STD Policy Encourages Return to Work

February 17, 2004 ( - A short-term disability (STD) policy now being offered by Colonial Life pays partial benefits if the policy holders becomes disabled but can go back to work for less than 20 hours a week.

According to a news release, the Colonial Supplemental Insurance has an advantage for employers in that it encourages workers to be back on the job sooner than they might otherwise. “This feature allows employees who’ve received total disability benefits for at least one month to ease back in to work and still receive a partial disability benefit equaling 50% of their total disability amount,” said Monica Francis, Colonial director of product marketing, in the announcement.

The product defines total disability in terms of “your job,”  not the inability to do any job. Also, the “your job” definition of disability applies for the entire benefit period. This is different from disability plans that have a “your job” definition only for the first year of a disability and then change to an “any job” definition for the second year of disability, according to the news release.

“With these other plans, after the first year a disabled policyholder would no longer receive benefits if he or she could perform any other job,” said Francis. “But with Colonial’s new disability product, someone who’s disabled and unable to do his or her job could receive benefits for the entire benefit period. There’s no one-year limit to the use of the ‘your job’ definition.”

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