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New England Disability and Life | Blog

The Nondisabling Injury Benefit (NDI) in a Disability Policy

Dean A. Schachter

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NDI is a free feature in some disability contracts.

If you suffer an injury requiring medical treatment prescribed by a physician or the repair to natural teeth prescribed by a dentist, some disability policies will pay the expense of such treatment, not to exceed the lesser of:

50% of the base benefit
or $3,000.
(Not available for Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland or Massachusetts)

There is no limit as to how many claims can be made using the NDI.

To See which companies offer NDI please contact us.

If you became Disabled, Where Would You Turn For Help?

Dean A. Schachter

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Disability coverage through work?
Employer-paid coverage may not cover bonuses or other incentive pay, and benefits could be
subject to income tax.

Government Programs?
Social Security and Workers’ Compensation have qualification requirements that many people
cannot meet.

Rely on family and friends?
Even if they were willing to help, this may be a short-term solution. And how long would it last?

Personal savings?
Depleting your savings could remove your extra cushion today and affect your plans for the

Retirement savings?
Using retirement savings today could negatively impact your retirement plans.

If you become Disabled, Do You have a Plan to Replace Your Income?

Dean A. Schachter

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It’s important to think through each possible “Plan B.” However, are any of these really viable alternatives?

Personal Assets Most financial advisors recommend counting on cash reserves only

for the first few months. A long-term disability can rapidly erode assets.

Social Security Given the stringent requirements to qualify for benefits, fewer than

30% of claims are approved at the initial level. After all appeals, only about half of

claims are ultimately approved. (Source: Social Security Administration, 2006)

Workers Compensation Benefits generally cover employees for job-related accidents

and illness, not those suffered outside of the workplace.

State Temporary Disability NY, NJ, CA, HI and RI provide a minimal level of shortterm

coverage for employees. Other states offer no such coverage.

Group LTD Employer and association long-term disability plans are highly variable,

but rarely offer benefits like a guaranteed premium or cost of living adjustment.

Benefits under employer plans are generally offset by Social Security and other

government programs. Review your coverage carefully.

Why everyone needs a disability policy

Dean A. Schachter

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What if illness or injury made it impossible for you to work?

• How long would your savings last?

•Would you have to draw down from your retirement plan?

• Would your spouse’s or partner's income be sufficient to make up the


• What lifestyle changes would you or your family need to make?

• What about your dreams for the future—college for your children, travel, a

comfortable retirement?

• What would happen to your credit rating?

The Social Security Disability Income Rider

Dean A. Schachter

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One way to reduce the premium on a disability policy is with the Social Security Disability Income (SSDIR) Rider.

The good news is that the cost per thousand of monthly benefit is much less than the cost per thousand of the base benefit but the monthly benefit total is the same.

The bad news, or the cautionary news, is that should the insured, who is disabled, become eligible for Social Security Disability, Worker’s Compensation, or Government Retirement and Disability Fund benefits then the portion of the monthly benefit that is SSDIR will be reduced or eliminated.

It's an interesting choice to make and as a general rule we would NOT encourage anyone to try saving money with an SSDIR rider.