Hi, I'm Billy Gwaltney and this is the CYA podcast. This show is for the physician who understands the importance of protecting everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Each week I'll bring you tips and advice to help you cut through the clutter and misinformation and show you exactly what you need to preserve your income and way of life. If you're ready to achieve the peace of mind that only financial security can bring. Let's get started.
Welcome to episode 11 the title of today's program is what is a long term recovery benefit and do I need it as a physician on my specialty disability policy? Great question. I'm happy to be with you today and go over this important topic. Bottom line, quick answer. Yes you do. Need it. Do yourself the favor of getting a long term recovery benefit on your policy if at all possible. It's one of the most, if not the most important feature that hardly anyone has ever heard of.
(01:01): It just gets overlooked for some reason. Again, and as I've discussed numerous times in previous podcasts, there are only a handful of top true specialty disability carriers to begin with. All of them have this writer as part of their coverage. Their premier package, I guess you could say is a writer that you would want to be sure is included, is often included as part of the residual or partial disability benefit, often called an enhanced residual by companies. But again, it's something you would want to be sure is included. I'm going to read the recovery benefit from one of the top insurance companies and their wording so you can get the full meaning of it and then we'll, we'll discuss it in the month immediately. Following a period for which disability benefits have been paid upon recovery and return to your occupation or specialty on a full time basis, a residual benefit will be paid if you remain, if you maintain a loss of at least 15% of your net earned income and that loss is a direct result of your previous disability.
(02:09): That is the textbook definition of a recovery benefit. Other companies outside these top few, a handful of true specialty companies, might offer a recovery benefit for one year or six months, but usually it's not included at all. Most association policies don't include this. They may have some kind of a return to work incentive or something along those lines, but it's usually very short and sometimes it's also defined differently than a, than a full recovery benefit group. Long Term disability policies that are provided through an employer almost always do not have this at all. They may have a residual benefit included. Sometimes they don't. You would just need to read the details of the policy to confirm that, but as far as their recovery benefit is usually not included, it's so important to have this writer or feature included in your policy. The reason is because quite simply it's very possible to recover from a disability depending on which study you review.
(03:15): The average claim time for a full or total disability is somewhere between three to six years, somewhere in that range. Of course, there are some that go a lot longer, but it's very possible to be disabled for just long enough to be totally out of sync with your profession or your specialty and up to date. And so let's say that you're out for three years from an illness or an accident and you are then medically cleared to go back to work. You've worked hard to get back to that point. You want to be productive, you want to get back to it and you're able to do that. You've recovered and so you no longer qualify for disability benefits under the definition of disability because you're not medically disabled. So you returned to work full time and when you do, it's very possible that your income is not going to be what it used to be before you were disabled.
(04:08): It's very possible that it could stay that way. Like for the rest of your career. We've had scenarios. There's one client, they'll have a colleague of mine who's been, he was a physician who was disabled, I believe a family medicine doctor was out for about two years, came back, went back into practice at the same location and his practice had essentially evaporated during the time he was away. These patients had gone on to other providers and that was like 13, 14, 15 years ago. And he is still receiving a recovery benefit because his income has never bounced back. It's very possible to not see as many patients. It's very possible to just for whatever reason, not be as productive. If you follow sports, we S we see this all the time when a star running back in football hurts their knee and has a surgery comes back, yes, they're able to play.
(05:03): They may even be able to start and contribute, but it's very possible that they don't produce the way they used to produce. Now sometimes that does happen but a lot of times it doesn't and so having a recovery benefit that's solid, that doesn't go for just a six month period or 12 month period. It's something that you would want to make sure is on your policy. Again, there are not many companies that offer it in the employer kind of guarantee issue space where if you work for an employer and they provide disability benefits to everyone, it's rare for a recovery benefit to be included.
It's not impossible, but it's just something that you would definitely want to make sure you address inside of your private specialty coverage. Again, this is another reason in a significant reason to consider working with a broker who is a disability expert or an a specialist because this is something that a specialist would know about. So I'm happy to answer any additional questions. Hope you found this helpful. Please feel free to text me anytime to arrange a conversation or to ask me questions. My number is (704) 270-2376 again, (704) 270-2376. I'd be glad to discuss your situation anytime. Until next time. This is Billy Gwaltney and as always, I'm grateful for you carving out a few minutes to listen and I look forward to the opportunity to be with you again soon. Take care.
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