Definition of Disability

Spring Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Home

A home is one of life’s most important investments. Keeping it properly maintained can help reduce the risk of a loss and help ensure the safety and well being of friends and family. Just in time for spring, Paul Fisher Insurance Services and Travelers, a leading provider of auto and homeowners insurance, offer these maintenance tips to prepare your home for warmer weather and to keep it safe year-round:

• Inspect your smoke detectors. Make sure that there is one on each floor of your home. Test them and change the batteries at least every six months, when you change your clocks.
• Check the light bulbs in all your fixtures to be sure that they are the correct wattage as recommended by the manufacturer.
• Replace lamps that use high-producing bulbs (such as halogen) with those that use fluorescent bulbs and operate at much cooler temperatures.
• Check your electrical outlets for potential fire hazards such as frayed wires or loose-fitting plugs. Be sure not to overload electrical outlets, fuse boxes, extension cords or any other power service.
• Keep a multi-purpose fire extinguisher accessible that is filled and ready for operation.
• Have your air conditioning system inspected by a professional as recommended by the manufacturer.
• Check for damage to your roof, and clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating.
• Check your water heater for leaks and corrosion, and keep surrounding area clear.
• Clean and/or replace your furnace filter.
• Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct and space under the dryer. Remove all lint, dust, and pieces of material or cloth.
• Inspect washing machine hoses and replace hoses that show signs of wear or leakage with stronger reinforced hoses. Turn off the water when not in use to prevent water damage if a hose breaks.
• In your yard, remove all dead trees and keep healthy trees and bushes trimmed and away from utility wires. Do not attempt to remove tree limbs from power lines yourself. Instead, call your power company to request assistance.
• Safely store oil and gas for lawn equipment and tools in a vented, secured area.
• Repair driveway and walkways that are cracked, broken or uneven to provide a level walking surface.

Established in 1983, Paul Fisher Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency offering a full range of insurance products including Auto, Home, Life, Equipment Leasing, Business Owners Insurance, Wedding Protection, Special Occasion Protection, and much more!

For information and quotes on insurance coverage, please visit
Paul Fisher Insurance Services at 3967 William Penn Highway Suite 3, Murrysville, PA 15668 or call (724)519-7503.

About Travelers
Travelers understands that life and business are inherently dynamic and that the best way to serve agents and policyholders is to deliver insurance that evolves to stay in-synch with life and business as they change. For more information on being in-synch, visit www.travelers.com.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading property casualty insurer selling primarily through independent agents and brokers. The company’s diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage in both the personal and commercial settings, including automobile, homeowners, construction, small business, oil and gas, ocean marine, surety and management liability, global technology and public sector services. Travelers is a Fortune 100 company, with 2007 revenues of $26 billion and total assets of $115 billion. The company has approximately 33,000 employees.

Business overhead expense disability insurance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Business overhead expense (BOE) disability insurance pays the insured’s business overhead expenses if he or she becomes disabled. A BOE policy pays a monthly benefit based on actual expenses, not anticipated profits. It is designed for businesses that rely on a small number of people (or one person) to produce revenue.

[edit] Coverage

The following business overhead expenses are typically covered by a BOE disability policy:[1]

* Rent

* Interest payments on some business debts

* Utilities

* Employees’ salaries and payroll taxes

* Postage and stationery

* Equipment maintenance

* Rental, lease, or depreciation of office equipment

* Taxes on the business property location

* Insurance premiums for Workers’ Compensation, employee medical, and liability

* Accounting fees

* Professional memberships and subscriptions

Policies do not cover the salary of a temporary employee hired to do the duties of the disabled. Income taxes, the cost of inventory, and the cost of furniture are some expenses that are not covered. .

[edit] Characteristics

* Benefit Periods: BOE insurance policies have short benefit periods that do not usually exceed two years.

* Elimination Periods: BOE policies typically have short elimination periods; either 30, 60 or 90 days.

* Maximum Benefits: BOE insurance policies offer a maximum monthly benefit, but only pay actual overhead expenses if they are less than that maximum benefit. With some insurers, any unused benefit can be applied to increase future monthly maximums or to extend the benefit period.

* Taxation: BOE insurance benefits are subject to income tax, but the premiums are tax deductible as a business expense.

