There will always be disabilities that cannot be prevented by an employer. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and even broken bones will always be part of the human experience.
However often times preventing short or long term disability claims is can simply be accomplished by having positive relationships with your employees.
We know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Disability case managers who we work with have told us that disability can become ‘a dumping ground’ for workplace issues. A toxic environment that fosters a series of negative interactions with an employee who may already be stressed out can push them to seek out to claim disability. Although 90% of employers charge Long Term Disability (LTD) premiums back to employees, the more LTD claims are made in a company’s history, the harder it is to shop the market for lower rates and the harder it is to negotiate with an incumbent carrier.
At a high level we always recommend plan administrators to consider the following 3 preventative measures:
- Ensure your health & safety committee includes a mental health component. This is increasingly important nowadays as many employees are working from home.
- Invest in HR, management and leadership training for your front-line supervisors. If you don’t have HR on staff, reach out to Beneplan’s HR advisor at email@example.com
- Invest in mental health resources: increase coverage for psychologists / therapists, educate employees on the meditation resources in your plan, and provide paid time off. As of May 1st 2021, we at Beneplan have increased the minimum coverage of psychologists / mental health therapists to $1,000 per member per year. Read more here.
This by no means an exhaustive list of how employers can better protect their employees for future disabilities but it's enough to get the conversation started. To put forth a tailored strategy we strongly suggest reaching out to your benefits advisor.