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NC State Extension

Disability (Including SSI)

Disability insurance provides a source of income to people who are unable to work because of an accident or illness. The maximum amount of coverage is usually limited to about two-thirds (60% to 70%) of a worker’s gross income. Disability insurance is especially critical for single people whose paycheck provides their only means of support. It is also important for self-employed persons and employees who are not able to accrue employer-paid sick leave.

Some employers include long-term and/or short-term disability benefits, either as an employee benefit or as an elective at a cost to the employee. Before buying disability benefits, be sure you do not have access to them with your employer.

Social Security also provides disability benefits to qualified individuals, but there are strict guidelines and at least a six-month waiting period. Worker’s compensation provides benefits but only for job-related disabilities. Since all of these disability income resources have limited benefits and restrictions, an individual policy is recommended.

For more information, visit What are some factors to consider when selecting disability insurance?.

Social Security offers disability insurance, but there are strict guidelines and a six-month waiting period.

The possibility of disability is another good reason to be sure you have at least 3 months of living expenses saved. This is so you can meet expenses while you are waiting to receive disability income.