Employers may satisfy their obligation to make this coverage available to their employees in one of two (2) ways:
1- They may use an insurance company to provide the DBL coverage to their employees.
2- They may establish a "Private," self-insured DBL plan.
Disability benefits are temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner, when he/she is disabled by an OFF THE JOB injury or illness. The Disability Benefits Law provides weekly cash benefits to replace, in part, wages lost due to injuries or illnesses that do not arise out of or in the course of employment. Disability benefits are also paid to an unemployed worker to replace unemployment insurance benefits lost because of illness or injury.
An employer is allowed, but not required, to collect contributions from its employees to offset the cost of providing benefits. An employee's contribution is computed at the rate of one-half of one percent of his/her wages, but no more than sixty cents a week.
If an employee has more than one job at the time, with combined wages of more than $120.00 per week, the employee may request each employer to adjust the contributions in proportion to the earnings of each employment. The combined contributions may not exceed 60 cents per week. The request should be made as soon as the employee enters a second job.
Disability benefits include cash payments only. Medical care is the responsibility of the claimant. It is not paid for by the employer or insurance carrier.
Cash benefits are 50 percent of a claimant's average weekly wage, but no more than the maximum benefit allowed. The average weekly wage is based on the last eight weeks of employment. If counting the last week in which the disability began lowers the benefit rate, it is not included in determining average weekly wage. Effective May 1, 1989, the maximum benefit allowance for any disability is $170 a week. Benefits paid by the employer or insurance carrier are subject to Social Security and withholding taxes.
Benefits are paid for a maximum of 26 weeks of disability during 52 consecutive weeks. For employed workers, there is a 7-day waiting period for which no benefits are paid. Benefit rights begin on the eighth consecutive day of disability. For unemployed workers who are receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits and who become disabled more than four weeks (but within 26 weeks) after termination of employment, benefits are payable from the first day of the disability that disqualifies them from receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. An employer must supply a worker who has been disabled more than seven days with a Statement of Rights under the Disability Benefits Law (for DB-271), within five days of leaving that the worker is disabled.
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