Because different benefits have different definitions and the devil is in the details…
As more states add legislation for paid family leave and the federal government introduces programs to help manage Covid-related disability claims, short-term disability has become more confusing than ever.
To help brokers understand the profit potential in these benefits and to help business owners sort through the “alphabet soup” of STD (short-term disability), The DBL Center offers your complete guide to short term disability offerings.
Short-term disability is the all-encompassing phrase to describe disability benefits for employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury that did not occur at work. (Workers’ compensation covers work-related illnesses and injuries.)
Disability Benefits Law is New York’s statutory temporary disability insurance coverage. Business owners can write their policies through the state or privately. DBL pays employees 50% of their salary to a maximum of $170 per week of benefit up to 26 weeks.
Increasing benefits that extend beyond the statutory DBL (Disability Benefits Law) coverage in the form of a higher maximum benefit. It can also include shorter waiting periods or a longer maximum duration. All eligible employees must be included.
Temporary Disability Benefits cover New Jersey employees out of work for illness or injury up to 26 weeks. Effective July 1, 2020, the NJ TDB benefit increased to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary to a maximum of $881 per week. To pay for these benefit increases, for the first time, employees are contributing premiums for the NJTDB coverage on a different taxable wage base than employers. As of 1/1/2020 employees are contributing .26% on the first $134,900 of earnings (maximum annual contribution of $350.74). Employers are contributing based on employees’ earnings capped at $35,500. As in New York, NJ business owners can write their policies privately or through the state.
New York State Paid Family Leave covers individuals up to 67% average weekly wage replacement for up to 12 weeks for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child; to care for a seriously ill family member; or to manage the household while a spouse is deployed. It’s written as a rider to DBL.
Covered individuals are eligible for no more than 26 total weeks in the aggregate of paid family and medical leave in a single benefit year under the new Massachusetts PFML (Paid Family and Medical Leave) legislation. This was introduced to cover individuals out of work to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child in the first year; to care for a family member; or to manage the household while a spouse is deployed. PFML adds medical leave, to care for a family member unable to work due to illness or injury as of July 1, 2021.
Disability Income is private disability coverage offered to individuals or sold as a group plan in states that do not mandate statutory STD. It encompasses paid sick leave, short-term disability benefits (STD), and long-term disability benefits (LTD).
Unlike the benefits above, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that guarantees an employee’s job if they are out for family or medical leave. It does not pay benefits.
The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) provides income replacement at 2/3 the regular rate of pay for up to 80 weeks for employees in quarantine as a result of Covid-19 or seeking treatment for coronavirus, and an additional 10 weeks for employees whose school or childcare provider has closed due to the pandemic. This is paid by employers, with federal tax credits to offset the costs.
The DBL Center has also created a handy slide of this information for easy reference. You can view the it below and on our LinkedIn feed.
by Dawn Allcot