An accelerated death benefit (ADB) is a benefit that can be attached to a life insurance policy that enables the policy holder to receive cash advances against the death benefit in the case of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Many individuals who choose the accelerated death benefit have less than one year to live and use the money for treatments and other costs needed to stay alive.
Choosing an insurance policy with an accelerated death benefit allows the policy holder to pay for their daily living in an effort to make it the most comfortable while also allowing the holder to look after his or her family once they pass away. This type of benefit was originally started in the late 1980s in an attempt to alleviate the financial pressures of those that were diagnosed with AIDS.
Some policies might have this option available even though it's not mentioned in the contract.