Small business owners often have a lot on their plate. Between balancing the books, staffing, and marketing their business, it can be tough to find time to focus on specific benefits. However, group disability insurance can help keep your business afloat in the event of an illness or injury.
In this post, we’ll discuss what group disability insurance is, why you should consider offering it to your employees, and how much it costs. We’ll also provide tips for choosing a policy that fits your needs. So read on to learn more about the value this benefit can add to your existing package.
What is Group Disability Insurance?
Group disability insurance is a great way to attract and retain employees. This type of plan can cover a portion of income for you or your staff members in the event of serious injuries that prevent one from working.
Group disability plans offer a safety net for employees who become totally disabled by providing up to 60% of their pre-disability income, up to $10,000 monthly. These resources can help ease the financial burden associated with an injury or illness and preserve business overhead expenses.
Jobseekers look for this benefit as peace-of-mind because no one plans on a life-altering injury. Many of your employees might be in serious financial insecurity if they get injured or sick unexpectedly, but disability insurance can help cover bills while they’d be able to focus on getting well enough to return to work.
How Does Group Disability Insurance Work?
Employees can opt in to your policy during your annual benefits enrollment period, or following a major life event such as just starting the job or getting married. Most commonly, employees decide to utilize this coverage for medical conditions like pregnancy, recovery from an injury, mental health conditions or serious illness.
Group disability policies do not cover work-related disabilities. Note that receipt of other forms of disability income (e.g., workers’ compensation) may result in reduced payment from this policy type should one qualify to receive them both at the same time.
Long-term vs. Short-term Disability Insurance
Plans can be offered as short or long term coverage and some employers choose to offer both. After an elimination period, the time between a disability and when benefits start, pay benefits begin.
- Short-term disability insurance (STD) has an elimination period of 0 to 30 days, and employees can receive benefits for 3-6 months that are paid out weekly.
- Long-term disability insurance (LTD) has a much longer elimination period, 90 days or more and monthly payments can last for two to 10 years, or until retirement.
With both types of coverage, your employees can receive a maximum benefit up to 60% of their salary – with the exact percentage depending on the plan. Short-term disability kicks in at first while long-term benefits are designed to come into play if returning to work isn’t possible. Collectively these disability plans form an advantageous arrangement that offers financial protection to staff against illness and injury.
These plans can also be portable so employees can transfer coverage with them if they leave the company. Many employers choose to offer this benefit to their employees for free, but it’s important to remember the amount of the benefit received will be considered taxable income for them.
How Can Employees Qualify For Group Disability Insurance Benefits?
Group disability coverage offers substantial financial protection, but to qualify an employee of the company must meet certain criteria. At minimum, this includes seeing a medical professional for treatment and/or being completely incapacitated, also known as totally disabled, so as not to be able to fulfill any job duties.
For one to be labeled as totally disabled depends on whether the policy has own-occupation or any-occupation coverage. Own-occupation disability insurance covers individuals with disabilities who are still able to do some form of work, while any-occupation policies only pay out benefits when an individual is unable to perform in any job. It’s important to note that certain group disability policies may begin as own-occupation protection but could later transition into any-occupation after a predetermined period has passed.
In conclusion, offering reliable disability benefits to your employees is a great way to show them that their wellbeing is important to you. It shows you’re investing in them as both individuals and a team and that you value their contributions. According to a 2020 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, only 48% of Americans say that they have enough savings to cover three months of living expenses. Your employees want these protections for themselves and their families, knowing that if something happens like an illness or injury, they’re not left with crippling financial hardship.
With Group Disability Insurance, you can make sure your employees are covered when it comes to lost income and have the security of knowing all their needs will be taken care of should anything happen. Investing in disability protection doesn’t just benefit your most valuable asset—your employees—it also helps create a more productive, resilient and happy workforce for you. So don’t wait any longer. Take action now and ensure your workers have access to the right benefits!
Are you unsure about which employee benefits are best for your company? Contact one of our licensed insurance agents today for more information. They can help you find the right coverage for your business.
Call (877) 658-2374 or enter your zip code in the bar above to get started.