As some Wisconsin workers may know, long-term disability insurance is useful as a way to support themselves and their family if they are unable to work. Due to economic changes and the introduction of new health care laws, many employers no longer pay for coverage. In addition, LTD insurance benefits are limited to 60 percent of one’s monthly salary, and an employee-paid supplement may help. Generally, such riders are inexpensive, and it may be possible to obtain one through one’s employer.
In 2013, more employers offered LTD insurance, yet fewer employees had coverage, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. Rather than paying for the employees’ LTD insurance, employers are calling it a voluntary benefit, which means it is paid for by the worker. This allows the worker to choose if he or she will take the benefit. Employees enrolled in such voluntary self-paid plans number about 40 percent of eligible workers.
Women lead the number of LTD filings at about 56 percent. The highest number of disability claims by age is among older workers. Forty percent are filed by workers who are 40 and below. The reasons claims are made vary from cancer at 15 percent of claims and musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis leading at 29 percent. Ten percent of the claims involve poisoning and injuries. Statistically, 75 percent of workers who receive LTD also receive Social Security Disability benefits.
If a worker requires disability benefits due to illness or injury, speaking with an attorney may help. The attorney can review the client’s case to determine eligibility and help with the filing if appropriate.
Source: Forbes Magazine, “Disability Insurance: The Overlooked Employee Benefit”, June 19, 2014