Virginia ERISA Disability and Offset Provisions

An injury or illness that leaves you unable to work for an extended interval of time, whether it is specifically defined or undetermined, is likely to trigger eligibility for any short or long-term disability benefits that may be available through your employer.

At the same time, you may have applied for other benefits programs related to your disability, particularly if you are unsure of the duration of your disability and inability work.

Virginia ERISA disability and offset provisions are quite common, so you need to be aware of these provisions and their consequences if you violate them.

Offset Provisions Impact Disability Benefits

In many policies, the offset provisions limit the ability of individuals to receive both disability insurance benefits and other types of benefits stemming from their disability. For example, the policy may reduce individuals’ disability insurance benefits dollar-for-dollar by any amount of Social Security disability or worker’s compensation benefits received.

Additionally, if individuals’ dependents are receiving any sort of benefits as a result of the underlying disability, those benefits can trigger the application of offset provisions in disability insurance policies.

Other types of offset provisions may impact individuals’ ability to earn any type of income from employment. If individuals cannot work in their regular jobs due to disability, and thus are receiving disability insurance benefits, the offset provisions of Virginia ERISA disability insurance policies may prevent them from earning any type of income, even if it only a few hours per week, without reducing their benefits.

Offset Provisions May Have Unexpected Consequences

Individuals should pay attention to offset provisions in their insurance policies so that they report all other benefits and income that they are receiving simultaneously with their disability insurance benefits, if they are required to do so. Otherwise, they may end up with an overpayment of disability insurance benefits due to disability offset provisions in Virginia.

In situations like this, insurance companies will demand repayment of the overpaid benefits, which can be devastating for individuals who are unable to work and may not have been receiving the full amount of their income for some time. However, some insurance policies will still pay out a minimum monthly benefit in the case of an offset overpayment, which can be a flat dollar amount or a percentage of individuals’ salaries or full benefit amount. This can help individuals’ situations by allowing them to continue receiving some sort of minimal disability benefits despite the overpayment.

Interpreting Offset Provisions in Disability Insurance Policies

The language in disability insurance policies that covers offsets can be extraordinarily complex. There can be small distinctions between offset provisions that make a huge difference in the different benefits that can be offset by the plan and those that cannot be offset.

However, some benefits linked to individuals’ disability are not necessarily meant to replace their wages; in these cases, it is debatable whether those benefits are subject to the offset provisions.

An experienced ERISA disability attorney in Virginia is likely to be helpful in interpreting the language of offset provisions in disability insurance policies.

Call a Skilled Virginia ERISA Attorney for Assistance

Employers’ disability insurance policies that are subject to ERISA can be extremely complicated to read and understand.

Failing to completely understand the connection between Virginia ERISA disability and offset provisions of these policies can result in large overpayments of disability benefits, which can be disastrous to your current financial situation, especially if you are still unable to work in your normal job.

Contacting an experienced ERISA disability lawyer for advice can be a useful preventative tool for individuals whose benefits may be impacted by offset provisions.