According to Unum, a major provider of disability insurance, 3 out of every 10 workers between the ages of 25 and 65 will experience an accident or illness that keeps them out of work for 3 months or longer, with nearly 60% of these injuries occurring off the job. If an employee is hurt off the job, worker’s compensation will not cover them. When an employee cannot work for an extended period of time, a long term disability plan can help cover a portion of the employee’s salary. Long term disability usually kicks in after a short term disability policy has run out.
Who Pays for Long Term Disability Coverage?There are a few choices on who can pay for a long term disability plan. Years ago, many companies paid the full amount for long term disability. Now the trend has costs shifting away from this method. Depending on which option is chosen, there may be different costs and tax implications:
- Employer fully paid plan
- Employee fully paid plan
- Shared cost plan
Coverage TermsEmployers can choose how much coverage to elect for their employees. Most plans cover 50-70% of monthly salary. The duration of plan benefits can also extend for awhile. Some plans only pay out 5-10 years worth of disability to anyone qualified, while others will pay out till age 65, based on a rate schedule.
Under plan rules, employees filing for disability can only qualify for coverage under certain terms. The main terms are listed below:
- Employees need to work for the employer for a certain amount of time before coverage kicks in.
- Employees need to work full-time, usually 30 hours or more a week.
- Percentage of monthly salary paid out up to a pre-determined monthly amount (typically between 50% - 70% of monthly salary).
- starts (typically between 90 and 180 days).