* Rates: BOE insurance rates are based on the insured’s age (at time of purchase), occupation, and health status. Once a BOE policy is owned, coverage can be increased without providing evidence of medical insurability.

via Business overhead expense disability insurance – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability

Notice Concerning The Americans With Disabilities Act Amendments Act Of 2008

This document was adopted by the Commission in 1995 to explain its interpretation of the term “disability as used in the ADA. In 1999, the Commission published an Addendum to this document explaining that the discussion of mitigating measures in Section 902.5 was no longer correct due to the Supreme Court’s decision in Sutton v. United Airlines, Inc. The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) was signed into law on September 25, 2008 and became effective January 1, 2009. Because this law makes several significant changes to the definition of the term “disability,” the EEOC will eventually make extensive changes to this document, but not before publication of a final regulation implementing the ADAAA.

Since the ADAAA applies only to acts of alleged discrimination that occur on or after January 1, 2009, the guidance offered on the meaning of “disability” in this document (with the exception of Section 902.5) will still apply to alleged discrimination that occurred prior to January 1, 2009.

The EEOC published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 23, 2009. For information on the proposed ADAAA regulation and to learn about the major changes made to the definition of “disability”, see http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_adaaa_nprm.html.

via Section 902 Definition of the Term Disability.

Disability Planner: What We Mean By Disability

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

“Disability” under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

* You cannot do work that you did before;

* We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and

* Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers’ compensation, insurance, savings and investments.

via Disability Planner: What We Mean By Disability.

Disability – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A disability (or lack of a given ability, as the “dis” qualifier denotes) in humans may be physical, cognitive/mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.

An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.”[1]

An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard or norm. Such impairments may include physical, sensory, and cognitive or developmental disabilities. Mental disorders (also known as psychiatric or psychosocial disability) and various types of chronic disease may also qualify as disabilities.

Some advocates object to describing certain conditions (notably deafness and autism) as “disabilities”, arguing that it is more appropriate to consider them developmental differences that have been unfairly stigmatized by society.[citation needed]

A disability may occur during a person’s lifetime or may be present from birth.

via Disability – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Insurance Tips For New Home Owners

If you have just bought your very first home, you are probably unaware of how your purchase has affected your insurance profile and that you need to review your existing insurance cover. In fact, even upgrading from a small, cheap house to a larger family home will impact on your insurance. Most people think that adding some form of homeowners insurance is all that is needed when purchasing a new home. While the addition of a homeowner’s policy is by far the biggest change, your other insurance policies will most likely need to be reviewed too. The following are some of the more prominent policies you may need to revise.

Homeowner’s insurance

If you successfully applied for a home loan, your bank will have required that you take out a homeowner’s insurance policy. The questions that you need to ask yourself are did I get sufficient cover and did I shop around for the best deals?

When analyzing your coverage needs, your assessment needs to be based not only on what is required by your bank, but also on the actual value of the property. Banks often pressurize you to take whatever insurance policy they put in front of you. Except for a few conniving banks, taking the bank’s own cover is not mandatory. This means that you have the option of shopping around for better insurance.

Car insurance

If you just bought a house, your marital status may have changed. If this is the case, then congratulations! You may be eligible for a lower premium as marital status affects your risk profile. Married couples are considered a lower insurance risk by insurance companies. You may also want to cover both your and your spouse’s cars under one policy. This should work out much cheaper than having two separate vehicle insurance policies. You may even want to go one step further and combine your vehicle and homeowner’s policy to get even cheaper premiums. Lastly, it is essential that you update your car insurance policy as your change of address will also affect your policy. This is essential because should you need to claim due to theft from your new home and you have not updated your policy, your claim might be turned down.

Disability and life insurance

If you were to become disabled or unable to work due to an accident or disease, your mortgage will still need to be paid. Disability cover will pay you a monthly benefit if this happens which could very well save you from financial ruin until you are able to work again. Similarly, life insurance will help pay off your debts and perhaps even the mortgage on your home should you pass away. If you are the breadwinner in your family, this type of cover is essential.

Purchasing a new home can be a very exciting experience, but it is important that you remember to review all your insurance policies to make sure that you and your loved ones are adequately covered. If you are unsure of where to start contact your insurance broker and without a doubt, shop around for the best insurance deals!

via Insurance Tips For New Home Owners.

