With the high unemployment rate due to COVID-19 , many Americans are losing their short- and long-term disability benefits. Just like life insurance, your disability insurance is a benefit your employer may offer on a group basis. If you’re laid off, you may lose access to that coverage because you’re no longer part of that group. If you lose your job, you may lose the group rate or lose access to your disability coverage entirely. Whether you can buy your own coverage through that plan or lose access will depend on your company’s policies and how the insurance company writing the group insurance policy administers its coverage.
If you’re furloughed, you may still have disability coverage for a short period. In response to COVID-19, some employers have worked directly with their disability carriers to extend benefits for the expected length of the furlough. Some group plans will offer laid-off employees the ability to convert their short- and long-term disability coverage to an individual plan. However, you’ll be responsible for the entire premium, whereas previously, your employer probably paid the bulk of the premium.
Should you face this situation, ask your group disability carrier for a quote to continue coverage if your group plan offers that option. Then shop that coverage with an insurance agent who specializes in disability coverage. No two plans are alike. You may be able to purchase a policy with richer benefits for the same or even a lower premium.
If you’re facing a layoff, call or email us for more information about managing your disability benefits. We are always here to help.