This past weekend, my single goal was to blog. Instead my husband surprised me with tickets to the Caribbean festival in Marion Oaks at Champaign’s farm. What an awesome weekend we had! It was great seeing old friends like Dr. Pam Lewin and Heather-Dawn, as well as meeting new friends and acquaintances. But who can talk about a Caribbean festival without talking about the food? Food was provided from morning until night. Breakfast included ackee & salt fish, green banana and fried dumplings. For lunch there was fish, jerk pork, chicken, run down and festival. Then there was dinner and supper with all the great island food including curried goat, gungu pea and red pea soup and much, much more. The food and the sounds of island music brought back fond memories of growing up in Jamaica.
So what does any of this have to do with ERISA and long term disability, you ask? Well, it got me thinking. As a child, I don’t recall anyone being on disability. Not that there wasn’t any sickness or injury. There was plenty to go around. However, what I do recall is that families lived in close proximity to each other, usually on the same land. The older members took care of the children, and the middle-aged members took care of those who were old or sick. If someone was “down on their luck” (out of a job) the community got together and pitched in. It was truly one for all, and all for one. Having family and good friends were our most important assets. Maybe I’m idealizing what life was a like on the island, but these are my memories.
In my new homeland, I have found that for most people, their job is their most important asset. They live pay check to pay check, and one brief illness or injury could wipe out what they have acquired by years of hard work. For that reason, their disability insurance policy plays a big role in their financial planning. However, one should not buy a policy simply to have one. Rather, they must make sure the policy they purchase will truly meet their need. They need to know how the policy defines disability. Does it offset other income you have or may be entitled to receive? What percentage of your pay will it cover? Can you survive on that percentage? What is the elimination period? Do you have enough money to meet your expenses and necessities throughout the elimination period? What will happen if the insurance company denies your claim? Don’t wait until you need the benefits to get the answers. You need to know now, so that you can plan wisely.
To find out if your long term disability policy offers real protection or is just an illusion, we have written a book to answer many of these questions. For your free copy of our long term disability book, just contact us. It is written in plain English for the average person and easy to read