Long-term disability

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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Long-term disability is an employee benefit plan designed to provide partial salary replacement to eligible employees who are unable to work due to a disability lasting more than 90 consecutive days. These plans generally define 'disability' as an inability to perform either the tasks of your occupation or the tasks of any occupation at all. In most long-term disability plans, benefits are paid for the duration of your disability or up to the retirement age of 65 and the amount of income you receive is usually computed as a percentage, usually 50 to 60 percent, of your base salary prior to the disability. There's usually a maximum dollar amount per week or month. Keep in mind that you don't have to be permanently disabled to receive benefits, but most plans require that you must be a regular, full-time employee for at least a year to be eligible. Also, remember that the benefits of a long-term disability plan supplement other disability benefit sources available to you such as Social Security, workers' compensation, or short-term disability insurance benefits. As a result, you may no longer be eligible for regular sick pay or short-term disability benefits. Furthermore, some long-term disability plans may require that the Social Security Administration determine or affirm that you're indeed disabled before they'll pay. The Social Security Administration uses an 'any occupation' definition of disability, requires a six-month waiting period, and oftentimes, the standards can be difficult to meet. The amount received through Social Security payments may also reduce your disability benefit payments.

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