If you want to offer disability to your employees you're going to need to do a little more work in order to convince them that they need it, and in order to do that it's important that you fully understand it yourself. That's why today we're going to discuss the difference between short-term disability and long-term disability coverage.
The Purpose Of Disability Insurance
Disability insurance, commonly abbreviated as DI, is a voluntary employee benefit that provides financial assistance to employees who can't work. Maybe you get into a car accident outside of work and have to take a few weeks off, or maybe you come down with a serious, long-term illness that keeps you out of work for years. In both cases DI can come to the rescue, providing much needed financial assistance in a time of crisis.
As you would expect, disability is not the most popular benefit with the younger crowd of employees. When you're young and you have your whole life in front of you it's easy to feel invincible. However, you can easily fight this lack of enthusiasm by educating your employees about the reality of disability and workplace injuries, which can happen to anyone no matter their age.
Short Term Disability Insurance
Short-term disability is exactly what it sounds like. It's meant to cover shorter periods of missed work and usually caps out at 3 to 6 months. Enough time to recover from most accidents or illnesses, but not all that useful when it comes to serious injury or chronic illnesses. That's where long-term disability comes into play.
Long Term Disability Insurance
Depending on the policy long-term disability can cover you for anywhere from a year to your entire life. The longer the coverage period the more the premium costs, of course. Long-term DI is meant to financially protect you in the case of extremely debilitating injuries and chronic illnesses.
What Should You Offer Your Employees?
Short-term and long-term disability cover two very different situations, so ideally you'd offer both as benefits to your employees. You can never really know how an injury is going to impact your work, and what seems minor initially could result in you being permanently unable to perform your job duties.
When you simply can't afford to offer both types of policies, long-term coverage makes more sense. Being unable to work for a short period of time can be difficult to manage but ultimately pales in comparison to the devastating financial impacts long term disability can bring about.
As you can see both long-term and short-term disability have their place in a well rounded benefits package. When offered on a voluntary basis or with group-based coverage it is also quite cost-effective.
Please contact us at Summerlin-Roberts today to learn more about offering disability insurance and other benefits to your valued employees. We offer our programs on both a voluntary and employer paid basis to best fit your unique organizational needs.