Benefit Period & Elimination Period

Nov 16, 2017

The Benefit Period

The Benefit Period is a provision within a Disability Contract. It determines how long you could potentially receive benefits in the event that you become disabled.

There are several different Benefit Period options to choose from. You have flexibility to design a plan that best fits your individual needs.  Most carriers offer “5-year” and “10-year” benefit options, as well as options to age 65, age 67, or age 70.  

The most common Benefit Period is “to age 65”.  This means if you become disabled, you would receive benefits for as long as you remain disabled up until you turn 65.  Because more and more professionals are retiring later in their careers, I’ve witnessed that a growing number of individuals are choosing the age 67 and age 70 options in order to receive longer term benefits.  Premiums are based on which Benefit Period option you select.  The longer the “Benefit Period”, the higher the premiums.  

The Elimination Period 

Now, let’s take a look at the Elimination Period (also known as “waiting period”).  The Elimination Period is the amount of time between when a disability begins and when you start receiving your disability payments. The most commonly selected Elimination Period is 90 days.  This means you would have to wait for 90 days from the time you file your disability claim until you start to receive your disability benefits.

Many insurance carriers offer 60-day, 90-day, 180-day, and 1-year Elimination Period options.  Often, individuals choose a 180 day “Elimination Period” in order to lower their premium.  This option would only be recommended for someone who has at least 6 months of savings to cover expenses and would be comfortable utilizing their savings in a disability situation. So, the longer the Elimination Period, the lower your premiums will be.  

A good insurance agent will help you custom tailor a Disability Insurance Plan to give you the protection you need at the best price possible.  

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