Financial Pre-Planning Doesn’t End When You Buy Your Long Term Disability Policy | ERISA Disability Insurance Lawyer
Your financial preplanning did not begin and end with the purchase a long-term disability policy. That was only the beginning!
You still have to make significant plans for your financial future. What do I mean?
If you suffer from a gradual onset disease like degenerative joint disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or Alzheimer’s, the disease process will give you the time you need to make significant work and financial decisions.
There are a number of steps that you must take, sooner and not later, in financial preplanning.
1. Learn about your disease and how it progresses over time.
It is important for you to understand how your disease will impact your ability to work, how it will progress over time, what your future medical needs are going to be, and when you will become unable to work.
The answers to these questions will impact how long you will be able to work and maintain any group insurance coverage.
2. Look at your current financial condition and determine how it might change over time.
This step requires a critical look at your current financial condition and obligations.
What are your assets? Is there any disability coverage that would make the mortgage payment if you’re unable to work or disability policies that would make payment on in the vehicles or consumer debt? How much do you owe? Do you have a budget?
How would that budget change if you become disabled? Can you get your finances
under control in the time frame you have available to continue working? If not,
how were you going to meet those obligations?
Do you know how long it takes to get Social Security disability benefits?
When would you be entitled to Medicare? Can you afford to cobra your group insurance coverage? How long can you Cobra your group insurance? Is there going to be a gap in time between you running out of group health insurance coverage and be eligible for Medicare? Can you find alternative insurance?
3. Set financial goals.
These financial goals can be short-term or long-term. Do you have flexibility built in to these goals as your condition changes? How are you going to be able to live on a reduced income? How are you going to get medical treatment with reduced or limited medical benefits?
4. Obtaining assistance.
It is crucial that you understand what your long-term disability policy provides
in the way of benefits, whether those benefits can be reduced by various offsets
such as Social Security, how long you are entitled to benefits, what limitations
may exist on coverage.
It is also crucial that you understand your rights to Social Security disability benefits
and the amount of benefits you might be entitled to, including dependent benefits.
Many states have a significant delay in getting a Social Security disability hearing. Your data eligibility for Medicare will depend on the date you become disabled for Social Security disability purposes.
It may be necessary for you to hire a long-term disability or Social Security disability Attorney and you can use this time to get answers to your questions. You may also have to consult with your insurance agent, tax advisor or financial planner.
5. Make flexible decisions.
As your disability progresses, your options will change, and you need to be prepared financially to address those changes. Having a game plan before your disability progresses gives you more control. Unfortunately, your options can become significantly limited if you fail to get advice before you become disabled. It’s not uncommon that decisions become more typical as your disease progresses and your ability to make those decisions comes compromised.
Financial preplanning is a team effort, and one that should be done earlier and not later. Don’t place yourself in a situation where you have to struggle to make difficult financial decisions in a time of need.
Experienced long-term disability/ERISA and Social Security attorney Nancy Cavey can provide guidance to you in the financial preplanning required as a result of your disability.
Answering these broad-based questions isn’t easy. Help is a phone call away. You can contact Nancy Cavey, an experienced long-term disability attorney at 727-894-3188.