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Texas Department of Insurance
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What’s disability insurance and how does it work?


Worried about paying your bills if you can’t work because you’re hurt or sick?  You can buy disability insurance to provide your family with a safety net if you get hurt or sick and can’t work.

Woman on couch
  1. How does it work?

    Disability insurance pays part of your income if you get sick or have a physical or mental disability that keeps you from working. The amount you get paid is usually a percentage of your pay.

  2. How long will I get payments?

    There are two types of policies:

    • Short-term disability policies usually pay up to a year.
    • Long-term disability policies pay you up to the maximum number of years outlined in your policy.

    Both policies have a waiting period before they start paying. The waiting period is up to 90 days for a short-term policy and up to a year for a policy that pays you for longer than two years.

  3. What types of disabilities does it cover?

    Your policy will tell you what it considers to be a disability, injury, or illness. For example, a short-term policy might pay if you just had a baby or had surgery and temporarily can’t work. A long-term disability policy might pay if you were hurt in a car wreck or have a long-term illness and don’t expect to be able to work again.

  4. How do you get disability insurance?

    First, ask if your job provides it. If it doesn’t, you can buy it on your own.

    Your premium and benefits will depend on which insurance you buy, how much and how long it pays, and how long you have to wait before it begins paying.

    If you own a business, you can get business disability insurance that potentially pays your rent or mortgage, utilities, employee salaries and benefits, property taxes, and other expenses.

  5. How else can I replace my income if I’m disabled?

    Some jobs have paid sick time that you can use to get paid while recovering from an illness, surgery, or accident.

    Another option is Social Security Disability Insurance. It’s a federal program for people who can’t do any type of work because of a physical or mental disability that is expected to last a year or more.



Questions? Call us at 800-252-3439.

Last updated: 8/7/2023