How Disability Income Insurance Policies Define Disability

When was the last time you read the fine print of an insurance policy? The fine print tells you some important information–how the policy defines disability, what your benefits will be, what exclusions apply, and more. The disability definition used in the policy determines how you qualify for disability benefits.

To be considered disabled under most policies, you must be unable to earn income. However, many policies narrow down this definition quite a bit. They may specify that you must try working in another occupation if you can’t do your own job, or they may pay benefits if you can do some but not all of the duties of your own occupation. Other policies aren’t concerned with occupation at all; they consider you to be disabled when, because of illness or injury, you earn less than you did before.

Own occupation coverage

Although the terminology used to define disability varies from policy to policy, an own occupation policy generally defines disability as the inability to perform the material and substantial duties of one’s own occupation. This definition of disability is liberal, because even if you can work in another occupation, you still receive disability benefits. Own occupation coverage is often more expensive and may be available only to individuals who have a clean medical history and work in a relatively risk-free occupation.

Any occupation coverage

An any occupation policy defines disability as the inability to perform the duties of any occupation. This definition of disability is strict. To receive benefits according to this definition, you have to be unable to work in any occupation, not just your own. Generally, however, the wording is modified to take into consideration your earning level, education, training, and experience.

Split definition coverage

Many disability policies incorporate both an own occupation definition of disability and an any occupation definition. You purchase a policy that provides own occupation coverage for a limited period of time. After this period ends (usually two years), you must meet the any occupation definition of disability to continue receiving benefits. This is sometimes known as short-term own occupation coverage.

Presumptive total disability coverage

No matter how your insurance company defines total disability, most companies automatically consider certain catastrophic ailments to be totally disabling. If you are disabled by one of these ailments, you don’t have to meet the conditions normally required in order to be considered totally disabled. Not only do you receive immediate benefits, but you also continue to receive benefits even if you are able to return to work. These ailments (which may be caused by injury or illness) are the loss of sight in both eyes, hearing in both ears, speech, the use of both hands, the use of both feet, and the use of one hand and one foot.

Residual disability coverage

Disability policies can pay benefits in the event that you cannot work at all (total disability), can work some time but not all the time (residual disability), or both. Residual disability or income replacement policies pay benefits according to the amount of income you have lost due to disability. These policies pay benefits even if you are not totally disabled and can work part-time. Your benefit will be based on the percentage of income you earn working part-time in relation to what you used to earn working full-time. In some policies, to qualify for residual disability coverage, you must first qualify for a period of total disability. This is the least desirable method.

You can purchase a total disability policy with residual coverage as a rider, or an income replacement policy (as residual coverage is known when that is the only way benefits are paid) as a stand-alone policy. The income replacement policy will generally cost less than the total disability policy with the residual rider.

Partial disability coverage

Partial disability coverage is usually offered as a rider to a total disability policy, although it may be included in base coverage. It is similar to, but not the same as, residual disability coverage. Both types of coverage pay benefits if you can perform some but not all of the duties of your occupation. However, unlike residual disability, a partial disability definition does not consider loss of income. Rather, you are paid an amount equal to 50 percent (occasionally less) of the benefit that you would earn if you were totally disabled. In addition, the benefit period is much shorter than that for residual disability (a few months or a year at most).

Does your policy cover illness, injuries, or both?

Most policies offer coverage for both injuries and illnesses. Some policies, however, offer accident-only protection and don’t cover illnesses. Also, because work-related disabilities are covered by workers’ compensation, most policies will reduce their benefits by any amount of benefits paid by workers’ compensation, as well as any benefits received from Social Security and other government programs.

Sickness is usually defined in disability policies as illness or disease that manifests itself while the policy is in force. This definition covers mental as well as physical illness, but most policies limit payments for mental illness and drug- or alcohol-related disabilities to two years of benefits. Some policies have exclusions for disabilities caused by pregnancy, war, and self-inflicted injuries as well as other exclusions. All of the exclusions will be detailed in the policy.

via How Disability Income Insurance Policies Define Disability.

Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Part-Time Work

I’d like to talk to you about a topic that comes up quite a bit in my social security disability practice here in Atlanta, and the issue has to do with part-time work. As you know, Social Security Disability is dealing with a lot of very, very long delays in the management and handling of cases. It’s not uncommon for cases to be pending in the Social Security Administration for two or three years, sometimes even longer. Of course, when you’re waiting two or three years to get to a hearing, it can be very tempting to try to go back to work. After all, you have to make ends meet, right? Well, the problem is that sometimes work activity, even if it’s just part-time work, can result in your claim for benefits being denied. And then you are really in trouble.

