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F.A.Q.

What is Short Term Disability Insurance? 

Some, but not all, businesses offer Short Term Disability to employees to cover them and pay them while they are out of work due to illness and sometimes injury. The length of time that coverage is available varies but is rarely more than 6 months and is often less. This is offered usually under group coverage by the employer, although individual coverage is available.

What is Long Term Disability Insurance? 

Another form of group insurance coverage is Long Term Disability Insurance. This, too, may be offered by an employer. If there is short term coverage it usually starts to pay after the Short Term ends. If there is no Short Term, Long Term will usually begin after a waiting period called an "elimination period". The elimination period can vary from policy to policy but is usually never more than 180 days and is often less. Long Term Disability usually pays benefits monthly. You have to read the policy for any restrictions.

What is ERISA?

ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. It is Federal law that applies to retirement and insurance and health plans made available through employment. It is restrictive and can be difficult to navigate for claimants. Originally designed to help employees, it has evolved over time to be less employee friendly. It covers employees when plans are provided through employment, except it does not apply to government employees or employees of religious organizations, including religious-run hospitals.

What is Individual Disability Insurance? 

People are free to go out on their own and purchase disability insurance under a non-group policy. These policies are generally more expensive than group policies, but have more favorable benefits and fewer restrictions than the group policies. It is rare that they are ERISA policies.

What other personal insurance is available through work or individually? 

Other available insurances include Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance, as well as Health Insurance. They may or may not be covered under ERISA, depending on whether they are offered through employment, and are not otherwise exempted.