How to Stay Financially Afloat In The Event of Total Permanent Disability

About this article:

  • Understand the impact of disability on not just the person affected but also their loved ones, and what it means to be totally and permanently disabled.
  • Learn how total permanent disability insurance (TPDI) can help cover your expenses
  • Explore the types of TPDI policies that can be available to you, and learn what to consider before purchasing one 

Table of Contents

Hard as we try to prevent them, unforeseen incidents are just a part of life. In the event that a disability happens, life as you know it can change in a very big way.

Few of us think about how to prepare for a scenario like this one, but that’s exactly where the problem lies.

So let’s start with the end-point: How do we stay financially afloat in the event that we become disabled? Read on to find out.

What is Total Permanent Disability?

Unfortunately, accidents or illnesses can result in total permanent disability.

Based on the Dependents’ Protection Scheme, total permanent disability refers to the inability to take part in any employment permanently or the total permanent loss of physical function of both eyes, two limbs, or one eye and one limb.

With no income to support you, medical bills, daily living expenses, and nursing care can quickly add up, causing financial strain on you and your family.

Prevalence Rate of Disability in Singapore

Population Group
Approximate Prevalence Rate
Student Population
2.1% of student population
18–49 Years Old
3.4% of resident population
50 Years and Above
13.3% of resident population

It is true that the elderly are more prone to disability. However, disability can also occur due to illness or an accident, which can affect anyone at any age.

  • The Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) estimated that approximately 3% of the citizens are unable to or had some form of difficulty performing a basic activity.
  • Additionally, since Singapore has an ageing population, the number of persons with disabilities will increase significantly by 2030, according to Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Enabling Masterplan.
  • Numbers also show that physical and sensory limitations (like blindness and deafness) make up half of all disabilities. The other 50% includes intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, and other conditions.

Can CareShield Life Payouts Help?

For many of us, this question often comes to mind shouldn’t payouts from CareShield Life be sufficient to cover us in the event of total permanent disability? In case you’re not familiar with this benefit, here’s a refresher: 

Quick Get-To-Know: What is CareShield Life?

CareShield Life is a government initiated insurance plan that offers monthly payouts to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) born 1980 and later in the event of severe disability. You are automatically enrolled as soon as you turn 30.

You would qualify for payouts if you’re unable to perform 3 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) out of the 6 ADLs (Washing, feeding, dressing, transferring, toileting, walking or moving around). You can read more about CareShield Life here.

For a 30 year old who joined CareShield Life in 2020 and makes a claim in 2024, his/her monthly payout is $649 for the entire period of his or her disability. 

While may or may not be a significant amount, do consider that your typical expenses on a monthly basis may include groceries, utility bills, rent, transport, medical fees and rehabilitation services or even hiring a helper to take care of you. 

While this amount is certainly helpful in reducing your monthly expenses, it may not be sufficient to cover all of your expenses in a month, depending on your situation.

How TPDI Can Help You Stay Afloat

Here’s where TPDI comes in. These plans often offer a lump-sum or monthly payout that can supplement your CareShield Life payouts.

To qualify for the TPDI benefit, you would need to be considered totally and permanently disabled. Different plans have varying coverages, so do check the specific terms of your plan.

A TPDI payout can be a real lifesaver in several ways:

  • Covers Living Expenses: It can help cover your daily living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and groceries, ensuring some financial stability during your recovery or transition.
  • Manages Medical Bills: The payout can help manage ongoing medical bills or rehabilitation costs associated with your disability.
  • Relieves Your Family of Financial Burden: It can provide financial security for your loved ones, ensuring they are not burdened by your disability.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing you have financial support can offer significant peace of mind during a difficult time.

Types of TPDI Policies

There are different types of TPDI policies available in Singapore, each with its own features and benefits. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Individual TPDI: This policy covers you as an individual and provides a payout upon TPD diagnosis.
  • Group TPDI: This policy is often offered by employers as part of a group employee benefits package.
  • Early TPD riders: These riders on existing life insurance policies provide additional benefits for specific disabilities diagnosed early.

Understanding Your Needs

The right TPDI coverage depends on your individual circumstances and income. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Occupation: High-risk occupations may require higher TPD coverage.
  • Financial dependents: If you have dependents, consider a higher coverage amount.
  • Current financial situation: Existing savings and investments can influence your TPDI needs.

Also consider your budget for the premiums so your financial adviser or insurance agent can search for a plan with sufficient coverage at a price that works for you.

Planning for the Unexpected

Disability can strike anyone, regardless of age or occupation. Having a TPDI plan in place demonstrates a proactive approach to maintaining your financial security.

While this article provides a general overview, it’s important to consult with your insurance agent or financial adviser to understand the different TPDI options available and choose a plan that best suits your needs and budget.

Don’t wait for the unexpected – take charge of your financial security today and explore the benefits that having peace of mind can bring.

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