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This section provides answers to questions that consumers frequently ask about their benefits.

  1. What's the difference between Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability?
  2. Why do I need Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability insurance?
  3. Will Short-term Disability or Long-term Disability replace all of my lost income?
  4. How do I enroll?
  5. Will I need to fill out any medical forms?
  6. How do I get paid if I need to be out of work due to a disabling accident or illness?
  7. Will Worker's Compensation or Social Security pay if I'm disabled?
  8. Will I be able to protect my income with savings or by spending less?
  9. How much Short-term Disability, Long-term Disability, Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance do I need?
  10. I already get Life Insurance from my employer, why should I buy Supplemental Life Insurance?
  11. How is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance different from Life Insurance?
  12. I'm already paying for part of my health care and for my other employee benefits, how can I afford Short-term Disability, Long-term Disability, Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance?

 

  1. What's the difference between Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability?
    Both Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability replace a percentage of your pay if you are unable to work due to a covered disabling accident or illness. Typically, Short-term Disability plans provide coverage for about three to six months, while Long-term Disability plans provide coverage for months or years longer. Please carefully read any communication or enrollment material from your employer, or check with your employer for details and terms of the specific coverage you may be eligible for.

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  2. Why do I need Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability insurance?
    The same way medical insurance protects you from the potentially enormous costs of health care, disability insurance can help protect your financial security and quality of life if you have a pregnancy, an illness or injury. Short-term Disability can replace an important part of your regular paycheck to make sure you can continue to pay bills – like mortgage or rent, groceries, car payments, even health insurance premiums – if you cannot work.

    Long-term Disability can provide a buffer, protecting your assets – like your retirement plans or home equity, savings, or college tuition – if you're unable to work due to a covered extended disabling accident or illness.
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  3. Will Short-term Disability or Long-term Disability replace all of my lost income?
    Neither of the plans is designed to replace all of your lost income. They both replace a percentage of your regular pay. Please carefully read any communication or enrollment material from your employer, or check with your employer for details and terms of the specific coverage you may be eligible for.

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  5. How do I enroll?
    The Hartford offers a variety of easy ways to enroll, including paper-based, online and telephonic. Check with your employer to find out how you can enroll.

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  7. Will I need to fill out any medical forms?
    In some cases you may be asked to fill out a Personal Health Application form to help us decide whether or not we can offer you the coverage that you have applied for. Once we receive the form as well as any other information we may need, we will make a decision on coverage in about five business days, though if the situation is unusually complex, it may take longer.

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  9. How am I paid if I need to be out of work due to a disabling accident or illness?
    If you are disabled, you will be required to submit a claim to The Hartford1 – or any other insurer you may have coverage with. Your insurer will then gather information from your employer and physician to make a decision on when and if benefits will be paid. Once we have all of that information, this process usually takes about five business days, though if the situation is unusually complex, it may take longer. Approved claims are paid directly to you.

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  11. Will Worker's Compensation or Social Security pay if I'm disabled?
    Workers' Compensation covers only injuries and disabilities that are directly related to work. In fact, a recent study showed that only about one-in-eight people who had recently experienced a disability received any payment from Worker's Compensation.2 If eligible, Social Security provides a limited safety net, but will not help until an employee has been totally disabled for five months with a condition expected to last at least a year.3

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  13. Will I be able to protect my income with savings or by spending less?
    Probably not. Cutting back on discretionary spending can help, but most people have little discretionary income to start with. Most people don't have a lot of savings. In fact, a survey by The Hartford found that about 97% of the people who did not have disability insurance said that they couldn't live on savings alone. The most common sources of income replacement for people who have had disabilities are disability insurance and sick leave.4

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  15. How much Short-term Disability, Long-term Disability, Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance do I need?
    The answers to that question are as different as you are from anyone else. They depend on your family situation, how much insurance you may already have, your income and assets, and your goals. Typically, people consider Short-term Disability and Long-term Disability insurance in terms of the percentage of their regular income that is replaced if they are disabled. People often consider Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance in the dollar amounts of financial security they would provide their families when they are gone. The quick and easy-to-use It's My Choice calculator asks you several questions about you and your financial protection needs, and gives you an in-depth illustration of coverage options, average costs and details on insurance for your unique needs.5

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  17. I already receive Life Insurance from my employer, why should I buy Supplemental Life Insurance?
    Many employers provide employees with some Life Insurance coverage, but it may not be enough to meet your needs. Carefully consider your needs to determine the best solution for you and your family. The quick and easy-to-use It's My Choice calculator asks you several questions about you and your financial protection needs, and gives you an in-depth illustration of coverage options, average costs and details on insurance for your unique needs. Supplemental Life Insurance purchased through your employer is an affordable way to help ensure that you have the right amount of coverage to help protect your family and their goals against the unexpected.

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  19. How is Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance different from Life Insurance?
    Accidental Death and Dismemberment insurance pays you a benefit if you suffer certain severe injuries (such as loss of a limb or loss of sight) caused by a covered accidental injury. It also pays your beneficiary (usually your spouse, children or person whom you legally named previously) if you die due to an accident covered by your plan. This benefit would be payable in addition to any life insurance benefit for which you were covered. Please carefully read any communication or enrollment material from your employer, or check with your employer for details and terms of the specific coverage you may be eligible for.

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  21. I'm already paying for part of my health care and for my other employee benefits, how can I afford Short-term Disability, Long-term Disability, Life or Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance?
    You may find that coverage costs less than you think once you look through the communication material your employer provides and consider your needs with the It's My Choice calculator. Many times, the coverage you need costs less than a cup of coffee per day.

    It is simple to purchase coverage through your employer, you will benefit from the frequently lower costs of group rates and payment is easy through payroll deduction. If affordability is still an issue, you may want to consider just one of the plans. You'll still be taking an important step toward protecting your income and will have the opportunity to consider the next step another time.

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1 The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries including issuing companies Hartford Life Insurance Company and Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company. Home Office is Hartford, CT.

2,4 Unintended Exposure: The Surprising “Big Gamble” Employees Take Every Day, 2005, The Hartford.

3 Please contact your local Social Security Administration office for specific details regarding Social Security Administration.

5 The results in the calculator are for your information only and are not recommendations or promises/offers. The Hartford does not represent itself as giving individual advice on legal, tax, insurance benefits or any other advice through this website. Your individual needs may be different and you may wish to consult a qualified financial advisor for a detailed analysis of your financial needs.

Common Benefit Questions