July 14, 2016

What Is Your Safety Net For Disability?

By Beth Knight-Pinneo, Alliance Benefits

Alliance Benefits offers a safety net in the event you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury. Employees in the Alliance Health Plan (Premium Plan version*) are covered by Long Term Disability. Disability insurance protects your income in the event that you become disabled and are not able to work.

What would be the impact on your family and your church if you had a long-term illness which made it impossible for you to continue working? Sadly, some churches have had to face this reality for their pastors or other employees.

According to the Social Security Administration, 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will be disabled before reaching age 67. Many American workers are not covered by any kind of disability insurance and must rely solely on Social Security disability income. Those who shop for disability coverage will find that benefits and premiums vary widely.

For employees who are enrolled in the Alliance Health Plan, Long Term Disability coverage is automatically part of the Premium Health plan* for the included cost of $10 per month, regardless of your age, medical condition, salary, or where you reside in the US.

If you become disabled, subject to approval, this Long Term Disability plan will pay you up to 60 percent of your salary (including ministerial housing allowance if applicable), up to $6,000 per month. The benefits may be paid up to age 65 if you continue to qualify. The waiting period is 90 days. Churches may wish to have short term coverage (purchased elsewhere) in order to cover the 90 day waiting period until the long term disability would become effective.

For churches currently enrolled in the Alliance Health Plan, if you have an employee who may potentially be facing a disability claim, it’s vital that you call Alliance Benefits early, before the employee stops working, to avoid missing important deadlines. We can answer questions about this complex topic and assist you in understanding the claims process.

*LTD coverage is included in the Premium Health Plan version (the same plan which includes dental and vision, chosen by most plan participants.) The Standard Health Plan version omits LTD, dental and vision.


Beth joined Alliance Benefits in January 2001. In her role as Benefits Consultant, she focuses on building relationships with churches and districts, and assisting with Health Plan and 403(b) questions. She is assigned to serve the churches and districts in the Western and Southern US, and the multi-cultural districts.

Posted in: Health Plan Tools