Disability Insurance

Help protect your finances when you can’t work

You never expect to be in a position where you can’t work, but something as simple as a back injury or maternity leave could mean time off of work without pay. Fortunately, depending on your plan, you could receive benefits up to 50-70% of your salary through Disability Insurance.

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Unum Disability Insurance


Help protect your way of life 

When you get sick or injured and are unable to work, you don’t want to worry about how you’ll pay the bills or wonder where the money for next week’s groceries will come from. Disability Insurance can help replace a portion of your paycheck — you can think of it as income protection.

Disability Insurance might make sense for you if:

  • You don’t have a large amount of savings or other sources of income available.
  • You depend on your income to support your lifestyle.
  • You can’t afford to be out of work for weeks or months at a time.

Short Term Disability Insurance

After surgery, childbirth or other covered situations, Short Term Disability Insurance can be a helping hand while you’re out of work. Your plan could pay a portion of your income if you can’t work for several weeks due to a covered injury or illness.

Long Term Disability Insurance

If you’re out of work for a longer period of time due to a serious illness or accident, Long Term Disability Insurance can help you maintain financial independence. The length of coverage depends on your plan.

Individual Disability Insurance

If you earn a higher salary, or you rely on bonuses or commissions, Individual Disability Insurance can supplement Long Term Disability Insurance and provide higher levels of income protection coverage if you experience a covered disability and are out of work.

How Disability Insurance works

Being unable to work doesn’t have to hurt your bank account

If you have Disability Insurance and become unable to work due to injury or illness, you can file a claim with Unum and begin collecting benefits while on leave from your job.

Disability Insurance can help provide for you and your loved ones while you’re on leave. Depending on your plan, you could receive payments of up to 60% of your salary through disability coverage. Benefits can be used as you see fit, to cover things like rent, car payments, day-to-day expenses or out-of-pocket treatment costs.

How disability coverage compares

  Short Term Long Term Individual
Length of possible coverage payments 9–52 weeks Benefits paid until retirement age Benefits paid until retirement age
Amount that your benefit can pay Up to 60% of your monthly income Up to 60% of your monthly income A higher percentage of your pre-disability earnings
Portability Sometimes portable, depending on plan Portable in most cases Fully portable
Most commonly used by people who experience
  • Pregnancy
  • Injuries
  • Joint disorders
  • Digestive issues
  • Cancer2
  • Cancer
  • Back disorders
  • Injuries
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Joint disorders2
  • Musculoskeletal issues
  • Cancer
  • Back disorders — excluding injury
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nervous system disorders
  • Behavioral health issues3

How Disability Insurance can help

Michelle: Ankle Surgery

Michelle was showing her son how to block a kick when she took an unexpected fall and broke her ankle. She needed minor surgery and a cast, which kept her away from work for several weeks. Michelle’s Short Term Disability Insurance helped her pay the bills, so she could continue caring for her son while she was unable to work.

Fatima: Back Injury

Fatima was cleaning leaves out of her gutter when she fell off the ladder. A trip to the ER revealed she had several herniated discs and would need intensive physical therapy. Fatima’s Long Term Disability Insurance helped her contribute to her family’s mortgage, utilities, credit card bills and day-to-day expenses while she focused on regaining her strength.

Sarah and Dan: Maternity Leave

Sarah’s company doesn’t offer paid maternity leave, and being out of work for weeks without income would put a strain on their lifestyle. After having a baby, she and Dan used her Short Term Disability Insurance to cover their everyday expenses. Sarah could recover and focus on adjusting to life with her new baby without the added stress.

The examples above are for illustrative purposes only. Benefits may vary.

Employers and HR representatives

Find out more about offering individual or group disability insurance for your employees.

Commonly asked questions about Unum Disability Insurance

What constitutes a “disability?”

You are considered to be disabled on the date that you meet the definition of disability as outlined in your policy. Your medical records and information from your physician will help determine that date. Common illnesses and conditions that may lead to disability include:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Cancer
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Surgery
Are there disabilities that are not covered?

Excluded disabilities can vary by policy, but typically include:

  • Intentionally self-inflicted injuries
  • Active participation in a riot
  • Loss of professional or occupational license or certificate
  • Commission of a crime for which the individual has been convicted
  • For short term disability: occupational sickness or injury (however, Unum will cover disabilities due to occupational sicknesses or injuries for partners or sole proprietors who cannot be covered by workers' compensation plans)
  • Pre-existing conditions (if applicable)
  • War, declared or undeclared, or any act of war
  • Any period of disability during which you are incarcerated
When should I file the claim?
You should submit your disability claim as soon as possible to ensure a claim decision is made in a timely manner.
How much will I receive from my benefits?

Your "gross benefit amount" is the amount you signed up for at enrollment for your policy. It may be subject to offsets from other sources of income you also receive. Depending on how the coverage is paid for, it may also be subject to state and federal taxes. Benefit payments will be prorated to a daily benefit based on the benefit amount you chose.

Payments begin once you meet the eligibility requires of the coverage, the definition of disability, and the elimination period (also known as the "waiting period").

How long can I receive benefits?
The length of time you can receive benefits depends on your policy. Some Long Term Disability Insurance plans will pay benefits until you turn 67. Some Short Term Disability Insurance plans will provide coverage for less than one month. You must remain disabled under the terms of your policy to keep receiving benefits during these time periods. However, you may be eligible for a portion of your benefits as you return to work.
I’m ready to return to work. What do I do next?
When you are ready to return to work, please contact your claims specialist, who will work with you on your return-to-work plan.
What if I return to work and then have to go back out of work again for my disability?
Most plans allow for recurrent disability. If you become disabled again due to the same condition within a specified number of days, the recurrent provision allows continued disability payments under the original claim.
How many out-of-work days will my plan cover?
The number of days for the recurrent provision is stated in your policy. If you become disabled after the number of days in the recurrent provision, or due to a new medical condition, you will need to file a new claim.
Can I work part-time and still receive benefits?

Depending on the definition of disability as defined in the policy, you may be able to receive benefits and work part-time.

Most policies will allow you to work part-time while on claim; however, typically, you will need to have a certain percentage of your earnings lost to disability for a claim to remain active.

What happens to my benefits if the group policy terminates or I am terminated from my employment?
The cancellation of the policy or termination from employment does not affect a payable claim. If you are on claim and the policy is cancelled or you lose your job, a claim will be paid to the same duration it would have been had either event not occurred. Otherwise, when the coverage ends or you end employment, your coverage will terminate unless your policy has a continuation provision and you meet those requirements.

Unum Disability