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FAQs: Disability

What is a short-term disability (STD) plan?
A short-term disability (STD) plan replaces part of your income if you become disabled as defined by the plan. Benefits generally begin after an elimination period and end at the earliest of: When you are no longer disabled as defined by the plan When you stop working When you reach the limit for receiving STD benefits, or Your death.

What is an elimination period?
An elimination period (also known as a waiting period) is the length of time that must pass after you become disabled as defined by the plan and before STD plan benefits begin.

Are there special rules for an STD claim?
Your company probably has rules, including reporting the disability to your supervisor on your first day of absence, obtaining proof of disability following plan rules (often using a physician designated by your company or the insurance company), and following the recommended treatment or therapy. You may need to provide proof of continued disability from time to time.

Does the STD plan cover disabilities from any cause?
Your plan may exclude disabilities resulting from certain causes, such as your committing of a felony, military service, war and self-inflicted injuries. It may also exclude job-related injuries, which may be covered under another program.

Long-Term Disability (LTD)

What is a long-term disability (LTD) plan?
A long-term disability (LTD) plan is designed to work with other sources of disability income to replace part of your income if you become disabled as defined by the plan. LTD plan benefits generally begin after an elimination period, and end at the earliest of: When you are no longer disabled as defined by the plan, or You leave your employer for any reason other than a covered disability When you reach the limit for receiving LTD benefits, which for many plans is an age limit, or Your death.

How does the LTD plan work with other sources of disability income?
The LTD plan is designed to replace a percentage of your eligible pay up to a dollar maximum. Other sources of disability income, including benefits you are eligible to receive from Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and Social Security Old Age Insurance Benefits, typically count toward that percentage.

What is an elimination period?
An elimination period (also known as a waiting period) is the length of time that must pass after you become disabled as defined by the plan and before LTD benefits begin. Sometimes LTD benefits begin after benefits under a short-term disability (STD) plan end.

Are there special rules for an LTD claim?
Your employer probably has rules, including reporting the disability to your supervisor on your first day of absence, obtaining proof of disability following plan rules (often using a physician designated by your employer or the insurance company), a time limit on applying for benefits, and following the recommended treatment or therapy. You will need to provide proof of continued disability from time to time. If your employer has disability management and return-to-work programs, you may also need to participate in those programs.

Does the LTD plan cover disabilities from any cause?
Your plan probably excludes disabilities resulting from certain causes, such as your committing of a felony, military service, war and self-inflicted injuries. It may also exclude job-related injuries, which may be covered under another program.