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Common Questions

What is the difference between Short Term Disability Benefit and Long Term Disability Insurance?

Short Term Disability Benefit replaces lost income should you become medically disabled for more than 30 days. If necessary, benefits continue for up to 52 weeks. Active clergy participants in the Clergy Pension Plan are automatically enrolled in this benefit through The Church Pension Fund.

You may decide to purchase Long Term Disability Insurance on your own. This coverage provides benefits that begin after you have been disabled for 12 months, and continue until you are able to work again, or until you reach age 65.

Common Short Term Disability Benefit Questions

Who is eligible for Short Term Disability coverage?

Active participants in The Church Pension Fund Clergy Pension Plan who are

  • actively working at least 20 hours a week or are temporarily between cures
  • current in their pension assessments
  • canonically resident in the United States

What is a pension assessment?

A pension assessment is the monthly payment to your pension paid by your employer.

What is the elimination period for Short Term Disability?

The elimination period is the length of time of continuous disability that must be satisfied before your benefits can begin. For Short Term Disability, the elimination period is 30 days.

How is disability defined?

You may submit a claim if, for 30 days or more:

  • You are ill or injured and unable to work, or
  • Your illness or injury so limits your ability to work that you lose at least 20% of your weekly earnings.

When should I file a claim?

You should file a claim as soon as you become injured or ill.

How do I file a claim?

As soon as you are unable to work, request a claim form by calling us at (866) 802-6333, Monday-Friday, 8:30AM - 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays), or ask your employer to do so.

How is my claim reviewed?

Claims are reviewed by Liberty Mutual*, our disability claims administrator. The claim process consists of periodic requests for medical support in order to extend benefits. CPG may require that the determination of disability be made by a qualified physician chosen and paid for by CPG.

*Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

How long does it take for a claim to be approved or denied?

Depending on the type of disability, some claims may be approved within 7 days. Others requiring additional medical support may take longer. Liberty Mutual* will update you on the status of your claim throughout the claim process.

*Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

How much would I receive with the Short Term Disability benefit?

CPF pays your employer 70% of your regular compensation (up to $1,000 per week) to cover the cost of hiring a temporary worker to cover your responsibilities while you are out on disability. During this time, your employer agrees to continue paying you your regular compensation, pension assessments, and benefits.

Who receives the Short Term Disability benefit?

Your employer receives the benefit. However, if you pay part or all of your pension assessment, the benefit will be paid to you in relation to the proportion of the assessment that you pay.

When do benefit payments begin?

Benefits begin after 30 consecutive days of total or partial disability.

How long can I receive Short Term Disability benefits?

Short Term Disability benefits may continue up to 52 weeks.

What if I can work part-time?

You may receive a partial benefit if you work less than 80% of your normal hours. If you work 20% or less, you may still receive the full benefit.

What if my disability lasts more than six months?

Although Short Term Disability benefits may continue for up to 52 weeks, a member of the Disability Case Manager from Liberty Mutual* will contact you to discuss alternatives if your disability lasts more than six months. If your disability is expected to be total and continuing, Disability Retirement may be appropriate.

*Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

Why would my Short Term Disability coverage be terminated?

Short Term Disability coverage is terminated if and when:

  • Pension payments become at least six months in arrears; or
  • Employment is terminated and pension assessments are no longer being made; or
  • You start receiving retirement benefits; or
  • When you are no longer disabled; or
  • The insurance plan is terminated.

Who can my employer and I call with questions?

The Disability Case Manager who handles your case will give you a toll-free number you can use whenever you have questions or concerns about your claim. You can also call Client Services at (866) 802-6333, Monday-Friday, 8:30AM - 8:00PM ET (excluding holidays) or email us with your questions.

Common Long Term Disability Insurance Questions

Am I eligible for Long Term Disability Insurance?

You are eligible for long term disability Insurance if you are an active clergy member working at least 20 hours per week.

Since there is a disability retirement benefit through the Clergy Pension Plan, do I need Long Term Disability Insurance?

