FAQ – How much will my Disability benefits be if I get approved? | Indian Rocks Beach Long Term Disability Lawyer

Disability insurance policies normally pay a percentage of your salary. I said “normally.”

Most disability insurance policies do not include overtime or commissions in what is called a base monthly earnings or BME. The starting point for calculating your disability benefits is your base salary.

This is always an issue in disability policies owned by physicians, attorneys, accountants, architects and stockbrokers. These professions may be paid on a bonus basis, partnership earnings, consulting income, sales of property owned by the partners or other salary arrangements.

I have been involved in litigations involving the sole question of how to calculate the base monthly earnings when professionals became disabled. You must know the answer to this question before you decide when to apply for disability benefits and how your benefits are going to be calculated.

I have seen professionals think that certain monies were included in their base monthly earnings only to find out after the fact those earnings were excluded. What a financial disaster!

It’s important to know whether you increased your disability coverage over time or whether your disability insurance company will allow you to increase your disability coverage while you’re disabled. The issue of residual disability benefits will be the subject of another posting.

You should also know whether there is a cost-of-living adjustment that will increase the amount of your disability benefits the longer you are disabled.

Of course, the most important question is, what’s the maximum disability benefits you purchased?

The most dreaded question is whether your disability benefits can be reduced by other benefits paid to you such as Social Security disability benefits, workers’ compensation, or pension benefits. Some policies have a minimum mandatory payment, which means they have to provide you a limited fixed amount of benefits.

For example, you may have a disability policy that pays $2000 in benefits per month. You are eligible for Social Security disability, workers’ compensation or other benefits of $2500 per month. Your policy may say that they can deduct all those monies from your disability benefits. The policy may say that they have to pay you a minimum payment of $100 per month after all those other monies are deducted from your disability benefits.

You better know this before you stop working and apply for disability benefits.

These are the kinds of disability insurance issues at Nancy Cavey will discuss with you. If you like to contact her, please click here or call 727.894.3188.

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