Whether you are entitled to receive partial benefits — generally referred to as residual benefits — is dependent on the coverage that you purchased. Residual benefits are not always automatically included in private disability insurance policies and tend to be offered as a supplementary rider. If you do not purchase supplementary “residual benefits” coverage, then you may not be eligible for residual benefits.

In any case, if your plan does include some provision for residual benefits, then you may be entitled to receive a portion of your total disability benefits in circumstances where you have not been rendered “fully disabled” but have still had your ability to work and earn impacted by your condition.

How does it work?

  • Residual benefits qualification can vary significantly, but as a general rule, it is measured by a percentage reduction in income or hours.
  • For example, if your total income has been reduced by 40 percent in the wake of your disabling injury, then you may be entitled to receive 40 percent of your total disability benefit (monthly) as a partial income replacement.
  • Thus, if you would have been entitled to $5,000 monthly disability benefits (for a fully disabling condition), you would be entitled to receive $2,000 per month in partial benefits.

It should be noted, however, that most insurers require that the impact of your partial disability meet a baseline percentage amount before you are entitled to receive residual benefits. If the impact of your partial disability on income is just five percent, for example, then you would likely be ineligible to receive any benefits.