Rely on Social Security Disability, or Do You need Private Disability Insurance

Today’s Wall Street Journal explores the sufficiency and relability of the federal disability program.

“The WSJ says that “disability-insurance benefits from the workplace and the government are getting harder to come by—and that’s putting more pressure on consumers to purchase their own coverage in case a medical condition keeps them from working.

“But disability insurance can be confusing. Policies may include conditions that make it tough for people filing claims to actually qualify for the benefits. And some policies may limit payouts for certain diagnoses, particularly mental illness. To protect themselves, consumers considering buying disability coverage need to read the fine print.

“The percentage of companies that paid all or part of the cost of workers’ private long-term disability insurance fell to 48% last year, from 59% in 2002, according to LIMRA, an association of financial-services and insurance companies. Many employers are “taking a step back in terms of what they pay and putting the onus on employees” to purchase richer benefits if they choose, says Michael Bailey, a principal at Mercer, a consulting unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos.”  See full article here: