We hear all the time about workers who have little to no coverage for when they are unable to work due to injury or illness. But, sadly, there are workers who have access to such coverage, but fail to adequately utilize these benefits. Whether unaware or uninformed, too often people fail to sign up for or use the benefits their employer offers which provide financial assistance when they are unable to work due to injury or illness. And even when they do elect for this coverage, some fail to make certain it will provide enough to maintain their quality of living. By better understanding some types of disability coverage available to you, you can take steps to protect you and your family.
Short-term Disability is coverage that will pay a percentage of your salary when you are unable to work for shorter periods of time due to an injury or illness. This coverage is for disabilities which are not eligible for coverage by workers compensation. Often this coverage kicks in after any paid sick day benefits have been used. Some states require that employers automatically supply this coverage, but many do not. If your employer does offer this benefit, be certain not only to elect for coverage, but research to what level you are covered. Even a non-traumatic injury like a broken limb can leave you unable to work for weeks or months. If you do not have savings or additional income that will make up for the loss of your salary for up to six months, this is coverage you should have.
Long-Term Disability will pay you a portion of your salary when you are unable to work for an extended period of time, after other coverage has been exhausted. Like short-term coverage, this coverage does not apply to disabilities which are covered by workers compensation. Length of coverage varies by plan: some may last for a few years, while others will last until you become eligible for social security benefits. Amount of coverage also varies, often as much as only 40% to 75% of your annual salary, so be certain to check what your coverage is and make plans accordingly.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) pays you or your family a lump sum should you be killed or lose an appendage or vision. Coverage varies, but while the paid benefits may lessen the financial burden of any lost wages due to injury, pay-outs do not generally require an inability to work. However, the injuries covered must be both accidental, and quite severe i.e. a dismemberment of a limb or loss of an eye. Payout amounts are also determined by the severity of the injury. Often, employers will provide some immediate level of AD&D coverage (for instance, 1.5 times your annual salary), such as travel coverage if the employee is killed or injured while traveling for work. Additionally, you may be able to pay for additional coverage via a deduction from your paycheck.
Workers Compensation provides coverage for eligible workers who are injured while on the job or performing a required function of their job. Sadly, though most employees are eligible for this usually government-mandated coverage, too many workers are not made aware of and/or do not take advantage of this benefit. If you are injured on the job, you are likely eligible for either temporary or permanent disability and/or medical payments. If you have received an on-the-job injury, contact a Chicago workers compensation attorney, who will advise you of your rights.
Brooke Haley marketing associate at Millon & Peskin, Chicago workers compensation attorney that practice in the areas of Civil Litigation, Workers’ Compensation, and Personal Injury. Millon & Peskin is a General Civil Litigation Practice with the goal of representing the interests of injured workers, throughout all applicable Courts within the State of Illinois. For more information, please visit http://www.millonpeskin.com.