Accelerated Death Benefit

So, what is an accelerated death benefit? 

Most people I have talked to have never heard of the accelerated death benefit option that life insurance offers. The accelerated death benefit is most commonly referred to as a “rider” but it is simply a provision in most life insurance policies that allow a person to receive a set portion of their life insurance funds early. In other words, they may access it while they are still living. It is most commonly used when a person has a terminal illness that has resulted in a life expectancy of six months to two years. There are also some individuals with disabilities that can also qualify for this benefit, like long term care.This depends on the life insurance contract and what the provision includes. Generally, the benefit is between 50 to 80% of the policy value. Essentially, if the Doc gives you six months to two years to live, you can use a part of your death benefit for whatever is a priority in your life.

Who can request this benefit to be added to their policy?

Anyone can, if the insurance carrier offers the benefit and the underwriters approve it, can get it added on. Adding this benefit could raise your policy rates. Although there are many carriers out there that add this on for free.

When should you apply to receive this benefit?

Anyone who has a terminal illness or condition could investigate the Accelerated Death Benefit option. People with other conditions, such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), those requiring artificial life support, or people with organ failure who are not transplant candidates may also qualify depending on their individual policies and state laws. This is also true in regard to long-term care, funds can be used to help individuals if policy and state laws allow.

What are the restrictions for the use of received funds?

There are usually no spending restrictions set upon the individual that has received the benefit. Therefore, individuals can use these funds for whatever they wish. For example, if individual wants to make sure that they have a good time before they pass, they could go on vacation with loved ones and create long-lasting, priceless memories. Or one might use the funds to pay bills and remove the financial burden of those bills off their loved ones. Either way, it’s up to that individual person and their needs.

This great and useful benefit is something to keep in mind if you are looking for a life insurance policy.  Understanding this benefit could help protect your legacy, create priceless memories, or help pay for care. It is important to plan for the future, but you already know that because you’re looking into life insurance.  Now you can get the most out of your life insurance by knowing all that it can do while you’re still alive.

Ryan Begley

Benefits Specialist


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Greg McIntyre, JD, MBA

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Greg McIntyre, founder of McIntyre Elder Law, is more than just an attorney. As a Navy Veteran, father to six kids, and a loving husband, he values family deeply. This drives his commitment to helping clients safeguard their futures and pass down legacies.

Greg has a passion to help people. Beyond just legal advice, he loves having conversations and strives to build a long-term relationship with every clients that comes through his door.

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