Amherst Chamber of CommerceAmherst Chamber of Commerce

Disability Insurance Awareness Month: What you Need to Know

While many people associate the costs of chronic disease or injury in terms of health insurance and medical bills, it is also important to account for the cost being unable to work for a prolonged period of time.



Many consumers wrongly believe that health insurance will cover all you need during an illness, however this type of insurance will only help pay for your medical expenses - it won't cover your loss of income.


New York  State is one of a handful of states across the country that requires employers to provide disability benefits to their employees. The benefits are 50% of the employee's average weekly wage, up to a maximum of just $170 per week. Employees can receive benefits for up to 26 weeks after a seven day wait period. 


Employees are eligible to be covered after working 4 consecutive weeks. Business owners can be included but Sole Proprietors, as well as owners of Partnerships, LLPs and LLCs are excluded from coverage by default.  There are consequences for businesses not enrolling in a Disability Insurance policy, including monetary fines and potential imprisonment.    


Choosing to enroll in disability insurance - beyond what a  New York  State employer is mandated to pay - can provide temporary cash benefits for an employee who is unable to work due to an off-the-job illness or injury. Insurance carriers offer additional options to increase your coverage, as well as additional Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage for as low as $1 per month. Enriched benefits can be selected to increase your coverage amount.


A common misconception among today's workers is that a disability is an accident or an injury. While these do qualify as a disability, the leading causes of filing a disability claim are illness and chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.  During National Disability Insurance Awareness Month, it may be time to make a small investment now that could protect you and your family in the times you need it most.


Enrolling in a Disability plan is simple. Businesses under 50 employees can access their rates immediately, while larger businesses with more than 50 employees are required to submit some census information to receive accurate pricing.  All you need to provide is your Federal Tax Identification number and your number of employees broken down by sex. The Chamber will submit your application to the insurance carrier and you will receive the invoice for the coverage to verify your information. After sending your premium to the insurance company, your policy is activated.


As with the Amherst Chamber's medical and dental products, we do the legwork for you and present the best rates available. We simplify the process and protect your valuable time and money.

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