Empire State officials have approved the sale of an enhanced accelerated benefit rider developed by Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

Guardian, New York, says the EAB rider is now available in 42 states.

Guardian is including the EAB rider with whole life insurance policies at no extra charge.

The rider enables policyholders who are permanently chronically ill and are unable to perform at least 2 of 6 activities of daily living to receive benefits early.

The rider also offers acceleration of benefits for any eligible policyholder who suffers from a permanent cognitive impairment that requires supervision, can receive benefits

A policyholder does not have to get an organ transplant or suffer from a catastrophic illness to qualify for acceleration of benefits, Guardian says.

For chronic illness, the total lifetime maximum is 100% of the cash value of the policy, plus between 20% and 80% of the policy’s net amount at risk, depending on the age of the insured when the first claim occurs, Guardian says.

Guardian uses Internal Revenue Service long term care benefit guidelines to set the annual benefit limit, which is $91,250 this year.

In most states, payments begin after a 90-day waiting period, Guardian says.

The benefit can be paid immediately to terminally ill policyholders. The terminally ill can receive the full cash value plus 80% of the policy’s net amount at risk, Guardian says.

The cash advances on the death benefit do not have to be repaid if the insured survives, Guardian says.

Policyholders who want the EAB rider must elect it when the policy is issued and underwritten.