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    Work‐Related Disabilities and Long Term Disability Benefits

    The SPS Benefits Helpline often receives questions about how the District’s Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance plan works when a disability is related to a Workers' Compensation or “L&I” (Labor and Industries) claim. Here’s some related information that may be helpful:

    Does the District’s LTD plan with Standard Insurance cover work‐related disabilities?
    YES. Work‐related injuries and illnesses are covered by Standard. The waiting period for LTD benefits is 45 calendar days, so any employee who expects to be disabled more than 45 days should file a separate LTD claim with Standard when their disability begins, or as soon as possible thereafter. (Note: We are talking only about Long Term Disability coverage. The District’s voluntary, Short Term Disability program does not cover work‐related disabilities.)

    Can I get disability benefits from both Standard and L&I at the same time?
    YES. Standard Insurance guarantees that you will receive 60% of your insured predisability income.  But Standard’s benefits are secondary to other sources of disability income, including L&I benefits.  This means that if you also get Worker’s Compensation benefits, Standard’s payments would be reduced, but never lower than the minimum payment of $100 per month.

    What if I don’t file an LTD claim with Standard right away?
    If you wait, you may face unnecessary delays in benefits or have a period of time without any income.  So don’t wait until the L&I claim is processed or closed. In fact, long delays can be a big problem ‐ Standard won’t accept a claim if it is filed more than 530 days after the date of disability, which means that you have about a year and a half to file your claim once you are disabled.

    If my Workers’ Compensation (L&I) claim is closed, does this close the LTD claim too?
    NO. These are separate programs, so it’s possible that Standard’s LTD benefits could continue even if the L&I claim is closed. Standard would end their benefits only if they independently determined that you no longer qualify for LTD benefits.

    In fact, if LTD benefits continue after the L&I claim is closed, it’s likely that Standard’s payment would increase. Because Standard guarantees a benefit of 60% of your predisability income, Standard’s payment would usually go up to this 60% level, unless there were another primary source of income (Social Security benefits, for example).

    If my employment ends and other benefits end, will I lose my LTD benefits too?
    NO. Once you begin receiving LTD benefits from Standard, these benefits would stop only if Standard determined that you were no longer disabled, or you reach some other limitation on the LTD plan, like reaching your normal social security retirement age.

    One Final Note:
    This is just a brief discussion of some of the features of your long term disability program. Full
    information is available on the Benefits Website (www.ourpasswordpage.com) or by calling the
    Benefits Helpline at (206) 957‐7066. LTD claim form packets may be obtained this way as well.