Voluntary Short Term Disability: Give your Employees the Option to “Buy Up”

Voluntary Short Term Disability: Give your Employees the Option to “Buy Up”

The following is a true story. Joan was an employee at a large local hospital in New Jersey. When she was presented with the opportunity to elect various voluntary benefits to enhance her company benefits plan, she participated in many of them. Her primary motivation was she had a family history of cancer and was worried about the financial impact on her and her family if she ever faced this herself. The plans she selected were:

  1. Short Term Disability “Buy up”
  2. Cancer Insurance
  3. Critical Illness

Less than four years later, she complained of a pain in her side and her doctors determined there was a growth over her intestine. She was admitted to the hospital within the week and had successful surgery to have the tumor removed. The test results confirmed her worst fear: cancer! The good news was 100% of the cancer was removed during surgery. The better news is she was covered not only by her medical plan, her state-mandated short term disability coverage, but also by three voluntary benefits that provided needed cash so she could pay her bills while recovering.

Eventually, after several months, she received nearly $30,000 from the critical illness and cancer policies. It took 11 weeks for the TDB checks to start arriving. (The hospital did not have a private plan). A week later, she returned to work. The point, for this article, is that it was the $500 a week short term disability “buy up” checks that helped her family stay afloat while she was recovering. These payments started 14 days after she filed her claim.

A short term disability “buy up” is available in any state with a mandated SDI plan. It offers, in New Jersey, the option for an employee to receive up to 40% of their gross weekly check, tax free, on top of the state benefit. Whether you decided to also explore a private plan, this voluntary benefit is a natural and cost-free way to improve your benefits offering.

Dunn Corporate Resources has upgraded our services in this area. Not only do we have extensive expertise in designing the right plan for your employees, we offer enrollment services to all of our clients. This means we have licensed, experienced benefits counselors who can sit in one-on-one sessions with your people and help them make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

We can complement an offering of voluntary STD with other voluntary benefits such as term life, indexed universal life, accident, critical illness, etc. For clients in other states, we can design short and long term plans that range from employer paid, employer-paid for key staff combined with voluntary, or 100% employee-paid voluntary.

For more information, call Jim Johnson at 1-800-220-DUNN or email: Jim.johnson@dunncorp.com.