May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month, or DIAM. It is meant to promote an understanding of the realities of disability planning, as opposed to the common myths. And no, I am not going to go all “Myth Busters” and wrap someone in bubble wrap and drop them off a building to see if the can actually servive, even if it would be cool to do so.
One of the major reasons that disability planning is so much more important than it was even a decade ago is because of science. That which used to kill us doesn’t anymore. Heart attacks were once certain death, now peoplw have multiple ones like they do trophy wives. Cancer is no longer a death sentence. Congresswoman Giffords wouldn’t have been alive if she went through what she did two decades ago.
And medical science just keeps getting better. So things that once killed people ninety percent of the time “just” leave them disabled for months or years now. And that is part of the reason Disability Insurance is so critical: is your nice banker going to say “Gee Phil, glad your chemo is going well. Because I’m such a stand up guy and the bank has too much money, we’re going to pay for your mortgage until you get back on your feet.”? Not on this plane of reality.
So Disability Insurance is there to help fill the cash void left because the doctors are doing a better job than what they used to, leaving more people alive but unable to care for themselvves or generate income. And quite frankly I am glad for their medical advances, because it means some people I care for are still here. And ecause of proper disability planning they can worry about getting better, not whether they can pay their mortgage.