If I am self-employed and got disabled, can I get Individual (Personal) Disability Insurance?

Great question! The short answer is no - disabled individuals will not be eligible for disability insurance from a private insurance company. This is because individual disability insurance protects against the possibility of a future accidental disability, but does not assist with a present disability.

 

A lot of people who search for disability insurance online are actually looking for something more like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which pays benefits to individuals who start looking for a way to obtain a disability income AFTER a disability has occurred. Let’s review the options.

 

Eligibility:

 

You are eligible for SSDI if you:

  • Are already disabled or injured and unable to work
  • Generate less than $1090/month through your business or work
  • Cannot generate the same value as a non-disabled individual in the same role
  • Have been working regularly and filing your taxes

 

You are eligible for Disability Insurance if you:

  • Have been working over a year in your current profession
  • Are not currently disabled and work more than 30 hours per week
  • Are a healthy person with a limited history of past disability or illness

 

Differences:

 

SSDI is:

  • Free* (as long as you pay your taxes)
  • A lot harder to get (you may need to hire a lawyer to obtain your benefits)
  • Administered through state and federal governments

Disability insurance:

  • Is available from Stride starting at around $20 a month, and from other national and local insurers including MetLife, Fidelity, MassMutual, and Guardian
  • Takes about 2 hours to get (2 phone calls and maybe a doctor’s visit)
  • Pays as much as or more than SSDI, and starts paying much sooner after your disability occurs
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