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Group Long-Term Disability Insurance

  • Again, generally provided by the employer.  New hires are typically eligible for coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions.  However, typically pre-existing health conditions are excluded either until the new employee has gone 12 months treatment free or had the coverage for 24 consecutive months.
  • Benefits are usually for 60% of salary, payable to age 65 if disabled, but are offset by any benefits received from workers compensation, Social Security, or even any other group disability plan. Group disability benefits are taxable which means a disabled person will end up taking home only about 45% of their salaries—not 60%. 
  • Group disability shortcomings:
  • Coverage rarely includes a cost-of-living adjustment factor that increases benefits yearly to a person on a disability claim to keep up with inflation. 
  • Group disability also often does not include proportionate benefits for partial disabilities, known as "residual" disability coverage by the insurance industry.  (A disadvantage for Parkinsonians who can often work part time for many years before being totally disabled.) 
  • Some of these group policies do offer an option to convert the group coverage to an individual policy if you leave the job. 
  • The conversion coverage is usually less broad and the pricing higher but still a good option for people with existing Parkinson's disease. 
  • If you have Parkinson's and are still actively working yet cannot qualify for an individual disability policy, one option is to seek a new position that offers group disability benefits that include coverage for pre-existing conditions, residual/partial disability benefits, and the right to convert to an individual policy if you leave the job for whatever reason.

Content for this section provided by Jack Hungelmann, who has had PD since 1996.

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