What You Should Know: Sources for Long Term Disability Benefits

You never think it is going to happen to you, but when long-term disability strikes it can be devastating. It would be irresponsible to yourself and your family not to be prepared for this possibility, because it can happen at any time. It could be due to a work-related injury, as a result of an accident, or because of a disease or medical condition. At the very least you should know what the possible sources for claiming long-term disability benefits are and what you can expect.

Employer-provided

Most larger companies have some type of long term disability insurance as part of their employee benefits, although it is not required by law. When it is offered, it is usually regulated by the rules laid down by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA.

Workers’ compensation

When the cause of a disability is work-related, then you may be able to claim disability benefits from your workers’ compensation insurance, which many employers are required by law to provide. It applies for both short- and long-term disability as well as partial and total disability.

Social Security

You may also make a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as well as  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in some cases. However, only those who require in-home or residential health care are eligible for SSI. SSDI and SSI payouts will depend on the living situation of the claimant, their disability, and their work history. However, it is important to note that it can take a long time for a claim to be approved at both the federal and state levels.

These sources of financial assistance for long-term disability are not mutually exclusive, so you may be able to receive benefits from one or more of them. Because making a claim for long-term disability can be complicated and tedious, it is usually a good idea to get some assistance when filing a claim or disputing a denial.

Stressing Over Overtime?

Most states do not have their own rules and regulations governing overtime pay. Instead, the regulations imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply. What does this mean for overtime claims in individual states?

This fact actually makes it less complicated for overtime claims to be made. Under the FLSA, employees are divided into non-exempt and exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are paid 1.5 times their hourly wage as overtime for all hours they work over and above 40 hours a week. The FLSA supersedes any company rule or policy which prohibits the rendering of overtime, or requires prior approval for overtime work. If a non-exempt employee does work beyond the 40 hours a week, he or she is entitled to overtime pay. It should be noted that the FLSA rules on non-exempt employees apply only to “white-collar” or office-based employees. Other types of employees are governed by different state or federal statutes, whichever applies.

Exempt employees are those whose job description and/or wage level renders them ineligible to receive overtime pay. These employees are not entitled to overtime pay because the nature of their work is considered a salaried (monthly-basis) position rather than on an hourly wage. In consequence, they are also exempt from certain rules that govern employees paid by the hour. Employees who fall under this category include:

  • Executives
  • Administrators
  • Professionals
  • Outside sales employees
  • Some computer-related employees
  • Highly compensated employees (annual compensation of $100,000 or more)
  • Blue Collar Workers
  • Police
  • Fire Fighters
  • Paramedics
  • Other First Responders

There are specific criteria for these FLSA exemptions, but can sometimes vary based on an individual’s position and job description. Fortunately, individuals who have been denied the fair and full compensation they have worked for may be able to take action against their employers to recover unpaid overtime wages.