Frequently Asked Questions
What does Long-Term Disability Insurance Provide?
LTD insurance provides 24-hour protection against the loss of your income in the event that a disability prevents you from working and earning an income.
What is My Risk of Needing Long-Term Disability Insurance?
Your risk of needing long-term disability insurance is greater than you may expect.
- 3 out of 10 workers between the ages of 35 and 65 will become disabled for 90 days or longer. (1987 Commissioner's Group Disability Table)
- Nearly 1 in 7 people will become disabled for 5 years or more prior to age 65. That number increases to nearly 1 in 5 for ages 35 to 62. (Ibid.)
- 48% of home mortgage foreclosures are due to disabilities.
If I Have Health Insurance, Why Do I Need LTD Coverage?
Health Insurance will help you cover any medical expenses you have as a result of your disability. But you will still have all the day-to-day expenses you have now. Medical insurance will not help you make up for any loss of income you may experience. Without LTD insurance, you may have to rely on your savings to maintain your current lifestyle. If your disability were to last for any significant length of time, this could have a considerable impact on your financial security.
How Does LTD Coverage Work?
If you are disabled according to your policy's definition of disability, you will be eligible to receive a monthly benefit based on a percentage of your monthly income. Benefits begin after your Elimination Period of 180 days and are paid for as long as you continue to meet the policy's definition of disability for the benefit duration shown in your policy. You would not be required to pay your premium during the time you are receiving benefits.
Are There Any Instances When Benefits Would Not Be Paid?
Benefits would not be paid for disabilities caused by:
- active participation in a riot
- war, declared or undeclared
- self-inflicted injuries such as attempted suicide
- pre-existing conditions (see definition below)
Faculty members are eligible to participate in these benefits if they have at least a half-time appointment.
Staff members are eligible to participate if they are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week for either the academic or fiscal year. Staff members in Dining Services and Facilities Management are eligible if they are regularly scheduled to work at least 20 hours per week.
Your effective date of coverage is July 1 of each year or the first day of the month coinciding with or immediately following your date of employment.
Definition of Disability
You will be considered disabled and eligible for benefits if because of injury or sickness you cannot perform each of the material duties of your regular occupation; and after benefits have been paid for 24 months, you cannot perform each of the material duties of any gainful occupation for which you are reasonably fitted by training, education and experience; or while you are unable to perform all of the material duties of your regular occupation or another occupation on a part-time or full-time basis; and your earnings are at least 20% less per month than your pre-disability earnings due to that same injury or illness.
Monthly Benefit Amount
Mount Holyoke College is providing a base benefit of 40% of your basic monthly earnings, to a maximum monthly benefit of $6,666.
You may elect to increase your coverage by choosing one of the following supplemental coverage options:
- 50% of your basic monthly earnings to a maximum monthly benefit of $8,333
- 60% of your basic monthly earnings to a maximum monthly benefit of $10,000
- 66 2/3% of your basic monthly earnings to a maximum monthly benefit of $12,000
As long as you continue to meet the definition of disability, you would receive a benefit to the age of 65 if you become disabled prior to age 60. If you are disabled between ages 60 and 70, you will receive benefits for 5 years or until age 70, whichever comes first. If you are disabled after age 70, you will receive 12 months of benefits.
Benefits would begin after 180 consecutive days of disability.
If you apply during the open enrollment period, coverage is offered to you without having to answer any medical questions. After the open enrollment period, you will have to qualify for coverage.
You would not be eligible to receive a benefit if your disability is caused by a pre-existing condition which begins in the first 12 months after your effective date. A pre-existing condition is one for which you receive medical treatment, care, or services, including diagnostic measures, or took prescribed drugs or medicines in the 3 months prior to your effective date of coverage.
Retirement Plan Rider
If you are a participant in the college's defined contribution 403(b) pension plan, an additional benefit will be payable to your 403(B) plan if you become disabled. If you are enrolled in the 40% plan, this benefit will be 8% of your salary to a maximum of $700 per month. If you are enrolled in the 50%, 60% or 66 2/3% plan, this benefit will be 15% of your salary to a maximum of $2,500 per month. These contributions are made to the Basic Retirement Annuity Plan only and will continue for the period of time you receive LTD benefits.
Cost of Living Adjustment
While you are out totally disabled, your benefit will be adjusted by 3%, once per year, for the duration of your disability.
Waiver of Premium
You will not have to pay your premium during the time you are receiving disability benefits.
If you have been disabled for 180 days and are receiving LTD insurance benefits and you die, a benefit will be paid to your survivors to help support them with immediate costs associated with the loss of your income. This benefit is equal to 3 times your monthly benefit and is payable to your spouse, children, or estate.