Elimination Period—What You Need to Know
Updated: Sep 16
I have a client who was recently diagnosed with cancer. This physician quit working 32 days ago and began chemotherapy. He tells me he needs his disability benefits right away because he has no income coming in at all. Fortunately, his policy has a “Good Health Benefit” which reduces the elimination period.
For this physician, the elimination period (waiting period) was reduced by 2 days for every year he hasn’t made a claim. His policy is 14 years old, so his elimination period is reduced by 28 days.
The elimination period of a physician disability insurance policy is the number of days a person needs to be disabled in order to begin receiving benefits. It works kind of like a deductible on a medical policy. A good policy will count days of total and/or partial disability toward the elimination period. It will also allow for days of recovery in between days of disability. But different companies’ policies can vary in important ways in how they count these days of recovery.
The client I mentioned above has a policy that will allow up to 363 days of recovery between periods of disability. If he is disabled for 32 days and then goes back to work for 363 days and then relapses, the company will keep counting right where they left off.
Some companies are much more restrictive in how the elimination period must be satisfied. For example, if the policy has a 90-day elimination period, they require the 90 days be completely satisfied within a 180-day period. This, of course, may make collecting benefits more difficult and the insured might have many periods of disability and still not satisfy the waiting period.
Having the right disability insurance contract will help my client receive his benefits earlier than he otherwise would have with other policies.
Contact us and let us show you how the various disability income contract features compare so that you also are well protected if you become disabled.