Many have lost jobs due to COVID – 19 and are wondering exactly what is covered and what is not. Unemployment alone is not covered because disability insurance only covers people who are unable to work due to an injury or becoming sick. However, there are a couple features that can help during periods of unemployment: waiver of premium and suspension of benefit.
Short-Term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability insurance will provide income replacement after you have become disabled in some way that prevents you from being able to do your work. In the case of COVID-19, short-term disability insurance will cover you if you are no longer able to work because of a medical condition, such as you became ill and physically cannot work, or have been place in medical quarantine. If you are sick but you can still perform you job duties, then you are not able to qualify for disability insurance. The most common cases of a person receiving disability insurance benefits for COVID – 19 is that they catch the virus and a doctor tells them they have to quarantine alone, which makes them physically unable to do their job. The important thing to take away from this is that you need medical verification from a doctor to prove you cannot go into work. If you can’t meet with your doctor in person, then many hospitals are providing virtual meetings, so you are able to get the verification you need in order to receive disability insurance benefits.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Long-term disability insurance is the same as short-term disability insurance, except that to qualify you need to be disabled for a longer period of time. In most cases, the period is at least 90 days. Right now, doctors and medical professionals have not told anyone to self-isolate for more than 90 days. With that being said, COVID – 19 related disabilities are currently not covered by long-term disability insurance.
Waiver of Premium
Waiver of premium is something that you can add onto your policy for a low cost that will waive your premiums during periods of unemployment while the policy is still going. This means that if you are unable to work you will not have to pay your premiums and still receive coverage. In most cases you will need to prove you are unemployed, which can be done by you utilizing federal unemployment benefits.
Suspension of Benefit
Suspension of benefits is basically what it sounds like; it is when your policy premiums will be waived, however you will not be covered during this time. It usually will not cost you any money to add this feature onto your policy. The suspension lasts for about a year or until you find a job. And just like the waiver of premium, to qualify you will need to prove you are unemployed. This is a good feature because it allows you to keep the rates you already had once you are able to return back to work again.
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