Workers Compensation benefits are provided to employees in the event of a workplace injury or illness. Disability insurance, on the other hand, provides income protection for employee injuries or illnesses that are not work related.
There are state-mandated programs available for employees who become disabled. If your business is in a state that has a Disability program, then your state requires that any employer with one or more employees offer temporary disability benefits to any employee who is unable to work due to an illness or injury but who does not qualify for unemployment benefits or Workers Compensation. These states include California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island.
In effect, these state programs supplement federal Social Security Disability benefits, since Social Security doesn’t cover the first six months of the disability. The state programs cover the period before Social Security benefits would start up. They require contributions from you, the employer, much in the same way that the unemployment benefits program is financed by employers of the employees it covers. All six locations, except Rhode Island, allow an employer to opt out of the state plan and to put the employee contributions into a private plan. The private plans must meet state requirements regarding coverage, eligibility, contribution amounts, and employee approval.
In New York, for example, benefits (50% of average wages, up to $170 per week) are paid for a maximum of 26 weeks of disability during 52 consecutive weeks. For employed workers, there is a seven-day waiting period for which no benefits are paid. Benefit rights begin on the eighth consecutive day of disability. An employer must supply a worker who has been disabled more than seven days with a Statement of Rights under the Disability Benefits Law, within five days of learning that the worker is disabled. An employer is allowed, but not required, to collect contributions from its employees to offset the cost of providing benefits. An employee’s contribution is computed at the rate of one-half of one percent of his/her wages, but no more than sixty cents a week. Insure My Work Comp’s licensed NY insurance agent can assist in you obtaining a state Disability plan and help ensure you’re in compliance with these and other requirements.
With Insure My Work Comp, you can also obtain Group Disability insurance as part of your employee benefits package. We offer both Group Short Term Disability and Long Term Disability to our clients. Short Term Disability insurance helps protect employee income for short periods of time—typically three months, six months, or one year, after a brief waiting (elimination) period. Group Long Term Disability typically has an elimination period of at least 90 days. After that, benefits are paid for a longer term, typically, two years, five years, 10 years, to age 65, or for life, depending on the policy. We will work to find flexible, affordable plans. Rates and benefits vary based on the age, duties and earnings of your employees under these plans.