As a practical matter, it’s important for you to realize that part-time work makes it much more difficult to win your social security disability case. The simplest explanation would be this: the judges, when they see part-time work, are likely to believe that if you are able to do part-time work, then perhaps you would be able to do full-time work if your job responsibilities could be slightly lessened. In simple terms, a SSA Judge might think that if you tried a little bit harder, you could probably work full-time. This is just the thought process here. Or, if you’re working a part-time job that requires a certain amount of physical activity, the natural thought of the Judge will be that if you took something a little bit less strenuous, you could probably do it full-time. Then the Judge will likely deny benefits.

I really think the part-time work muddies the waters, and I like to say that Social Security sees disability as a black and white thing: either you’re disabled or you’re not. Part-time work tends to blur that distinction and, again, judges sometimes are less inclined to give you the benefit of the doubt. It’s too bad that this is how it goes, since many people rely on that part-time work to make ends meet while they are waiting for their claim to be heard.

Now, I will tell you that unsuccessful work attempts – any work attempt that lasted three months or less – may actually benefit you in a social security hearing. Judges do see unsuccessful work attempts as good evidence that you’re not able to work full-time. So, I don’t think there’s a problem with trying to work, but I want to warn you that once you get beyond three or four months on any given job, then it starts to look like a regular type of job, and that’s when a judge might be inclined to deny your case.

Now, a couple of strategies to keep in mind about this: the definition of disability is that you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity because of a medically determinable condition that has lasted 12 consecutive months or is likely to last 12 consecutive months or result in death. So, I’ve had some cases where somebody might go back to work, but I’ll tell them, if at all possible, wait until after 12 months have elapsed before going back to work. This is because if they go back to work, let’s say, in month 14, that means they were out for at least a year and we could win them benefits for that time period. However, if they went back to work after 8 months of not working, the SSA is sure to deny the case (since it is shown that their condition did not disable them for a year – as is required in order to win benefits). In cases where the claimant was out for more than a year and returned to work, however, we argue for what is known as a “closed period of disability” and get that lump sum for the chunk of time they were out. They wouldn’t get on-going benefits, but at least it would give them 12 or so months of benefits for when they were out of work.

So, I guess the big picture here is if you’re thinking about going back to work or trying to work and you’re represented, call your attorney and talk to him or her about it. The one thing that we don’t like as attorneys is finding out the day of the hearing that our client has attempted to work and has earnings of several thousand dollars during the last couple of years while the case was pending before Social Security. Judges have access to earnings records, so they can see if you’ve tried to work and they can see that you were able to work. So if they see $20,000 or $30,000 of income during that two or three years before the hearing, it’s going to have to be explained. And, as I said, it’s very difficult to explain away part-time work that generated $15,000. It’s not a lot of money, but it looks like regular work and it makes it much more difficult to win your disability case.

So, the big picture here is that there’s nothing wrong with trying to work but, if you do, you certainly risk getting your benefits. If you are thinking about going to work, it’s wise to consult with your attorney first to get a sense from him or her as to whether or not that’s going to make it difficult for you to pursue your claim for disability benefits.

Jonathan Ginsberg has been practicing Social Security Disability law in the Atlanta, Georgia area for over 20 years. His website can be found at http://www.atlantasocialsecuritydisabilityattorney.net

via Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Part-Time Work.

Comparing Disability Income Insurance Policies

Individual disability income insurance is a very flexible product. Many types of policies with an array of features and options are available, allowing you to design a policy that fits both your needs and your budget. But because there’s no such thing as a standard disability policy, comparing policies can be difficult. To make it easier, figure out the coverage and features you want before you begin to compare policies, so that you’re comparing equivalent policies. You can obtain a great deal of information directly from insurance companies, including brochures that describe insurance products, specific insurance product proposals, and sample policies. Read this literature carefully, and ask questions if anything seems unclear. Here are some important things to consider before choosing a disability policy.

How does each policy define disability?

If you want to make sure your disability claim will be paid when you are sick or injured, it’s extremely important to know how the policy you are buying defines disability. No standard definition of disability exists, so when you’re comparing policies, you have to read the wording of each carefully. Do you want the policy to pay benefits only if you’re completely disabled or if you can return to work part-time? Do you want coverage only if you can’t work in your own occupation or if you can’t work in any occupation? Remember, the more liberal the definition of disability is, the more expensive the policy will be.

