insurance plan will vary depending on your background and occupation. Everyones needs differ, so this range is only a starting point to understand how disability insurance is priced.

The factors that determine how much disability insurance costs include:

The amount of disability insurance you need is determined by your income and financial obligations, but should ideally be about 60% of your gross income. Work with a Policygenius agent for free to get the right policy for your needs.

Cost Of Disability Insurance By Benefit Amount

What Is Disability Insurance And Why Should You Own It?

When making coverage decisions, you will have to weigh the premium cost with how much you would need to live on in the event of a disability. The more your policy pays in monthly benefits, the more you will pay in premium.

Keep in mind that disability insurance payments are tax-free. Therefore, if your benefit amount equals around 60 percent of your pre-tax income, you should collect close to your take-home pay in disability payments.

Here√Ęs an example of how much your benefit amount can impact your premium. These rates are for a 40-year-old male laborer earning $50,000 a year. The monthly premium rates quoted are:

  • $26 for a $700 monthly benefit
  • $43 for a $1,300 monthly benefit
  • $59 for an $1,830 monthly benefit

The higher your benefit amount is, the higher your premiums will be.

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How Your Age Affects Your Disability Insurance Policys Cost

Probably, the simplest concept to understand and the most difficult to do something about, your age, has a fairly direct relationship to the cost of your disability insurance policy.

If we were at a social gathering and you asked how much does disability insurance cost, your age would be the first question asked.

Youll note on the quote form to the left that there are very few questions we need to get started however, your date of birth is one of them.

Simply put, the older you are, the more expensive your policy will be. And while age and price are not a strictly linear relationship, it is pretty close:

The older you are, the more likely you are to go on claim. As people age, health can cause them to miss work for an extended period of time. The average disability claim is 31-34 months, so even a relatively short disability will quickly put the insurance company in the red on your policy. They adjust for this fact by charging more for policies purchased at older ages.

The good news is that most policies will not increase in cost as you get older. A policy that has this feature is called non-cancelable, and the disability insurance company is not able to raise your rates as you get older.

There are three ways for the cost of your policy to increase.

  • You have a rider that allows you to increase coverage .
  • Your policy does not have a non-cancelable feature and the company elects to raise rates .
  • You purchased a graded premium policy.

How Much Disability Insurance Do You Need

As a general rule, insurance companies will allow you to buy enough insurance to replace 60% of your gross income, up to about $20,000 a month. Since most high-income professionals are paying 15%-35% of their income toward taxes, that is usually MORE than enough income on which to live.

Remember that disability insurance benefits, unless the premiums were paid for by your employer, are completely tax-free to you. If you already have a nest egg that by age 65 will be sufficient to provide your desired retirement, then you may need even less. As a general rule, decide how much to buy based on your actual expenses, not some percentage of your income. If you are spending $8,000 per month and need to put $3,000 per month toward retirement and $1,000 per month toward college, then you need a disability benefit of $12,000 per monthwhether you are earning $20,000 per month or $40,000 per month.

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What If You Want To Increase Your Disability Insurance Benefits In The Future

Lets face it your income wont stay the same throughout your career. Youre likely to receive promotions, get pay raises and bonuses, and change jobs before all is said and done.

Does it make sense that your disability benefit stays the same until you retire? If you answered no, youll be happy to know you can do something about it.

The first is with a rider called future income option. By adding this rider for a small cost, you can increase your disability benefit in the future without providing any medical evidence. All you need to do is provide proof that your income increased. This is important because a medical condition later in life could make it hard to qualify for coverage.

If you dont need that guarantee, you can simply top-up your coverage as your income increases. The easiest way to do this is to increase the coverage on your current policy. However, you can also buy another policy. Keep in mind that either way, you will have to go through the underwriting process again to qualify for the coverage.

How Much Disability Insurance Do I Need

Why you should pay for disability insurance

Along with life insurance, disability insurance is a critical tool for protecting your financial future. Some might consider disability insurance to be even more important. After all, life insurance provides money to your family to replace your income after youre no longer here. But disability insurance helps replace income for you and your family while youre still alive and with them. This article will help you answer the following important questions about this coverage:

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How Long Does Long

Once long-term disability benefits have been approved, an employee can continue to receive benefits for the length of the policy term or until they return to work. Most long-term disability plans provide coverage for 36 months, although some plans can provide coverage for up to 10 years or even for the life of the policyholder.

How To Choose A Long

Besides looking for a policy that provides the coverage you need at a price you can afford, you should strongly consider which provider is best for your profession.

Some companies offer more competitive rates and policy options than others for certain professions, so be sure youre working with a company thats more affordable for your chosen field.

How much disability insurance you need and how long you need your benefits to last have a large impact on your policy premiums. Carefully consider your needs and work with an independent insurance agent to find the best policy to protect your long-term financial goals.

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What Other Assets Income Or Savings Can You Draw On

If youve been building savings for another purpose you could repurpose that money to pay living expenses. Also, your job may not be your only source of income for example you may own rental property. Similarly, if you have a legal or medical practice and own your offices, you could rent that space out to another practitioner.

How Much Does Disability Insurance Cost

How Supplemental Disability Insurance Works for Doctors

The cost of disability insurance depends on the type of policy you are selectingeither short or long term. Other factors such as age, length of benefit, health, and coverage amount will affect premium cost. Employer-provided short-term coverage is usually the most cost-effective but long-term disability coverage is best to purchase individually.

Disability insurance is an important part of your insurance portfolio, along with life and critical illness insurance. If you can no longer work due to an injury or illness, disability insurance provides you a living benefitits income replacement for when youre down and out.

So, whats it going to cost you? There are different types of disability insurance, different cost influencers, and even employer benefits to consider. Were here to demystify how much disability insurance can actually cost, looking at what the insurance covers, how much you can expect to pay in premiums, and why its worth it!

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Long Term Disability Insurance Average Benefit Increases 23% Yoy

Methodology note: All data derives from long term disability insurance quotes that were run throughBreezein 2020 and 2021. Pricing and benefit figures are estimated averages and subject to change due to a variety of personal factors. Figures are strictly averages from quotes run through Breeze by a variety of consumers. Please remember all figures are based on quotes, not actual policies. If you have any questions, please email me at

Before diving into the average cost of long term disability insurance, it’s important to first know the average benefit amount.

These two are attached at the hip: the higher the benefit, the higher the premium.

From 2020 to 2021, the average monthly benefit amount for long term disability insurance increased by 23% from $2,561 to $3,150.

This considerable increase in the average benefit amount helps explain the premium increases you will see later in the report. Because consumers were looking for more coverage, the premium subsequently increased.

One possible theory for the increase in coverage? After seeing the COVID-19 pandemic cause unimaginable devastation in 2020, consumers were more aware than ever before of the possibility of a sudden injury or illness that can upend everyday life and leave them financially vulnerable.

As a result, they started looking for more robust disability insurance coverage in 2021 and beyond. This could be comparable to how life insurance sales increased as a result of the global pandemic.


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