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Snapshot: U.S. Disability Benefits

Below are summary results from a recent Culpepper Benefits Survey on short and long-term disability benefits for U.S. employees in technology and life sciences companies.

Short-term and long-term disability benefits are offered to virtually all full-time employees, sometimes to part-time, and occasionally to outside, non-employee board directors.

The most common date of eligibility for both short-term and long-term disability benefits is immediately upon hire.

Eighty percent of companies pay all of the premiums for short-term and long-term disability benefits.

The most common waiting period for benefits to begin is seven days for short-term disability and 90 days for long-term disability.

Most companies have no gap between paid time-off and short-term disability (83 percent), or between short-term and long-term disability (85 percent).

The most common duration of short-term disability benefits is 180 days, while the most common duration of long-term benefits is until normal retirement age.

The percentage of an employee’s salary paid out in benefits varies by duration for short-term disability, while the percentage for long-term disability is usually a constant 60 percent.

Data source:
Culpepper U.S. Disability Benefits Survey
of 122 participating organizations.

Survey Dates:
Nov. 9, 2009 through Feb. 2, 2010.

Participants by size:
Up to 100 employees: 32%.
101 to 500 employees: 23%.
501 to 2,500 employees: 30%
2Over 2,500 employees: 15%.

Participants by industry sector:

Technology: 60%.
Life science: 20%.
Other: 20%

Breakdwon by Ownership/Corporate Status:
Public: 33%
Private: 58%​
Nonprofit: 7%

Government: 2%

Culpepper and Associates conducts worldwide salary surveys and provides benchmark data for compensation and employee benefit programs.

Reposted with permission

Source: Culpepper Benefits Survey, April 2010,

Related Articles:

Keeping Disability Payments in Check, HR Magazine, May 2010

A Coordinated Approach to Disability Management, SHRM Online Benefits Discipline, April 2010

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