Do Insurance Companies Drug Test for Disability Insurance?

Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Understanding Drug Testing in Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance (DI) is designed to provide financial support in case an individual is unable to work due to a disability. The process of applying for DI may involve various assessments by insurance companies, but do they include drug testing?

Key Points

  • Insurance Companies’ Discretion: DI providers may request medical exams and laboratory tests based on the benefit amount, the applicant’s age, and occupation.
  • Substance Use Testing: If an exam is conducted, it can include tests for substances like alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana.
  • Threshold for Examinations: Typically, for benefits under $5,000 per month, an exam might not be necessary. However, this varies based on the individual’s age and occupation, especially in higher-risk jobs.

Factors Influencing the Need for an Exam

  • Benefit Amount: Higher benefits often require more thorough examination.
  • Age: Older applicants might be subjected to more scrutiny.
  • Occupation: Riskier occupations might necessitate an exam due to the increased likelihood of substance use.

Implications of Substance Use Findings

  • Policy Approval: The presence of substances in the test results can affect the decision of the insurance company regarding policy approval.
  • Policy Terms: It can also influence the terms and costs of the insurance policy.

Factors Influencing Drug Testing in DI Applications

FactorInfluence on Drug Testing
Benefit AmountHigher benefits = Higher likelihood of testing
AgeOlder age = Increased scrutiny
OccupationRiskier jobs = More frequent testing


While disability insurance companies don’t specifically target substance use testing, it can be a part of the medical exam, especially for higher benefit amounts, older applicants, or those in riskier occupations. Understanding this aspect is crucial for applicants of disability insurance. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Shawn Plummer

CEO, The Annuity Expert

Shawn Plummer is a licensed financial professional, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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