Some key pointers about income replacement policies:
- Know what you are buying (or have bought) and what your employer may have provided for you.
- Assess whether your benefits are triggered by whether you can do your job, any job, or by some other standard.
- If you want to get paid as quickly and as painlessly as possible, the most prudent approach may be to respond to your carrier’s requests for information, documentation, evaluation, etc. as timely, fully and openly as possible.
- If your insurance carrier assigns you a representative to facilitate your Social Security application, keep in mind that the carrier has a financial interest in your application being successful (its payments will be offset by your Social Security award); unless that representative does not check out or is not to your liking, it may be prudent for practical reasons to go along with this referral.
- Especially if you own a small business and have purchased an LTD policy for your own protection, avoid the trap of thinking you can start collecting when you see fit, or continue working after you do (the trigger point is based on your health, and continuing to work after you submit a claim is problematic for obvious reasons – though check your contract for specifics)
- If you are fortunate enough to have more than one income replacement policy, keep in mind the value of taking a consistent approach with all of them. For example, be careful about trying to “stage” the dates when they start paying you by telling one company you can work part time, telling another you cannot do your job, and telling yet another that you can no longer work at all.
Content for this section provided by Mark Rubin, J.D.