# What I Learned from a Disability Insurance Calculator

Posted By: The Income Protection Team on 5/23/2016

What are the chances a disability insurance calculator could teach me anything? I’m healthy, fit and in my early thirties – disability doesn’t happen to people like me. At least, that’s what I used to think.

## What’s your PDQ? Calculate the risk of disability

Until this week, if you asked me what PDQ meant, I’d say “pretty darn quick.” However, in the world of disability insurance, PDQ means “personal disability quotient,” which is a percentage that shows how likely you are to get disabled. There’s a calculator for this, and when I plugged in my numbers, boy was I surprised to find out that my PDQ is 16 percent. I mean, that sounds relatively low, but still. It’s a one-in-six chance. If there were six of me, one of us would be disabled right now.

The other thing the calculator told me is that if I did get disabled, there’s a 35 percent chance that my disability would last five years or longer. The average length of a long-term disability for someone like me is 78 months.

Seventy-eight months? That’s six and a half years. There goes the rest of my thirties.

## What’s your EIQ? Calculate the financial impact of a disability

If you asked me what EIQ meant before today, I wouldn’t know what to say. Something about intelligence, maybe? Your electronic IQ? Your estimated IQ?

Nope. EIQ stands for Earnings Income Quotient, which estimates the value of your ability to earn an income. Basically it projects all the income you’ve got coming to you through the rest of your working years. Mine tallies up to about three and a half million.

Now, I’m not going to lose three mill over the course of a 6.5-year disability, that’s for sure. At the same time, if I were to lose my paycheck for 6.5 years, who would pay my mortgage? Who would provide for my family? As a single-income earner, those questions strike me as pretty grim. Pretty grim indeed.

There’s the truth behind this type of disability insurance calculator: it puts a dollar amount on the value of one’s ability to earn an income. And I, for one, am not about to throw three million dollars around like it’s made of notebook paper.

## What’s your plan? Mine is disability insurance

Disability insurance doesn’t cover medical bills. It’s not health insurance. And it usually doesn’t cover the needs of people over 65, either, because at that point what they’d need is long-term care insurance, not disability.

What disability insurance can do is supplement my income in case I get injured or sick, so that I don’t have to, you know, spend the next 6.5 years evicted and hungry.

Of course I have no idea if I’m actually going to get disabled or not. But the thing is, no one ever does. You can’t know if you’re going to get rear-ended. You can’t know if your house is going to burn down. You protect yourself anyway. You protect your family.

That’s what I learned from a disability insurance calculator. Disability is more likely than I realized ... and to handle that possibility, I need to protect myself and my family – pretty darn quick. What’s your PDQ? Calculate your risk here.