Do you know much about your long-term disability benefits?

Here in Milwaukee, and throughout the country, employees may have certain rights to long-term disability compensation. Long-term disability insurance coverage is meant to protect workers if they become disabled before retiring. Sometimes, this type of insurance is purchased directly from an insurance company, but in other cases it is a part of a standard benefits package offered by an employer.

A recent survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and Unum National found that about half of employees really have very little understanding of long-term disability insurance. This is concerning because, according to the Social Security Administration, about one in every four of today’s 20-year-olds may become disabled before the age of 67.

According to the survey, when employees do learn about disability insurance, they want it even if that means paying for some or all of the coverage. The CFA is currently working with the government to develop a marketing campaign in order to spread the word about long-term disability insurance and why it is important.

And, it is important. Another survey shows that access to workplace disability insurance keeps 575,000 families out of poverty each year. It also saves the government $4.5 billion each year.

However, like with any kind of insurance, it is only good if the insurer makes good on claims. It is important not only for Wisconsin residents to maintain coverage, but also for insurers to honor their policies. Unfortunately, claimants do not always receive the benefits that they are entitled to, but there are advocates who can help keep these companies honest.

Source: Employee Benefit News, “Don’t know much about disability,” Brian M. Kalish, Aug. 1, 2012

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