Three steps to take when planning to return to work after a disability
A long-term disability can be life-altering, for yourself and for your family. It can impact your livelihood and your ability to continue to earn an income. That’s why a long-term disability (LTD) insurance plan that offers a return-to-work option can be such an important part of your financial plan. It helps offer a measure of security that will allow you to concentrate on getting well without worrying too much about how you’ll meet your financial responsibilities. But perhaps just as important, this type of coverage can help you get your life back to normal by allowing you to work while still receiving LTD benefits.
Returning to work while receiving disability benefits can be rewarding, but it will take some coordination between your LTD provider, your employer, and yourself.
Here are three important steps you should take when you return to work:
- Inform your LTD provider that you wish to return to work. In most cases, once your provider offers a “return to work option” and OKs your return, your benefits will continue after you re-enter the workforce. Benefits may be reduced to take into account your new income, and may cease altogether if you begin earning an income comparable to your pre-disability income. Make sure to keep your provider abreast of your plans – going back to work without your provider’s consent may jeopardize your LTD benefits.
- Contact your HR department to find out what requirements they have regarding your return. For instance, you may be required to submit release forms from your medical care provider, clearing you to return to work. HR may also be able to offer you “light duty” or transitional positions as you transition from totally disabled to working.
- Alert your manager to any special accommodations you might need. You may find that you need modifications such as ramps, more frequent breaks, or a specialized keyboard to help you meet your responsibilities.
Depending on your LTD plan, you may have access to services that can help you get additional training if you want to get back to work but are no longer capable of fulfilling the duties you previously held. Many LTD plans offer assistance with vocational training if you wish to re-enter the work force but can no longer meet the requirements of your previous position.
Returning to work after a disability can be an uplifting experience that can help you physically, emotionally, and financially. Make sure you have the option to get back on the job by choosing an LTD plan with a return-to-work option.
Group Insurance coverage is issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a Prudential Financial company, Newark, NJ.