Disability insurance pays a portion of an employee’s income if they can’t work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury. There are two main types of disability insurance: short-term and long-term coverage. Both types replace part of the individual’s monthly base salary, up to a cap, during disability. Some long-term policies pay for additional services, such as training to return to the workforce.

Defining Disability

It’s important to keep in mind that disability policies vary in how they define “disabled.” Some policies pay out only if the employee cannot work any job for which they are qualified, while others pay out if the employee cannot perform a job specific to their occupation. Some policies pay a portion of the benefit if the employee is able to work part time, and some pay only if he or she cannot work at all.

State Sponsored Disability Programs

New Jersey, New York, California, Hawaii and Rhode Island have state-sponsored disability programs. These programs typically provide short-term coverage and the benefit amounts are relatively low, but they require most employers to provide temporary disability insurance for their employees. Employers may also voluntarily provide additional disability coverage.

How to Access Disability Insurance

There are several ways for employees to access disability insurance. You can enroll in employer sponsored coverage; buy disability insurance through the workplace if your employer offers it as a voluntary benefit; or purchase an individual disability insurance plan. The Employee Benefits Advisors Group works with employers to determine the best benefits solution for their  employees, and helps individuals looking to purchase their own coverage decide if long-term coverage or short-term policy is right for them.

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