Anyone know about disability through employer?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by donna13210, May 26, 2003.

  1. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    My employer offers both short-term and long-term disability but I don't really understand how it works. Does it really come out of my employer's pocket? Why would an employer offer to support an employee who may have had a pre-existing condition and is not work-related?

    Can one survive better on employer's disability than the government disability? Should I feel guilty if I decide to use my employer's plan?

    Hate to sound dumb, but I don't get it.
  2. tulip922s

    tulip922s New Member

    Have to agree with nink,,,,good advice. If you are unable to work due to your illness,,,,these benefits are due you. Apply for your long and short term disability and then contact you Social Security office for information on that process. Time is a wasting,,,,start the process now. Best of luck to you. Tulip
  3. pamj

    pamj New Member

    I can tell you my experience. During my first six months of being sick, I received short-term disability. This was just like a regular paycheck (full pay & taxed), as if I were just out sick.

    At the end of the six months, I had to apply for long-term disability. This was something that I paid $9 per paycheck since I started the job. I had to go through the approval process with the LTD insurance company (mine is CIGNA). When I was finally approved for LTD, CIGNA started paying me monthly paychecks which were 66% of my regular pay. But the best part is that since I paid to have this coverage, it is NOT taxable income... this means that my pay is pretty close to what it was before I got sick!

    The long-term disability pay is paid by the insurance company, not the employer. This is a plan that I paid to have coverage. There is no guilt that I may be draining the payroll of my company, so you shouldn't worry about that.

    Most LTD insurance companies REQUIRE that you also apply for SSDI at the same time. This way they only have to pay you the difference between the SSDI amount up to the amount you would receive. It makes sense since they shouldn't have to pay the amount that we're entitled to by the government. So that means that I receive about half of my 66% income from SSDI, and the other half from CIGNA. It is not a choice of one or the other. If you have LTD coverage, then apply for it. Also apply for SSDI at the same time. You never know who will approve first.

    Regarding Backpay: It took about 5 months for me to get approved by CIGNA & SSDI. My SSDI was approved first & sent a backpay check, so CIGNA subtracted that amount from my total backpay amount that they sent me. If the insurance company approves you first & gives you the full backpay amount... when you are approved by SSDI, you have to give the SSDI backpay to the insurance company. Many people don't understand this. They feel like they are giving up money.

    Look at it this way. If my backpay was 10,000, and SSDI gave me 5,000, then CIGNA would only owe me 5,000. If CIGNA approved me first & gave me 10,000... then SSDI approved me and gave me 5,000... I would owe CIGNA 5,000, or else my total would be 15,000. You are not allowed to receive more than your maximum percentage of your original pay.

    I'm so sorry if this long explanation is too confusing. Please let me know if you have any other questions, as I have a lot of experience with this.

    take care,
  4. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    I have printed out your replies so I can read them again (brain fog pretty bad today!). But I learned alot from what I've read so far.

    One question: If I do file with my employer's LTD, do I eventually have to go back to work there? ("long term" doesn't mean "permanent").

    I assume that I will lose my health insurance if I go on disability, and I have absolutely no money. So how will I get well? If I stay home every day, I'll probably feel so unproductive that I'll feel WORSE! Sleeping all day can't be good for anyone. I believe inactivity breeds more inactivity. But I can hardly get through my workday and besides I hate it, having no patience to deal with customers on the phone.

    Well, I've gone on long enough. Sorry. Thanks to all of you again!
  5. J-net1947

    J-net1947 New Member

    Hi, Donna, This is J-net1947 or Shirley, I'm from N.C. I went out on short-term disability in '91 for 6 months, with full pay and benefits, and then had to appy for Social Security dis. They cut my pay back to 70%, it took about 1 year to get SS and then my company put me on longterm automatically and paid me enough with SS to bring my pay to what I was making while I was working. I been getting it for 12 years now, and I also have Medicare w/ disability. My employer also kept insurance on me, but Medicare is my primary. I just recently retired from the company with full benefits, they still pay me (until I am 65) I also am drawing a retirement check.. and my insurance is still in force at no charge to me. I don't know who you work for, but if you have a good employer, it is the law that they provide short and longterm ins. for you, and you are eligible for the beneifits. So go for it, like the other lady said. I'm getting more money now, than when i worked and still don't pay any insurance except Medicare. So keep the faith, it will work out. God Bless you, Shirley
  6. Dee33K

    Dee33K New Member

    I sure don't think it is the law that your employer continues to carry insurance on you if you claim disability. Anyone around who is an attorney that can answer that question? Maybe it has more to do with the size of the company or union. I know one of the girls in my office (small) took disability and she no longer has insurance with us. Good question. I really need that answer! I have been concerned with the Drs putting Fibro as a diagnosis on my charts for fear the ins company would not cover me if I ever changed jobs now the more I read it looks like I need to make sure they document it in my chart for disability purposes later. What do you guys think? This is all so new and confusing to me. I'm also thinking of picking up a supplemental disability policy as my employer does not offer one. It covers pre-existing if you don't use it for one full year. Dee
  7. Princessraye

    Princessraye New Member

    If I would try to get a disibility policy, just in case, would they not honor it for fibro since I have already had it 16 years?
    I am considering this option just in case I can't work and like an earlier post says, we could be in a car accident or something else not related to fibro.
  8. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    SHIRLEY: First a must have had a great employer!!

    Secondly, if may I ask....when you went on disability and were home full time, how did you fare mentally and physically? I'm afraid of becoming a worse couch potato and getting even more depressed if I quit work! Even though working full time is just too hard for me (and alot of others, I see) and I resent having to do it while feeling so bad.