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Most feared scenario for a salaried person is he/she being rendered disabled. This worry or fear gets augmented if he/she is the sole bread winner of the family. Such a disability not only robs off the monthly salary, but adds further expenditure to the family in taking care of the disabled person. In fact many of us would prefer to die rather than  live as a disabled (bed ridden or wheel chair bound person).
But worrying about such a scenario, which is beyond our control is of no use.  Rather, it will be prudent to take cover under Disability Income Insurance. This policy is known as ElderShield . The Government introduced Basic Elder Shield in the year 2002.
The criteria for receiving monthly disability income via ElderShield was, inability to perform any three of the 6 ADL’s ( Activities of Daily Living) .
The six ADLs are
1. Washing – The ability to wash in the bath or shower (including getting into and out of the shower or wash by other means.

2. Dressing – The ability to put on, take off, secure and unfasten all garments and, as appropriate, any braces, artificial limbs or other surgical or medical appliances.

3. Feeding – The ability to feed oneself food after it has been prepared and made available.

4. Toileting – The ability to use the lavatory or manage bowel and bladder function through the use of protective undergarments or surgical appliances if appropriate.

5. Mobility – The ability to move indoors from room to room on level surfaces.

6. Transferring – The ability to move from a bed to an upright chair or wheelchair, and vice versa
When introduced in 2002 the scheme was known as ElderShield 300. This plan provided for monthly income of $300 to the Insured Person, if he/she becomes disabled. The payment was for a period of 60 months (5 years period only).
Then ElderShield 400 was introduced in 2007, revising the monthly pay out to $400 and total period of payment capped at 6 years (72 months).
The monthly pay out quantum and the duration capped at 72 months were both found to be very inadequate. So, now private insurance companies offer further improvements on the above. The monthly pay out in case of disability can be a maximum of 3,000. The payout can be till the death of the insured person.
The other salient features of the scheme are
(1) Any Singapore PR or Citizen is automatically included in the scheme by the government, when the person reaches the age 40. (2) Premium, up to a maximum of 600 can be paid using the Medisave funds available with CPF )Central Provident Fund)  in the name of the Insured Person. (3) The Medisave funds can be used to buy cover for the spouse too. (4) Premium is payable only till the age 80; and if Life Assured becomes disabled after that, Disability income will be paid as along as the Life Assured lives – although after the age 80 no premium is paid. (5) The payment, upon disability does not start immediately when disability sets in. There are waiting period of 3 to 6 months, as options. (6) The payment is made only during the period during which the person suffers the disability. It stops if the person gets cured and when the Disability does not persist .

There are many other disability Income policies available like pay assure and life secure.

Girija Varadharajan
Life planner , Great Eastern

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