Beyond dollars and cents: how disability insurance can help you get back on your feet

While you may be familiar with the monthly cash benefits that long-term disability insurance provides, its value spans much beyond replacing a portion of your paycheck.

Once your long-term disability claim is approved, you may be matched with a vocational rehabilitation counselor who can help you return to a healthy lifestyle. Depending on your disability, your counselor may:


  • Research and put you in contact with rehabilitation centers for your disability
  • Facilitate workplace accommodations
  • Help set up a workspace in your home
  • Identify your skills to help you transition into a new role

These counselors are trained to take a holistic approach to your recovery, support you on your road to wellness, and help you return to work.

Here’s a good example of how this works: Manny Celis thought he would never be able to work again after losing his sight. For him, the task of learning how to do all the activities he did before seemed daunting. He describes his experience this way: “To put it simply, it’s like going into a room and someone shuts the lights out . . . it’s very hard [to do the things you did before] when you first start without having skills and training.”

Before he became disabled, Manny decided to elect long-term disability insurance—admittedly without having thought too much about it. While the monthly cash payments from Sun Life’s Long-Term Disability insurance helped to keep him afloat financially, the greatest benefit to him was his relationship with his rehabilitation counselor, who helped him get in touch with a local rehabilitation center for the visually impaired. Working with experts who had experience with people with his disability helped him shift his focus to what he could do—rather than remain focused on his limitations. When he was able to return to work, he did so with a greater confidence than ever before.

Manny credits his vocational rehabilitation counselor for getting him back on his feet.

“I can do everything I did before” Manny says now, after returning to his job with all of the responsibilities he previously had. “Anything. Everything.”

Sources:

DOL.gov, Disability related leave, accessed April 29, 2015, http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/employ.htm

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