Insurance Jargon, Decoded: Definitions of Disability

06 Oct Insurance Jargon, Decoded: Definitions of Disability

Many people are covered with disability benefits through their workplace, and fewer still are covered by individual disability insurance policies. But what is the difference between these types of coverage, and what does the terminology mean?

Group insurance contracts regularly stipulate that you are considered disabled if you are unable to perform your regular occupation. However, after 24 months of disability, the definition changes to any occupation.

But what does that mean?

Regular Occupation means that benefits would be paid if you are unable to perform the substantial duties of your occupation.

Any Occupation means that the insured is expected to work in any other occupation based on his or her education, training and experience. That means the more education, training and experience you have, the less likely you would qualify to claim.

Own occupation is extremely rare in group insurance contracts. Some occupations are eligible to purchase this protection on an individual basis. This definition of disability means that the insured can work in another gainful occupation while being totally disabled in his or her own occupation and still continue to receive full disability benefits.

Example: A dentist is on total disability claim, diagnosed with essential tremors. After a period of 18 months on claim, the insured wants to start teaching at the University.

Under own occupation, the insured will continue to receive his full disability benefit and earn an income from the University.

Under regular occupation, when the insured begins teaching at the University, disability benefit payments would stop.

Under any occupation, the insured would have been unlikely to qualify to claim.

Let us know if you would like some help deciphering your disability benefits.