Seeking income protection: Chronic disease rejection

I’m writing this blog as a record for myself. I want to be able to look back on the decisions I have made and know what I was thinking at the time.

As I wrote in my last blog, I was rejected for income protection due to the fact that I had my first demyelinating event (FDE) in December 2013.

The irony – that I will regret for the rest of my life – is that before I fell I was in the process of arranging income protection. I had just bought an apartment of the plan and had agreed to roll income protection into the mortgage when I draw down the mortgage when the apartment is built, sometime in late 2014.

But that will not help me now.

As I write this, I am healthy and intending to stay that way. I work full-time. I love and care for those around me. I am planning two – and possibly three – international trips. I have started Pilates. I am contemplating entering a 10km race. And yes, there are pins and needles. They come and go. They are a reminder of what may happen, but in the meantime, they are nothing but a slight nuisance.

To most people, I appear a successful 30-something year old with the world at her feet.

I don’t feel that way. Being rejected for income protection hit me hard, harder than you might think such a mundane administrative matter would.

I work hard. I have tried to build a career – not merely a job. And I am emotionally invested in my career. It defines me, perhaps more than my friends think it should. And so I feel I have earned my income, with all the study and the late nights and the climbing the ladder and the sacrifices that all requires. I have earned where I am. To be told that I can’t insure against its loss is heart wrenching.

It makes me angry.

But I understand why. I have written enough policies in my time to know this type of caveat and/or exclusion is exactly what I would recommend. Statistically, I am a risk.

Anyway, the point of this blog is to reassure my future self that I am now doing everything possible to seek income protection.

I sought legal advice and I have a plan of action.

Although I am highly unlikely to be eligible for individual income protection (I would be rejected by any individual underwriting process) I am eligible for group income protection. My current superannuation fund – the organisation that rejected me in the first place – now excludes me from this. I will be eligible for group income protection if I apply to a new superannuation fund if I join at the same time as I start new employment (in order not to trigger any individual underwriting clause).

So a new job it is.

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