Why You Need Long-Term Disability Insurance

Vol. 16 No. 7


Reneé Leskiw is the executive director of the American Bar Endowment.

Long-term disability (LTD) insurance is designed to replace a portion of your monthly income if you become disabled and can no longer work. According to CDA Disability Divide proprietary research conducted in March 2010, 64 percent of wage earners believe they have a 2 percent or less chance of becoming disabled for three months or more during their working career. However, the Social Security Administration Fact Sheet from March 2011 reports that the actual odds today are 30 percent.

For most who become disabled, the continuation of income makes a huge difference in their ability to cope. Below are a few examples of how LTD can be invaluable when a disability strikes.

1.       Erin is an associate in her late twenties, working for a midsize law firm. A year ago she was in a serious car accident. Multiple operations repaired her broken bones and internal organs, but the brain damage she suffered left her with a severely impaired memory. She is unable to return to work in any field.

Erin purchased a LTD policy four years ago when she and her husband got married. It pays 67 percent of her former salary for the next 40 years (until age 65). Income from this LTD policy allowed Erin and her husband to stay in their home.

2.       Lynnette, who had just made partner in her firm three years ago, began feeling numbness and pain in her legs. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a progressive nerve disorder. While she was able to continue working at first, the disease left her almost bedridden, in pain, and unable to walk. Unfortunately, she never considered the possibility of becoming disabled and unable to work. With limited income, Lynette had to sell her house and move in with her sister’s family.

3.       Frank is an attorney who, at age 36, went into congestive heart failure. He was found to have cardiomyopathy, a heart muscle disease that severely diminishes the heart’s ability to pump efficiently.

Unlike many with this disease, Frank was able to return to work after eight months. During Frank’s period of disability, his LTD policy made up for much of the lost income, and he continued to pay his bills without needing to use his savings.

Who Needs Long-Term Disability Insurance?

Anyone with earned income should consider LTD. Planning ahead makes the difference between successfully dealing with an otherwise devastating situation and being overwhelmed by it.

For information on the ABE-sponsored Long Term Disability Insurance Program, go to www.abendowment.org/disability or call (800) 621-8981.



  • About The Young Lawyer

  • Reprints & Back Issues

  • More Information

  • Contact Us