What would happen to you should you become disabled?

By Janice Roberts

Motshabi Nomvethe, Head of Technical Marketing at PPS

By: Motshabi Nomvethe, Head of Technical Marketing at PPS

Your earning potential is your greatest asset and if you’re unable to work, you won’t be able to generate income for your family or dependants. Equally important, is your ability to function, both at work and outside of work, at home, and other day-to-day activities. Accidents, illness, and disasters happen all the time and this can impair professionals’ ability to perform their occupational duties and perhaps certain basic functions such as driving, bathing and eating.

If you’re the breadwinner in the family, you may have asked yourself what would happen to you if you got into an accident or were diagnosed with a long-term illness and couldn’t work for an extended period of time.  Similarly, as a professional, you might take time off from your profession, for an extended period, e.g. a sabbatical or to care of your family or pursue other hobbies.  How would a disability affect your ability to function daily?

The answer is that, as a professional, the essential part of your financial wellness lies in protecting your earning potential because that’s your greatest asset. The other part, is to protect your ability to live the life that you want, while protecting yourself, your dreams and your family.  It can be unsettling to think about the financial predicament of not being able to maintain your lifestyle or pay your living expenses for a long period of time, should you become disabled. Let’s take a look at how this can play out in real life.

You can’t choose your disability

JB Erasmus was working as an advocate in South Africa’s high court and living a healthy lifestyle. He took out PPS cover to protect himself in case anything happened, that could affect his ability to earn. He was later diagnosed with pneumonia and lost a part of his lung. As a result of the surgery, he couldn’t perform his occupational duties in the way he used to and was declared 100% incapacitated. He lodged his claim and today, he’s in a position to live the same standard of lifestyle he was accustomed to before he was incapacitated.

Another example is Leon Visser, a qualified arborist, who climbed and cut trees for a living, and also enjoyed carpentry hobbies. One Christmas day he decided to make a wine rack in his home workshop, and the unexpected happened. Leon had a freak accident with his saw, resulting in the loss of four of his fingers. The accident left him unable to perform his occupational duties and he was devastated. Having sufficient insurance cover is literally what ensured that he could get the kind of medical attention that would see him recover enough to even consider returning to his profession. It also enabled him to make the necessary accommodations in his home and workplace in order to continue living the life he had envisioned for himself and his family.

Long-term disability can plunge you into deep financial distress, especially if you are not prepared and don’t have the right financial support. You need to find insurance cover that would be an appropriate solution for your financial needs whether you are living with a short or long-term impairment.

Financial solutions for professionals

At PPS, we understand the need to protect your earning ability as a professional.  We also understand that a disability might not affect your ability to work, but could affect your ability to perform regular day-to-day functions and so we have extended our Professional Disability Provider benefit by adding Functional Disability Cover, giving members an additional option to our existing Occupational Disability benefit.

The Functional Disability benefit is open to professionals in all occupations, while Occupational Disability Cover is limited to specific professions. Claims for these benefits are assessed differently, and you should speak to an accredited financial adviser, in order to assess your specific needs as a professional.

PPS members who qualify will find value in taking out both types of cover, in the case of accidents, illness, and disasters that can impair their ability to perform their occupational and/or certain basic functions such as driving, bathing and eating.

PPS, as the only financial services company focused exclusively on providing intelligent financial products and solutions to graduate professionals in the country, is committed to looking after the wellbeing of our professional members. We aim to improve their experience in covering both occupational and functional disability where the need arises.

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