Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Jersey Commuters Have Varying Disability Coverage Levels

If you live in New Jersey and commute to work, your destination impacts the amount of disability insurance you may have. New Jersey temporary disability insurance covers private workers in the state. Know what your coverage level is before getting sick, hurt, or becoming pregnant.

Two people sitting on a train may have very different levels of coverage depending upon which stop they take to reach their work destination. Many New Jersey commuters are traveling cross state lines to go to work, and many do not are commuting to government jobs: federal, state, county, city, and municipal positions. The one thing all these commuters share in common is they are not mandated to participate in the NJ temporary insurance program.

Commuters with NY Disability

Commuters who cross the Hudson River to work in are covered by the New York plan. The New Jersey mandate applies to workers in the state, rather than residents, as does the NY plan. The NY plan caps benefits at $170 per week, far less than the NJ plan which caps income replacement at $561 per week.

NJ Residents Who May Not Have Coverage

Commuters traveling to government jobs may or may not have coverage. The New Jersey mandate applies to private workers only - government workers are exempt from the mandate, but each government entity is allowed to participate if they choose. If your government employer elected not to participate as many do not, you won't have any disability insurance coverage should you happen to become sick or hurt.

NJ Commuters with No Disability Coverage

Those residents crossing the Delaware River are in the worst position of all. Because the NJ mandate applies to people who work in the state, residents commuting to Pennsylvania or Delaware have no state disability coverage options at all. Both Delaware and Pennsylvania do not have state mandated disability insurance of any kind. Even if your employer wanted to participate, there is no state program to join. Workers in these states must rely on a company sponsored plan via a private insurer.

Regardless of where to commute to, you should consider buying supplemental short-term disability before getting sick, hurt, or becoming pregnant. At a $561 weekly cap many workers will find that it does not provide adequate coverage. This gap is even more profound for those with a $170 weekly cap and for those with no coverage at all.

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