By Dan Schulte, Vice President and Manager, Annuities and Insurance

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How would you pay your bills and expenses if an accident or illness kept you from working and earning a paycheck? If you are like most Americans, a significant time away from work would have a devastating impact on your family. According to a recent study[1], 57% of Americans only have enough money to pay for six months or less of bills if they were unable to work. Disability insurance is important to maintain your family’s standard of living should that unfortunate event occur.

The odds of becoming disabled during your working years might be greater than you think. According to the Social Security Administration[2], over one in four 20-year-olds today will become disabled before reaching retirement, with the average long-term disability claim lasting over 2½ years[3]. How long could your family cover current debts and daily living expenses without your income?

Protecting your income with an individual disability insurance policy could mean the world to you and those who rely on you. These policies could replace a part or all of your lost income if you suffer an illness or injury that keeps you out of work. In addition, the policies could pay benefits income-tax-free as long as the premiums are paid with after-tax dollars. Having a disability insurance policy could give you and your loved ones piece-of-mind that your family’s lifestyle could be maintained even if your income stops due to disability or illness.

Your Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. financial consultant can help you develop a disability plan by calculating your expenses and the income that you could generate if were unable to work as a result of a long-term disability or illness. If there is a gap in coverage we can discuss various insurance options to choose from.

[1] 2014 Disability Awareness Study, Council for Disability Awareness

[2] Social Security Fact Sheet, Social Security Administration

[3] Gen Re, U.S. Individual Disability Insurance Risk Management Survey 2011, based on claims closed in 2010