For years, disability insurance was part of the package of benefits that employees received as part of their compensation packages. While it may have been one of the least understood benefits, it was there as a safety net. Today, just like so many other employee benefits, including pensions and 401(k)s, disability insurance benefits are being trimmed – and in some cases, completely eliminated from benefits packages.
A recent article in Smart Money magazine points out the changing climate for disability coverage as an expected perk. Only 76% of all employers now cover the cost of disability benefits – and some of them have also significant changed the amount of coverage that are offered. Where once employees could rest assured that 60% of their salaries would be paid to them under the policy, now it is likely that only 50% or less will be paid – and it’s entirely likely to be 50% of your salary from several years ago, not your current salary.
What does that mean to those who are fighting for their benefits coverage? More than ever before, you must read the policy when you receive it to find out exactly what you are entitled to. If you signed up for a long term disability policy ten years ago, and felt comfortable, think again. Companies can change the scope of coverage for employees, and the plan that governs at the time of disability will be the most current plan. It’s likely that the current policies are not nearly as favorable as before, and thus you will receive a much smaller benefit -and more likely that you will have a battle on your hands when it is time to make a claim on the policy.
If you have questions about your disability policy and what you can expect if you need to file a claim, call our office. This is one battle you don’t have to handle on your own.