Having a benefit package from an employer means receiving more than just hourly wages for one’s labor. Many blue-collar employees have complicated compensation packages that provide them with an assortment of benefits in addition to their base pay. Some employers subsidize the health insurance policies of their employees. Others provide paid leave benefits. Long-term and even short-term disability insurance policies are also popular inclusions in modern benefits packages.
Although workers’ compensation can help workers to some degree, higher-earning professionals, such as those who work in well-paid manufacturing positions, would likely take a major hit to their income level if they relied solely on workers’ compensation for disability support. Private long-term disability benefits can be an important supplement for those who earn competitive wages.
It will also apply in situations that workers’ compensation does not, such as when someone develops a disabling medical condition or gets into a car crash after work. Those with employer-provided long-term disability benefits who need to make a claim can benefit from knowing fundamental facts about their coverage.
ERISA governs employer-sponsored benefits
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a law that helps to protect the benefits that workers rely on for their long-term financial stability. As the name implies, ERISA primarily focuses on retirement benefits, but numerous other types of employment benefits may also be subject to ERISA oversight. The rules for ERISA-covered benefits include the right to appeal unfavorable decisions and a requirement that those administering the benefits act in the best interests of the workers making a claim rather than the company that employs them.
There is a strict standard for long-term disability
Workers seeking long-term disability coverage through an employer-provided insurance policy will generally need proof in the form of medical records and employment documentation that their current medical challenges prevent them from working. Showing the extent of the impact a health condition has on someone’s work performance and establishing that an employer has tried to but possibly cannot accommodate the worker’s medical limitations will be important for those pursuing a claim. Such documentation can also play an important role in an appeal if someone does not get benefits when they initially apply.
Benefits usually only last until retirement
Some short-term disability insurance policies will limit how long workers can receive coverage. Most long-term disability policies obtained by employers for their workers will provide coverage until someone reaches the age of retirement currently set by the Social Security Administration.
There can be a lot of complications ahead for someone who needs long-term disability benefits and has an ERISA-governed policy. Learning more about the rules for ERISA and long-term disability benefits can help people better utilize the benefits provided by their employer for their long-term financial stability.