Disability Insurance: Protect your paycheck with disability insurance

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(ARA) - Most people do not think twice about insuring their car or their home, but many overlook protecting an asset that is arguably many times more valuable: their paycheck. If you're injured in an accident or faced with a debilitating illness, not only will you have medical bills, but you also could lose your ability to earn an income. That's why it's important to protect your paycheck with disability insurance.

For John Nichols, an afternoon of water-skiing turned disastrous. As the boat took off, slack in the line knotted, pulling John head first off of the dock and through four feet of water, where he hit his head on the bottom of the lake.
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Upon being saved from the drowning episode, he awoke on the beach realizing he could not move his arms or legs.

Diagnosed as C5-C6 quadriplegic, Nichols had to work through a year of daily physical therapy sessions just to be able to walk again. Disability insurance through his employer and that he had purchased on his own gave him the ability to provide for himself financially so he could focus on his recovery.

"The most dangerous attitude is to think 'It can't happen to me,'" Nichols says. "I never expected something like this to happen to me, but it did. In a split second, my ability to earn a paycheck disappeared. Fortunately, I had disability insurance."

Disability insurance is the most overlooked and misunderstood kind of insurance, according to the LIFE Foundation, a non-profit insurance education organization. To help consumers sort out fact from fiction, the organization educates Americans about some of the most common myths concerning disability insurance:

* I'll rely on savings until I can get back to work. Most people overestimate the resources they have to cover their expenses if a disabling illness or injury kept them from earning a paycheck. According to a LIFE Foundation survey, half of working Americans say they couldn't make it a month before financial difficulties would set in, and more than one in four would have problems immediately. Keep in mind that disabling illnesses or injuries often last for months or even years.

* I don't need it. I don't work in a dangerous profession. Illnesses - not accidents - account for 90 percent of disabilities that keep people out of work, and the majority of disabilities that happen are not work-related.

* I can count on the government to provide financial assistance if I become disabled. Government programs serve as a good back-up plan, but they should not be your main line of defense. Workers' compensation only covers people who become disabled as a result of their job. If you ever have to apply for Social Security disability benefits, keep in mind that about 45 percent of those who apply are initially denied and those who are approved receive an average monthly benefit of just $1,063.

If you're unsure of how much disability insurance you need to cover your current standard of living, use the LIFE Foundation's disability insurance needs calculator on its website. When your paycheck is protected, your life - from the groceries you buy, to your home, your car and your lifestyle - is protected. For more information, go to www.protectyourpaycheck.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent.

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