Parental leave has prompted national conversations over the last several years and gotten the attention of big-name companies. However, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, among adults who were employed in the past two years, more time was taken off work to care for a sick family member (11%) than following the birth or adoption of a child (7%).
The “sandwich generation” — those people caring for both children and aging parents — makes up much of the workforce, and helps to explain why more people have taken time off to care for an ailing family member. This generation is facing the difficulty of being financially responsible for their families while also providing care to a spouse who has become ill, caring for a loved one with a severe cognitive impairment or caring for a child or aging parent with a serious health condition.
When this happens, it can be one of the most stressful and complicated times in your client’s life. You can help simplify the situation by preparing your clients financially with new individual disability insurance (IDI) products. Some communication and preparation now may be what your clients need to get through one of the toughest times later in their life.
What is a family caregiving benefit?
Choosing an IDI product that has family caregiving benefits can help a client take the time he or she needs to focus on family caregiving responsibilities without worrying about their income. This allows a client — who’s loved one faces a serious health condition — the time and ability to help with their care.
The popular assumption is that only a policyowner’s disability is covered by an IDI policy. While that’s still true for many policies, some now include family caregiving benefits. It’s important to highlight this benefit to your clients when they’re evaluating different policies. Explain to clients that family caregiving benefits can allow a client to receive monthly payments for experiencing a loss of income when taking time away from work to care for a loved one — a spouse, domestic partner, parent or child — who’s facing a serious, long-term health condition.
How does your client use the benefit?
Once your client chooses an IDI policy with a family caregiving benefit, you can help make sure they know how to use it. To help a client use the benefit to its fullest, it’s important to break down how to file a claim. To file a caregiving claim, the process is similar to submitting a regular IDI claim. Your client will need to provide information regarding the loved one’s condition and demonstrate a loss of time and earnings in his or her occupation.