LONG TERM DISABILITY
Long Term Disability
Long term disability insurance is a form of coverage offered by some employers for the employees of their company. Individuals can also purchase long term disability policies to provide protection if it isn’t provided by their employer, or to supplement the coverage provided by their employer. Long term disability insurance helps to cover a part of an employee’s salary if they are unable to work for an extended period of time.
About 30% of workers who are between the ages of 25 and 65 will at some point be unable to work for three months or more due to accident, injury or illness. About 60% of those injuries occur while they are working, but if they are not hurt while working they won’t be covered by worker’s compensation. Thus, long term disability can help them manage their expenses during recovery.
Most long term disability insurance quotes plans will provide anywhere from 50-70% coverage of your monthly wages. The length of the plan also varies. Some plans will cover a portion of your wages until you turn 65. Other plans may only last for 5-15 years. In order to qualify for long term disability offered through your employer, you generally have to work there for a certain period of time before you are able to file. Additionally, long term disability is usually only offered to full-time employees. As a rule of thumb, if you work less than 30 hours a week you probably aren’t eligible.
Long term disability coverage will kick in about 90 to 180 days after your last working date. In the time before this, you can usually be covered by short term disability income. The terms for each plan will vary slightly. For example, some plans require that you seek out a career for which you might be suited even with your disability. Of course, if you are so severely disabled that you cannot work, you won’t be forced to.
It’s important to remember that it’s your responsibility to find out about your employee benefits. Understanding your insurance plan can be extremely important. For example, imagine a scenario where someone is working full-time but has a medical condition. In order to manage their condition, they reduce their hours to part-time. Then, the condition becomes worse and they decide they must quit their job. Because they were only working part-time when they quit, they would not be eligible for long term disability. Simply being aware of their benefits package could have allowed them to continue receiving a portion of their salary.
It’s also important for you to know what your insurance coverage will be like before you change jobs. If you have health coverage at your old job, and if the new employer offers long term disability, you cannot be denied health coverage due to your health status. This is part of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Long term disability insurance is an important part of any employee’s benefits package. Make sure you’re familiar with how your benefits work. Having a good understanding of them will allow you to make informed decisions regarding your health and career.