It is important to select a waiting period on your income protection plan in line with how long you can manage without your regular income if you are unable to work. A waiting period is the time you are required to be unable to work before an income protection benefit will start to pay out. You get to choose the waiting period upfront when you take out an income protection policy, Karen Bongers, product actuary at Sanlam Individual Life, says. Waiting periods for income protection plans for short-term disability typically range from seven days to 12 months. Thereafter, benefits with longer waiting periods will typically kick in to provide continuous cover over the longer term, she says. If you are self-employed you would most likely opt for a shorter waiting period than somebody who is employed by a company and can rely on some paid sick leave for a period of time, she says. Generally you will only be paid out for the period you are unable to work after the waiting period has expire...

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