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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?

Lay employees who are actively working at least 20 hours per week may be eligible for Short Term Disability Benefit, if offered by their employer.

How soon am I covered by Long Term Disability when I begin a new position?

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 all of your 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 application, if you apply more than 31 days after your first active day of work.

* Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

What is the enrollment process for Short Term Disability Coverage?

If Short Term Disability coverage is offered as a benefit of employment, you are automatically enrolled; no medical review is required. Even if you choose to purchase Short Term Disability through your employer, no medical review is required if you enroll within 31 days of your date of hire.

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. Under the Short Term Disability policy, the elimination period is 30 days.

When should I file a claim?

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

How much would I receive from my Short Term Disability Benefit?

The Short Term Disability Benefit is equal to 70% of your regular compensation, up to $1,000 per week. Your benefit can be reduced if you receive payments related to your disability from:

  • Workers' Compensation
  • Social Security
  • Judgments or settlements
  • Other disability income

Who receives the Short Term Disability benefits?

In most cases, benefits are paid directly to you; however, if you retain your salary while disabled, the benefits will be paid to your employer.

How long can I receive Short Term Disability benefits?

Short Term Disability benefits may continue for up to 52 weeks.

Why would my Short Term Disability coverage terminated?

Short Term Disability coverage is terminated if and when:

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

Common Long Term Disability Questions

Am I eligible for Long Term Disability Insurance?

You are eligible for Long Term Disability Insurance if you are an active lay employee working at least 20 hours per week. If your employer does not offer Long-Term Disability Insurance as a benefit, you may purchase it through your employer.

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 monthly premium?

If your employer offers Long Term Disability as a benefit, your employer pays the premium. If you purchase Long Term Disability Insurance through your employer, your premium may cost between $12 and $72 per month1, depending on your salary and the amount of coverage you select.

Salary Range 25% Option 50% Option
Less than $25,000 $12 $18
$25,000 – $44,999 $22 $37
$45,000 and above $43 $72

1Rates effective through December 31, 2014

When should I file a claim?

You should file your claim as soon as possible, preferably within 30 days of your disability.

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 Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Mutual) or Unum Life Insurance Company of America, the disability claims administrators, disburse the Long Term Disability benefits directly to you.

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.

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

If your employer offers Long-Term Disability as a benefit your monthly benefit is equal to 66 2/3% 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.

Why might my Long Term Disability benefits be reduced?

Your benefit can be reduced if you receive payments related to your disability from:

  • Workers' Compensation
  • Social Security
  • Judgments or settlements
  • Other disability income

Are my Long Term Disability benefits taxable?

Benefits are taxed if the premium is paid fully or in part with pre-tax dollars, regardless of whether your employer pays the entire premium.

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 (benefits may continue for up to one year if you are 69 ½ when your disability first occurs)
  • Age 70 or older: you may receive benefits for one year

Why would my Long Term Disability Insurance 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. 

 

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