Disability Insurance

I am an Associate Professor at a small Liberal Arts College that is not doing well. I was diagnosed with CIDP about a year ago but have been sick for almost three. I have not missed any work, have started a brand new youth orchestra program all by myself (without extra pay) and now last Friday my Dean told me that I should think about quitting and taking disability. Of course I have IVIG every 3 weeks at about $13.5k. a pop covered at almost %100. I'm not ready to stop working and I don't want to loose my coverage. Does anyone know about diability insurance? I feel that no matter what I do things will never be the same at work. It was very discouraging. Thank you.


I used to be a paralegal in the insurance industry and I might be able to answer some questions. I sent a friend request.


Good question! I would be interested in any answer that Joy can provide to you. I have both short and long term disability insurance through my employer and I think the pay out is only 66% of my salary should I become disabled. In order to keep that insurance if I go on disability, I would have to pay COBRA premiums which would probably cost more than the 66% that I would be earning and I think there is a limit for how many months you can have COBRA coverage, but with all the new ACA laws, I could be wrong.


You have summarized typical disability insurance rather well. The only thing I would add is that the ACA did not affect the amount of time you are able to use COBRA coverage, which is a minimum of 18 months (legal minimum) and can be as long as 36 months (up to the employer).

Sunshine, you are lucky to have long term coverage. Not everyone is offered this benefit or chooses to purchase it.

I had only short term disability when I could no longer work. It paid 60% of my income for 5 months of a 6 month term. I want to point that out because there really was some clause that stated after I proved that I was disabled, I had a 30 day waiting period for coverage to begin. Hence only 5 actual payments. The payments almost paid my COBRA costs and my insurance paid for my IVIG 100% following a deductible. I will be changing to an insurance provider through the ACA but I am still using COBRA.

Sunshine, if I understand your situation correctly, lets say you were on short term disability for 3 months and hoping to get back to work. Yes, you would pay COBRA premiums during this time that you are out of work and your short term disability, depending on the amounts, may well not even pay for COBRA. Also, unless you have 3 months vacation or leave, you would be using the Family Medical Leave Act, which allows you to be away from work due to illness without pay. You could then have no income for these 3 months, but you might manage to pay for your insurance with you disability proceeds, protect your job, and protect your long term disability coverage.

Let me know if you have other questions.