What are the contractual guarantees of the policy?

Is the policy you’re considering noncancelable and guaranteed renewable, or only guaranteed renewable? Does the policy offer special provisions (e.g., for rehabilitation coverage) or exclusions (e.g., for pre-existing conditions)?

What base and optional features does each policy offer?

Disability policies offer a variety of base and optional features. How long is the waiting period before you can begin collecting benefits? How long are benefits payable for? What optional benefits can you add? For example, can you add a cost-of-living rider to adjust the benefits for inflation?

How much does each policy cost?

Once you’ve found two or more equivalent policies that have the features you want, compare their premiums. Is one policy a better value for the price? If one policy is more expensive than the other, can you find an explanation for the disparity? Maybe the cost of additional riders is higher with the more expensive policy. It’s possible that you overlooked an important provision, or that one policy is simply the better value.

Does each insurer have a good reputation?

Although it’s unlikely that an insurance company will become insolvent, it has happened. To protect yourself, find out as much as possible about of each of the companies you are comparing. Several companies rate insurers on financial strength, profitability, and claims-paying ability (e.g., A. M. Best, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s, and Moody’s). You can also contact your state division of insurance.

Choose the policy that best suits your needs and your budget

After you’ve compared disability income insurance policies, you can decide which one to buy. In many cases, one policy is far superior to another, and your decision is easy. Sometimes, though, you’ll have to spend time weighing the strengths and tradeoffs of each policy before you can decide which one is right for you. Of course, because disability insurance is expensive, the price of each policy is always a factor, but be careful not to buy a policy that’s seriously lacking because it’s cheaper. Quality of coverage is as important as price, something you’ll find out if you ever file a disability claim.

Although the final decision always rests in your hands, a professional opinion can be valuable. Your insurance advisor or broker may be able to detect hidden weaknesses in a policy, explain confusing terms or provisions, and help you weigh the strengths and tradeoffs of each policy you are considering. However, don’t let yourself be pressured into buying a policy you don’t want or can’t afford.

via Comparing Disability Income Insurance Policies.

Disability insurance – What’s the most important aspect to consider?

How do you judge the best Disability Insurance? First, the simple answer:

1. Which company is financially strongest?

2. Which policy will pay the most in the most different claims scenarios?

The first thing that one hears about disability insurance is: Get an “Own occupation” definition of disability and even more importantly, for physician disability insurance, get a policy that further defines occupation as your specialty.

But is this the only factor? You can have a policy that has an own occupation definition but is weak in other areas. An important and overlooked area is that of recovery benefits. This is crucial as the majority of people who receive benefits from their policies do go back to work and mostly back to the occupation or specialty that they were involved with before the disability.

So, what happens when one is released from care and back to work? Well, that depends on the company and policy. One company has a good long term occupation definition of disability but says that when you return to work and are released from care and are no longer impaired your benefits end with a 4 month payment for recovery.

A question is: How long will it take to get back to 100% income, even if well, after being out of the loop for one, two, three years or more? Is there a chance that it will never get back?

The right alternative is a disability insurance policy with recovery benefits to age 65. What happens here? In the same set of circumstances as above you go back to work with no impairment but no income as you build back your business. Your claim continues at 100%. A year later your income is still only 40% of pre-disability income. What do you get? 60% of your insurance benefit. Two years later you get up to 50% of pre-disability income. What do you receive from your policy? 50% of your monthly disability insurance benefit?

In this last example, what if you never get above 50% of pre-disability benefit yet you no longer have the impairment? With one policy you would have received a 4-month “recovery benefit.” With the other you’d continue receiving benefits. It’s an important part of your choice of disability insurance policies.

Author, Neil Willner, owner of ProtectYourIncome.com, Disability Insurance Online, provider of disability insurance quotes and information, writes articles on disability insurance for ProtectYourIncome.com. For more information, visit www.ProtectYourIncome.com.

Author, Richard Reich, writes articles on disability insurance for ProtectYourIncome.com – Disability Insurance Online, an online source for disability insurance quotes and information. For more information, visit https://www.ProtectYourIncome.com.

via Disability insurance – What’s the most important aspect to consider?.

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