Unfortunately, the caretakers may sometimes find themselves in need of urgent care. When working in child care, you may run the risk of injury, as you may have to run around with kids who are unruly or may risk tripping while playing sports or other games. Moreover, since you may be sharing lots of toys, board games, art supplies, and electronics, there’s a genuine risk of infectious disease transmission in childcare settings. Although the World Health Organization lists non-communicable diseases as the top 7 out of 10 leading causes of death and disability, infectious diseases still shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially right now amid the era of COVID-19.
Even being forced out of work for a few days could mean the difference between whether or not you make certain expenditures. This applies doubly so to fields like childcare: with a BLS median salary of just $25,460 per year, childcare workers face a particularly dire risk of struggling with economic precarity.
To minimize the impact of that precarity, it would be wise to invest in disability insurance benefits. Disability insurance can keep you afloat through your benefit period (either months or years depending on the disability’s severity), and these benefits are typically paid out in monthly installments.
Ideally, these payments should be at least 60-80% of your pre-tax income, or roughly equivalent to your take-home pay. The policy should also clearly define:
If you work at a larger company, then your employer may offer comprehensive disability coverage in your benefits package. However, that coverage may be contingent on your working there. There isn’t always a guarantee that they will renew your plan. If you work at a smaller childcare facility, then those benefits may be harder to come by, assuming you’re even offered them.
If any of those circumstances apply to your situation, then you should consider going straight to an insurer, whether through an independent insurance agent or by contacting the company directly. Individual coverage will probably be your most affordable option. However, if you have partners or children who could risk disabling illnesses or injuries, you may want to consider a group plan.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)
The Council for Disability Awareness has claimed that 90% of disabilities stem from illnesses, not accident injury. Even if you think you’re “too young” to suffer such things, you’re not. Those same CDA analytics found that one in four 20-year-olds leave work due to disabling conditions. So don’t hesitate to seek disability insurance, and don’t hesitate to evaluate your plan carefully.
We never want the worst-case scenarios to happen, but it’s always good to have a contingency plan implemented if they do. Even if your contingency plan happens to fall through, you can supplant it with another contingency plan. If you or a loved one is a Chicago-area childcare worker who was recently sidelined by disability, then your contingency plan’s best contingency plan is Bartolic Law. We handle all manner of ERISA litigation disputes, and childcare disability benefits are no exception.