There are only five states that offer state disability programs for resident employees. And if you're in Rhode Island, you're in one of them. Congratulations. But what if you don't know anything about it? Well, you're in luck.
Your independent insurance agent is the best resource here and can help you navigate Rhode Island's disability insurance programs inside and out. They'll help answer all your questions and get you set up with the coverage you need. But first, how about a little more background on disability insurance, followed by some Rhode Island-specific details.
What Is Disability Insurance?
Someone once said if you’re not sure where to start, start at the beginning. And it’s a good thing to know what disability insurance is before getting into the nitty-gritty of the state insurance programs.
Simply put, disability insurance replaces your lost income due to a disability, illness or injury, normally covering between 40% and 70% of your salary. There are several different types of disability insurance that may apply to you, like:
- Individual long-term disability insurance: This coverage handles long-term injuries, disabilities, and illnesses. These disabilities or illnesses keep you from working and are not to be confused with work-related injuries or illnesses. Coverage lasts years, and sometimes decades, depending on your benefits.
- Individual short-term disability insurance: Just like long-term disability insurance, short-term also covers injuries, disabilities, and illnesses that keep you from working. Instead of lasting years, this coverage only lasts for days or months, hence the title short-term.
- Group long-term disability insurance: Group long-term is offered through your employer. You can choose to participate in group coverage or opt out. This policy is offered to all eligible employees at your work and is the kind of disability coverage that lasts for years. Health risk factors are not accounted for since it is rated on a group basis, which is a huge plus.
- Group short-term disability insurance: This group disability coverage is just like group long-term insurance in the sense that it is offered through your employer and covers disabilities, illnesses, and injuries. Again, it is offered to all eligible employees and you may choose to opt out if you so desire. Health risk factors are still not accounted for on this disability policy type and your employer normally pays for this coverage.
Government-backed disability programs:
- Social Security disability insurance: This is offered by the federal government and is a federally funded disability benefits program. Sounds like a big deal doesn't it?
- State disability programs: These programs are in just a few states across the country and offer temporary disability insurance.
How and When To Qualify for Rhode Island's Disability Program
The program offers temporary disability insurance to Rhode Island's workers with an injury, illness, or disability that would prevent them from working. These are not work-related injuries or illnesses, however. That would be covered under your employer’s workers' compensation policy.
Qualifications to be eligible for Rhode Island's disability program:
- If you become ill or injured, and an examination by a qualified healthcare provider states that you cannot work. Basically a note from your doctor.
- You cannot work for at least 7 consecutive days.
When to qualify for Rhode Island's disability program:
- The most you are allowed to collect is an amount equal to 30 full weeks.
- Claims must be filed within 90 days of the 1st week out of work due to illness.
What Are the Taxes for the Rhode Island Disability Program?
The current withholding rate for the Rhode Island disability program is 1.1% of your first $71,000 in earnings. Not too bad, but still a tax nonetheless.
Is the Rhode Island Disability Program State or Federal?
The Rhode Island disability program is a state program. The disability benefits are made possible by the state of Rhode Island employees taxed wages contributing to the fund.
There is only a total of 5 states that have disability programs and it’s good to know if you live in one. They are as follows:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
What Benefits Does the Rhode Island Disability Program Offer?
The Rhode Island disability program offers supplementation of income up to 38% of your average weekly income. $867 is the maximum weekly benefit offered and the minimum weekly benefit is $98.00
What's So Great about Independent Insurance Agents?
Tired of researching about state disability insurance, or all insurance for that matter? That’s why independent insurance agents were invented, to help you navigate the world of insurance.
An independent insurance agent is a licensed pro who knows how to find exactly what you want for the best possible price. They find you the best carriers with the best coverage and pricing to fit your budget.
So go on, give your local independent insurance agent a call, they're all geared up to help and they know a thing or two about what you need.
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Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. (2019). http://www.dlt.ri.gov/tdi/tdifaqs.htm