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Disability Insurance Benefit Period

Benefit Period - How Long Disability Benefits will be paid

I think the first thing to go over is to define a benefit period. Try to explain what it is, and even more importantly, what it is not.

A benefit period is the period of time you are eligible to collect benefits while on a disability insurance claim. If a sickness or injury occurs that prevents you from performing the material and substantial duties of your occupation, the elimination period begins. Once the elimination period has been satisfied, monthly benefit checks will begin to come in at the end of the month. The maximum amount of months that these checks can possibly come in is your benefit period. Your benefits stop when you return to work in your occupation, or depending on the contract to another occupation making the same income.

Possible Benefit Periods

These are just some of the benefit periods offered by various carriers. Other options may be available by carrier.

The most popular choice for a disability insurance policy is To Age 65. Almost 90% of the policies that I see on a daily basis are put in-force with this benefit period. The bottom line is if you are permanently disabled your last benefit check is on your 65th birthday. Obviously the lifetime benefit period will be more expensive, but often it is not much more expensive than the to age 65 policy. For those of you looking to save premium dollars on your disability insurance, a five year benefit period will cover the average length of disability which is about 3.2 years (1985 CIDTA). I never recommend a two year benefit period unless you already have another policy that has a two year elimination period.