The Long-Term Disability Plan provides financial protection if you are sick or injured and are unable to work.
If you are disabled for an extended period, disability benefits from the Long-Term Disability Plan provide a monthly income for you and your family. The Board of Pensions partners with Lincoln Financial Group to administer these benefits.
Definition of disability
The plan defines disability as being unable to perform your regular work duties because you are sick or injured, and, after 24 consecutive months of that disability, being unable to perform any type of work that fits your education, training or experience. Lincoln Financial, the Board’s partner for plan administration, must certify all disabilities.
Generally, your monthly Long-Term Disability Plan benefit equals up to 60 percent of your effective salary (up to the IRS annual compensation limit) on your approved date of disability.
Long-Term Disability Plan benefits are reduced by disability payments received from other sources, such as workers’ compensation and Social Security.
The minimum monthly Long-Term Disability Plan benefit from the plan is $50.
Your employer enrolls you; you do not need to take any action.
Your employer pays the full cost of the Long-Term Disability Plan; you may not contribute. Because your employer pays the full cost of coverage, any Long-Term Disability Plan benefits you receive are taxable when they are paid to you.
Once you apply for benefits, if your disability is approved, payments begin after you are disabled and out of work for 90 consecutive days, or when any severance payments from your employer end, whichever is later.
The Long-Term Disability Plan has a 12-month preexisting exclusion. This means that if you become disabled during the first 12 months your coverage is effective and the disability is due to a condition that was diagnosed or treated (including taking any medication) during the 12 months immediately before coverage started, no Long-Term Disability Plan benefits will be payable.
Long-Term Disability Plan benefits end
Generally, Lincoln Financial reviews disability benefits every three to six months during the first 24 months of the disability and will ask for documents that verify your continued disability. In some cases, Lincoln Financial may arrange for you to see an independent medical evaluator (at no expense to you) to certify that you continue to be disabled.
To continue receiving benefits, you must undergo required evaluations, follow prescribed medical treatment, participate in case reviews and vocational rehabilitation, and provide requested documentation.
Most benefits through the Board of Pensions end when you begin receiving benefits through the Long-Term Disability Plan. If you have medical coverage through the Board, you may be able to continue that coverage for a limited time if you pay the cost.
You may apply for Long-Term Disability Plan benefits if you are unable to work for more than 90 consecutive days while recovering from an illness or injury as long as a physician certifies your disability.
If you are receiving Temporary Disability Plan benefits through Lincoln Financial, a representative from Lincoln will begin your application process for long-term disability benefits before you approach your 90th day of disability.
Otherwise, to start the application process, call Lincoln Financial at 888-970-2487 or log on to the Lincoln Financial website and select Report a New Claim. The first time you log on, you will need to register using the code: BOARDPEN.
If your application for disability benefits is denied or disability benefits end, you have the right to appeal.