4 Tips to Maximize Your Disability Benefits

By Scott Ruthstrom, FDA Services Chief Operating Officer

Dentists understand the importance of purchasing a quality disability income insurance policy, but are you ensuring you receive every dollar you’re eligible for? Not having enough disability income or saving a few bucks by passing on available options and riders can make a tremendous financial difference.  Should you fall victim to an accident or an extended illness, be sure you have your financial well-being fully protected.

1. Max out the total monthly amount you can financially qualify for.

Typically, disability insurance (DI) benefits are calculated as a percentage of your total gross income. One hundred percent of total gross income replacement is not available, so having the maximum benefit you are eligible for will help ensure that, in the event of a disability, you can maintain a lifestyle post-disability that is comparable to your pre-disability lifestyle. Even if you max out your benefits with one insurance company, you may be able to buy additional benefits through a second or even a third policy (depending on the amount of coverage in place already and your annual gross income).

2. Make sure your DI policy can grow with you.

Many carriers offer options/riders that allow you to increase your monthly benefit without having to retake medical exams or physicals; you only have to prove you qualify financially.

3. The fact is, one in three dentists will have a disability over the course of their career.

A dollar today is not what a dollar will be worth five, 10 or 20 years from now. A “cost-of-living adjustment” rider (COLA) is a great way to ensure your DI policy will be able to keep up with inflation. The COLA rider will adjust the monthly benefit each year while on a claim.

4. Since most disabilities are temporary in nature, purchasing a “residual disability” rider is vital.

This rider is designed to help offset the loss of income when returning to work following rehabilitation or recovery, as it could take months or even years to return to pre-disability income levels.


FDA Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Florida Dental Association (FDA). We strive to be the source for information about insurance for our member dentists. Revenue from insurance sales goes directly toward helping FDA programs and lobbying efforts that are important to members, and to keep dues at their lowest possible level.

Our experienced staff is ready to get to work for you — call or text 850.681.2996 or email insurance@fdaservices.com to connect to our agents today. Visit fdaservices.com/disability for more information.

“Chew on This!” Public Speaking Best Practices for Dentists

Do you ever wonder how to improve your public speaking technique?  Well, wonder no more!  In her “Chew on This!” interview, FDA member Dr. Jacinta Watkins-Lamontagne shares some tips and suggestions that are easy to employ whether you’re giving a speech, presenting at a local club meeting or leading a morning huddle. 

Watch Dr. Watkins-Lamontagne’s interview with FDA Executive Director Drew Eason and tune in regularly to see what’s next.  By taking advantage of a complimentary subscription to Beyond the Bite, you will receive email notices with new posts and will be entered into a monthly drawing for a $10 Starbucks gift card!

Volunteers Needed for the 2021 Florida Mission of Mercy

The Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM) is a large-scale, two-day, professional dental clinic that provides care to any patient at no cost to them, with the goal of serving the under-served and uninsured in Florida — those who would otherwise go without care.

The 2021 FLA-MOM will take place on July 30-31 in Jacksonville at the Prime Osborne III Convention Center. Increased safety procedures and all COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will be implemented — the safety of all volunteers and patients is the FDA Foundation’s top priority. Since 2014, FLA-MOM has treated nearly 10,000 patients and provided 49,000+ procedures, for a total value of care of $9.43 million. We need your help to continue our impact in 2021 in the Northeast Florida region! Register today at flamom.org.

We Need YOU and Your Staff! There are still volunteer shifts available!

PM SHIFT

  • Medical Triage
  • Food & Beverage
  • Patient Ambassador
  • Patient Entry
  • Patient Registration
  • Setup Volunteer

Can’t make it to the 2021 FLA-MOM? You can support FLA-MOM with a contribution.

AM SHIFT

  • Medical Triage
  • Dentists
  • Endodontics
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Restorative
  • Dental Routing
  • Lab Tech
  • Sterilization

PM SHIFT

  • Dentists
  • Endodontics
  • Oral Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Restorative
  • Impact Study
  • Lab Tech
  • Parking Attendants
  • Patient Ambassador
  • Sterilization

AM SHIFT

  • Dentists
  • Pediatrics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Impact Study
  • Lab Tech
  • Parking Attendants

PM SHIFT

  • Medical Triage
  • Dentists
  • Endodontics
  • Pediatrics
  • Prosthodontics
  • Dental Routing
  • Dental Triage
  • Lab Tech
  • Parking Attendants
  • Patient Ambassador
  • Clinic Breakdown

For more information and to register, visit flamom.org!

Air Force Veteran Can Eat More Comfortably Thanks to Donated Dental Services

Dental Lifeline Network • Florida

Eating is an essential everyday necessity and there comes a sense of appreciation for being able to eat comfortably. Unfortunately, for many people like Vincent, an 85-year-old Air Force veteran, difficulty in eating became a part of his daily life.

Vincent wanted to be an air police officer while in the military, but after taking a personal assessment it turned out he was better suited for accounting. Although he was hesitant, he decided to give it a try and enjoyed being an accountant for more than 60 years. He currently lives with his daughter and granddaughter in Kissimmee and has seven children and 23 grandchildren.

He suffered multiple health issues throughout his life, including heart attacks, strokes and a total stomach resection. Currently, he has a pacemaker/defibrillator and suffers from skin cancer, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and vertigo. Unfortunately, he is unable to work due to his health and relies on his Social Security Disability benefit.

Dr. Stanley Asensio and staff with DDS patient Vincent.

Several holes in Vincent’s dentures made it exceedingly difficult and uncomfortable for him to eat. Although dental treatment seemed far beyond his reach, he was referred to Dental Lifeline Network’s Donated Dental Services (DDS) program and was matched with Dr. Stanley Asensio. He was then fitted
for dentures that were generously donated by Reggie Dental Lab in Orlando.

After the completion of his treatment, Vincent expressed appreciation for his team of volunteers: “Thank you very much for your help. It is so nice to be able to eat and smile again. They were so wonderful.”

“We have completed Vincent’s treatment, and all went very well. I think we all made a new friend. I had a wonderful time getting to know him and listening to his military experience and stories. Thank you for the opportunity to help him,” said Dr. Asensio, DDS volunteer.

By volunteering for the DDS program, you can help provide people and veterans like Vincent with the ability to eat again.

To volunteer or support Dental Lifeline Network:

Volunteer: WillYouSeeOne.org Donate: DentaLifeline.org


This article will be published in the July/Aug 2021 Today’s FDA. Visit floridadental.org/publications to view Today’s FDA archives.