New plan offers financial protection for employees with a long-term disability

May 08, 2020

One of the new Financial Protection Programs available for 2021 is the Long-Term Disability Plan, which provides a monthly income if an employee is unable to work due to a sickness or injury that extends beyond 90 days.

When 2021 Employer Agreements become available in mid-July, employers may select the Long-Term Disability Plan, a new benefit available for employees working at least 20 hours weekly. This new plan provides important financial protection to employees in the event of an extended sickness or injury.

The Long-Term Disability Plan is separate and different from the comprehensive disability protection provided through the Death and Disability Plan — unchanged for 2021 — which is included with Pastor’s Participation and Minister’s Choice.

How the plan works

The Long-Term Disability Plan provides monthly income if members are sick or injured and unable to work for more than 90 consecutive days. The benefit is up to 60 percent of effective salary, capped at $285,000 in 2020, at the time disability begins. Because the Death and Disability Plan also includes a long-term disability benefit, the two plans cannot be offered together.

Cost/contributions

The Long-Term Disability Plan is noncontributory for employees; employers pay the full cost, which is $0.35 per $100 of monthly salary. For example, for an employee earning $45,000 annually, the employer will pay approximately $13 per month. This cost will be calculated for employers in their Employer Agreement on Benefits Connect.

Key features

When offered with the Temporary Disability Plan (also new for 2021), the Long-Term Disability Plan can provide comprehensive financial protection for employees unable to work due to a disability. When the two plans are offered together, temporary disability benefits begin after a 14-day waiting period and may last up to the 90th day of a disability, when Long-Term Disability Plan benefits may begin for a continuing disability.

Here are additional features of the Long-Term Disability Plan:

  • The Long-Term Disability Plan may be offered to any employee not enrolled in the Death and Disability Plan, who normally works at least 20 hours weekly. Those in Minister's Choice or Pastor's Participation may not be enrolled in the Long-Term Disability Plan because they are covered under the Death and Disability Plan.
  • Lincoln Financial Group, the Board’s administrator and business partner certifies all disabilities and handles administrative responsibilities for the plan for you.
  • Benefits may continue, as long as the employee is disabled, up to Social Security Normal Retirement Age (based on age), or, if disability starts after age 62, according to Benefits Plan rules.
  • Unlike many commercially available plans, there is no benefit limitation for disability due to behavioral health or substance use disorders.
  • No benefits are paid for disability due to pre-existing conditions. This means if the member becomes disabled during the first 12 months of coverage because of a condition diagnosed or treated during the 12 months immediately before coverage started, no benefits will be payable.
  • Benefits are paid monthly, regardless of the member’s regular pay cycle, directly from Lincoln Financial Group; direct deposit is encouraged.
  • Benefits are reduced by disability payments received from other sources, such as workers’ compensation and Social Security. For example, if a member is covered by workers’ compensation and suffers a work-related illness or injury, the long-term disability benefit will be offset by the amount of the workers’ compensation benefit.
  • Other benefits coverage through the Board ends when Long-Term Disability Plan benefits begin. Those with medical coverage through the Board may continue that coverage at their own expense for a limited time.

For more information, or if you have questions, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN), Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.