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Employers offer long-term disability insurance, but fewer enroll

Wisconsin employees may be interested in an article discussing some of the issues surrounding disability insurance in America. Even though more employers are offering this type of insurance, fewer employees appear to be taking advantage of these benefits.

According to claims data collected by the Council For Disability Awareness, the total number of employees carrying this insurance declined from 34 million in 2009 to 32.1 million in 2013. One of the reasons for this may be that many employers are adding long-term disability insurance as an option, but the employees generally have to pay the full monthly premium. Traditionally, the employer covered the cost of coverage. This led to all covered employees carrying the insurance. Data shows that when employees are given the option to enroll, the rate of coverage is closer to 40 percent.

For those that receive Social Security disability benefits, long-term disability insurance can still be helpful. Due to the low amount of money that Social Security gives each month, the extra insurance is a good way to cover monthly expenses. Most LTD insurance covers around 60 percent of a person's salary capped at $5,000. It is also possible to purchase more coverage through the employer. Those who do not have employer-provided policies can purchase their own private disability insurance.

Benefits like these can be extremely important should a worker become ill, and the coverage does not only affect on-the-job injuries. Data shows that disorders that affect the muscles, connective tissue and skeletal system are the highest cause of new claims, and 15 percent of claims cite cancer as a reason for payouts. When a person is seeking to file a long-term disability benefits claim, an attorney may be able to help. The attorney may be able to assess the person's situation and assist with filing process.

Source: Forbes, "Disability Insurance: The Overlooked Employee Benefit", Ashlea Ebeling, June 19, 2014

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