Call Client Services at (866) 802-6333, Monday-Friday, 8:30AM-8:00PM ET (excluding holidays) to talk with one of our representatives.

How soon am I covered by Long Term Disability when I begin a new position, after a break in service or following ordination or reception?

If your employer provides Long Term Disability Insurance as a benefit, you are eligible for coverage on your first active day of work. If you pay a portion or your entire monthly premium, you are covered:

  • On the date you apply for insurance, if you apply within 31 days of your first active day of work; or
  • The date Liberty Mutual*, the disability claims administrator, approves your Evidence of Insurability (EOI) application, if you apply more than 31 days after your first active day of work.

* Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

** For claims occurring on or after January 1, 2016, your claim will be administered by Liberty Mutual. For claims occurring on or before December 31, 2015, your claim will be administered by First Unum Life Insurance Company of America.

What is the enrollment process for Long Term Disability Insurance?

You are automatically enrolled in Long Term Disability coverage if your employer offers it as a benefit. If you purchase coverage through your employer, there is no medical review as long as you submit your application within your first 31 days of eligibility.

How much is my Long Term Disability Insurance monthly premium?

If you purchase Long-Term Disability Insurance through your employer, your premium may cost between $14 and $86 per month1, depending on your salary and the amount of coverage you select.

Salary Range 25% Option 50% Option
Less than $25,000 $14 $23
$25,000 – $44,999 $26 $44
$45,000 and above $50 $86

1Premium rates confirmed through December 31, 2018

When should I file a claim?

You should file your claim as soon as possible. Liberty Mutual* would like to receive your claim within 60 days prior to your Long Term Disability Benefit Begin Date.

*Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston 

What is the elimination period for Long Term Disability?

The elimination period is the length of time of continuous disability that must be satisfied before your benefits can begin. For Long Term Disability, the elimination period is 360 days.

Who receives the Long Term Disability benefit payments?

Liberty Mutual*, the disability claims administrator, sends Long Term Disability benefits directly to you.

* Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

How much would I receive from my Long Term Disability benefit?

If your employer provides long term disability as a benefit, your monthly benefit is equal to 50% of your regular compensation, up to a maximum of $5,000 per month. If you purchase long term disability Insurance through your employer, you may choose coverage for either 25% or 50% of your regular compensation, up to a maximum of $5,000 per month.

Are my long term disability benefits taxable?

Your long term disability benefits are taxable if your premium is paid with pre-tax dollars or paid by your employer.

How long can I continue to receive long term disability benefits?

As long as you remain disabled, your long term disability benefits will continue, depending on your age at the time your disability began*. If you are:

  • Under age 60: you may receive benefits until you reach age 65
  • Age 60 – 64: you may receive benefits for up to 5 years
  • Age 65 – 69: you may receive benefits until you reach age 70 (but not less than one year)
  • Age 70 or older: you may receive benefits for one year

* For claims occurring on or after January 1, 2016, your claim will be administered by the Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston. For claims occurring on or before December 31, 2015, your claim will be administered by First Unum Life Insurance Company of America.

Why would my Long Term Disability coverage be terminated?

Long term disability coverage is terminated if and when:

  • The policy or plan is canceled;
  • You become ineligible for the policy;
  • Premiums are not paid on your behalf; or
  • Your employment is terminated.

When should I consider Disability Retirement?

You should consider the Disability Retirement if your disability is total and continuing to the point that you expect to never be able to resume working.

How much income would I receive with Disability Retirement?

Disability Retirement pays 70% of your regular compensation until you reach age 65. At age 65, you receive your regular retirement benefit.

My claim for a retirement benefit has been denied. What are my next steps?

If you believe that you have been denied a benefit that you are due under the Clergy Pension Plan, you have the option to file an appeal.  Download information on the claims and appeals process.

Common Accidental Death & Dismemberment Questions

Who is eligible for Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage?

Active clergy who are younger than age 70 and enrolled in Group Life Insurance may receive Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage. 

 

Disability Insurance Disclaimer

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(excluding holidays)