Combating Long-Term Disability

Long-term disability insurance provides monetary aid to persons with continuous disability for more than 180 days. The disability may have resulted from injury, sickness or pregnancy. The disability in such cases should have lasted or be expected to last for at least one year or result in death.

Some conditions of a long-term disability include total blindness or deafness, spinal cord injuries, broken limbs, and head or brain injuries among others.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls upon the member states to make provisions in public services and systems to ensure that these are made easily accessible to persons with disabilities.

In accordance with the WHO guidelines, different countries offer a wide variety of benefits and services to the disabled individuals. One such benefit is the long-term disability insurance. Supported by public or private funds or a combination of both, long-term disability benefits seek to help people with long-term disabilities.

The benefits under this insurance include covers for worker’s compensation, widow or widower’s compensation, benefits for disabled children and benefits for disabled persons with meager incomes.

If a qualified worker becomes disabled and unfit to perform work such as he could perform prior to the disability, he/she becomes eligible to receive worker’s compensation. Disabled widow or widower’s compensation is paid to disabled widows or widowers who are at least 50 years of age and have become disabled within a certain time after the spouse’s death.

Childhood disability benefits are paid to children with disability that acutely limits the child’s abilities. Down syndrome, HIV infection, mental retardation and low birth weight are some of the disabilities covered under this category.

Family benefits are made available if the disabled person has an elderly spouse, an unmarried child and/or the spouse is taking care of the disabled person’s minor child or disabled child.

Retirement supplemental income benefits are paid to the elderly and poor people, who have limited resources.

The long-term disability benefits due to injury, sickness or pregnancy begin from the 181st day of the disease. For the first two years, no pre-existing diseases are covered. But, from the third year onwards, these also get covered under the same policy.

Long-term disability benefits are paid both in terms of cash and health care benefits. Regular sums are paid on a monthly basis to provide a steady flow of income to the disabled person.

All these varied long-term disability benefits go a long way to ensure that in case of any eventuality, proper care and attention is provided to the disabled persons and their needs-both medical and monetary do not get neglected due to shortage of income and resources.