As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the world, it has left many people wondering about how disability insurance may apply. Two common questions include:
- Can I apply for disability insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Does disability insurance cover COVID-19?
The answer to both of those questions is yes. Conditions vary depending on your specific situation, so we will break down the details in this post.
Can I apply for disability insurance during the pandemic?
Yes. In fact, most carriers have relaxed their underwriting requirements to make it safer and easier for those applying to get approved for disability insurance.
These relaxed requirements include no medical exam, lab work, or physical measurements for many applicants. A phone call interview is still required in most cases, but this means that many applicants can get approved for insurance without having to meet with a nurse or medical practitioner. These temporary requirements vary by carrier, but generally apply to applicants under the age of 55 and up to $10,000 in monthly benefit.
Many carriers have also increased their capacity for electronic signatures, so most applications can be completed on your phone or computer from home.
Should you apply for disability insurance during the COVID-19 crisis?
The answer depends on your need for insurance. Disability insurance is always the least expensive the younger you are, and it’s easier than ever to apply right now. Request a quote if you’re interested in hearing policy options or to see specific pricing.
Does disability insurance cover COVID-19?
Yes, but some conditions apply.
If you have short term disability insurance, you need a clear medical reason that qualifies you for your disability benefit. This means that your illness needs to be keeping you from performing the duties of your job. A nurse or doctor needs to confirm your illness before your benefits can begin. If you’re unable to see a doctor in-person, many health insurance companies are offering tele-health services to help you get the verification you need.
If you have long-term disability insurance, it’s unlikely you would qualify for benefits unless you develop an ongoing or chronic condition. This is due to the elimination period, or waiting period, of at least 90 days required for most long-term disability benefits to take effect. If you do develop a chronic condition due to coronavirus, you would need your illness confirmed with a medical practitioner before you can begin receiving your benefits.
Having to quarantine (while healthy), losing your job, or your employer closing due to COVID-19 would not qualify you to receive benefits with either short or long term disability. You may qualify for unemployment benefits, so research the unemployment requirements in your state if you’re in need.
Disability Insurance and COVID-19
The global pandemic COVID-19 may have you thinking about what would happen if an illness made it impossible for you to do your job. According to the Social Security Administration, one-in-four of today’s twenty year olds will be out of work for at least one year due to a disabling condition. That’s an unsettling statistic, but disability insurance protects your income in the event that you are sick or injured and unable to work. It provides a safety net for you and your family, so your bills are paid and you can maintain your lifestyle even while out of work.