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Any Advice On Individual Long Term Disability Insurance?

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Hello everyone. I know it probably seems like I have asked a lot of questions lately...sorry, this is just all so new and the peace and comfort I get from a support network is reassuring.

My mom, who has FMS and CFS, has been disabled for 10 years now. Since my diagnosis she has been talking to me about getting a personal long term disability insurance plan...just in case I am not able to work at some point in the future. I was wondering if any one has LTD insurance on their own, and if you have any suggestions for a good plan, or company. Anything I should look for? Anything I should avoid?

My mom said I need to look up something called "any occupation" LTD or something like that...so they can't say I am able to pump gas and deny me. She insists that even though I am healthy enough right now to go to school and work PT, that in the future I may not be able to and it would be stupid of me to not make provisions for myself. I know she is right.

So any help or advice would be great!

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Research and read the ENTIRE fine print of the policy before purchasing this type of insurance. Most likely, since you now have a diagnosis, the policy would exclude coverage for your diagnosis or anything very closely related.

Well that wouldn't be good! The whole reason I want to get LTD is because of my diagnosis. So I wouldn't be able to get coverage now? So then now what would I do?

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I suspect that you won't be able to find a policy that will cover you for NCS / POTS. If you do find one they may charge very high premiums as they know that there is a risk of you having to stop working because of your pre-existing diagnoses.

Do you have any sort of local citizens advice or disability advisor that might be able to help with ideas?


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lauren -

as others have said, it's very unlikely that you'll be able to get any type of reasonable/ helpful/ affordable INDIVIDUAL coverage that would include any diagnoses (or even symptoms) that you already have...if any at all. unfortunate but logical from a the business side of things of the insurer.

one possibility MAY be however a policy offered through an employer as some (though not all) of these policies don't have any pre-existing exclusions. as a general rule, the bigger the company the more likely this is to be available. in this case the stipulations are more about how long you've been an employee before you stop working. a common scenario is that you need a year of employment before you are eligible for the benefit. at some places the benefit is "free", i.e. paid by the employer; at others you have to make some degree of payments yourself to be covered. there are many variances so reading between the lines is always essential.

obviously i realize that most people - even when health allows for full time work - aren't poised to embark on a job search based solely on the employer's long term disability policy. nor would it likely be so wise to have one's first question to a potential employer be about what their LTD plan is. but i still thought i'd mention it so that you can keep it in mind over time if/when certain opportunities/ decisions may present themselves.

i consider myself incredibly lucky, blessed, fortunate, etc. in this arena as the company i worked for (though VERY creatively as i already had a lot of health issues) had amazing benefits such that i continue to receive LTD benefits, as well as health insurance availability. i receive 60% of my former salary...not going to make me rich but allows me to pay the bills. because it was/ is a large corporation there were no exclusions for pre-existing conditions (of which i had plenty, most related to dysautonomia). certain aspects of the benefits differed depending on how long someone worked for the company, but all in all it was/ is an amazing provision for me in the midst of a very difficult situation.

hope this info helps,

:) melissa

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I've had LTD through work since before I got sick which covers part of my salary. My employer pays for part of the premium and I pay for the rest (pre-tax). I was even able to increase the amount of coverage when I got POTS, but since I was out on STD for a few months when I first got ill, there was a whole year before the increase applied to any disability caused by POTS. Luckily that year is now over. I also looked into private LTD to bring me up to 100%, but was told that no one would sell me a policy covering POTS. If it is any comfort to you, most of the literature out there says that most POTS patients are not disabled in the long run and are able to work.

I never paid attention to this before it was too late, but apparently it's smart for single people w/o kids to get private LTD - it's the equivalent of life insurance for people who are married or who have kids.

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