How Much Disability Coverage do you Need?
Most disability insurance policies will limit the amount of benefit paid to you depending on the amount of other benefit's you receive. Often times, this will include benefit's that could be potentially paid through the government, such as a disability pension. However, you will have to remember in your decision about disability insurance, that any benefit from the government is not a sure thing. The only thing you will be sure of is the benefit that is coming from your disability insurance.
Usually, your disability insurance policy will specify a target amount that you will be able to receive from all insurance coverage combined. In general, you will not be able to receive more than this certain percentage of your current salary. In most jurisdictions, the maximum benefit will equal 70% of your current salary. Ideally, as much of that benefit as possible should be tax-free, in order to ensure that you are getting a net benefit which corresponds, as closely as possible, to your current take home pay. Planning in this way will give you much better financial footing if you ever do have to collect on this insurance.
In general, you should look at a combination of disability insurance policies (perhaps both through work and as an individual), which will give you at least 50% - 70% of your current wage. Otherwise, you may not have sufficient funds to cover your regular expenses. If you get at least 60% of your benefit's tax-free, that should bring you very close to your current take-home pay. However, if you can get 70% of your salary tax-free, this will definitely be preferred. You will have to take a look at what your current tax rate is and what you can afford to live on if you are incapacitated by illness or accident.
It does take some financial planning to decide the level of benefit's that will work for you. You also have to think carefully about whether an employer-paid plan is in your best interest. In fact, if you are thinking about negotiating to get disability insurance paid for by your employer, you should think again. It's generally better for you to negotiate a larger salary, and use the extra to pay for disability insurance yourself. This strategy will get you closer to your take-home pay in benefit's, if you ever do have to collect.