LTD Plan Basics

Overview

FCMM Long Term Disability (LTD) insurance is a provision for the church and the staff member. If a disability occurs, the benefit payments help the staff member with financial needs and give the church flexibility of resources to continue to fulfill ministries until the staff member is able to return to duties.

Features

  • Group disability is a benefit made available through an employer. Eligible participants must be in  active employment at least 25 hours per week at an EFCA church or other qualified organization in the United States.
  • Premium payments must come from the employer. The local church board will decide for each “class of employees” if the payment is an employee benefit (i.e., funded by the church as part of the compensation package) or a payroll deduction (i.e., funded by the employee). When administered as payroll deduction, the employer may offer the program as “Tax Choice” by adding the premium amount to gross income and then payroll-deduct the amount. The employee’s net cost is the tax on the additional reported income.
  • In the event of a disability, the source of the premium payment determines the tax status of benefits. Benefit payments are taxable income when the coverage has been provided as a non-taxed employee benefit. Benefit payments are considered non-taxable income when the coverage has been paid by the employee from taxable income via payroll deduction.
  • Definition of disability is based on the inability to perform duties of the staff member’s “own occupation” for the first three years of disability. This contrasts to a lesser coverage of “any occupation” in many plans.
  • For calculation of eligible compensation base for benefits, the housing allowance of qualifying pastors is included. This provision, not usually found in standard LTD plans, has been specifically tailored to benefit churches and clergy participants.
  • Coverage begins the first of the month following the employee’s eligibility and ends on the date of termination. Severance pay is not considered active employment.
  • Portability: Coverage for a staff member relocating from one participating church to another may be continued without without interruption by notifying FCMM.
  • Conversion: The insurance can be converted to an individual policy if an employee leaves his or her EFCA position.
  • Some pre-existing condition limitations apply.

Details and procedures are included in the plan certificate.

Benefits

  • In the event of a qualifying disability, this LTD policy will pay the individual 60% of his or her qualified monthly salary up to $6,000 per month. This benefit is offset by any Federal Social Security Disability Benefits he or she might receive.
     
  • A Spousal Disability Rider is included, offering a benefit of up to $1,500 per month payable for up to 24 months.
     
  • A Severe Disability Rider is also included, providing an additional 20% benefit up to a maximum of $1,000 per month, in the event of the loss of two activities of either daily living or cognitive impairment.
     
  • A Partial Disability Rider provides a benefit when earnings are reduced by more than 20% because of sickness or accidental injury.
     
  • Coverage includes $10,000 in group term life insurance plus accidental death and dismemberment insurance. This benefit is reduced to $6,500 starting at age 70, and to $5,000 starting at age 75