Does your long term disability contract require total disability in order for the qualifying period to start? Better make 100% certain that is NOT the case and someone wasn’t asleep at the switch when your contract was written. Your plan should include a zero day residual benefit.
Zero day residual provides coverage for partial disabilities in the qualifying period of a claim. This means a claimant can use partial days of work to satisfy the qualifying period for both short term and long term disability. Without a zero day residual benefit an employee would have to be totally disabled in order for their 90 or 180 day qualifying period to start. Think about it. How many people are not totally disabled on day one of a claim? An employee who develops cancer (a leading cause of LTD claims) may start out being partially disabled, unable to perform at 100%, but not totally disabled. In contracts without a zero day residual feature that partially disabled employee wouldn’t even be able to get their 90 or 180 day clock ticking and certainly wouldn’t receive a benefit.
In an attempt to reduce costs, some carriers and employee benefits brokers may strip out features. Don’t wait to get burned on a claim to find out what your benefits include.