There are two main ways employers can help employees protect their income from downtime due to injuries: workers compensation insurance and disability insurance.
Workers compensation insurance is required in many states so employees are covered for injuries and/or illnesses that arise out of a condition of their job. For instance, an employee who is injured while running errands on behalf of the employer, or who hurts his back helping a customer get something off a shelf, should be helped by workers compensation insurance.
On the other hand, disability insurance is not mandated by law and does not require an at-work injury for coverage to be triggered. Disability insurance pays an employee who is unable to work due to an off-the-job injury. It can respond to a short-term or long-term absence. Short-term disability coverage is used for short medical leave and normally is available soon after the disability occurs. Some policies may also compensate for income interruptions not normally thought of as a disability, such as non-paid maternity leave. A long-term disability policy may require more time for benefits to kick in, but for many, it’s worth the wait. For example, if you have a stroke and are unable to return to work for several months, such a policy could prove essential in supplementing lost income.
Business owners may offer employees disability insurance through a group policy or as an individual policy purchased by the worker as a voluntary benefit Your agent or broker can assist you with both workers compensation insurance and disability policies — group and voluntary individual.