M ost of us take our health and safety for granted. It’s only when we or someone we know experiences a serious illness that we
pay attention to our own circumstances.
We can’t predict the unexpected, but we can
prepare for it by securing disability insurance.
If you need your paycheck in order to pay your
bills, you need disability coverage. It takes just a
few minutes to speak with an experienced benefit
counselor to learn how easily and affordably you can
ensure that an illness or injury won’t throw you into
Two types of disability insurance
Short-Term Disability — This coverage
supplements your income when you become disabled
and are unable to work for up to 26 weeks. A
common occurrence requiring short-term disability is
Long-Term Disability — For illnesses or injuries
that cause you to be out of work for more than six
months, long-term disability can provide a portion
of your income for a period of time based on your
age when the disability occurs, up to age 65. If your
disability occurs at or after age 61, benefits are paid
for a reduced period.
Cost vs. benefit
How much does disability insurance pay? While
plans differ in the benefits they provide, the MTA
plan pays those insured 60 percent of their salary
while they are disabled under the plan.
If you earn $50,000 a year, or $961.53 per week,
your weekly benefit payment would be 60 percent,
or $576.92. These payments are also tax-free. If you
don’t have accumulated sick time, an available sick
bank or a substantial savings account, the thought
of going without 60 percent of your pay can be
How much does disability insurance cost?
Disability benefits supplement your income, so the
premiums are based on your salary and your age.
This means that the younger you are when you
get coverage, the cheaper it is. In the example above,
the short-term disability premium cost would be 70
cents per $10 of benefit, or $40.38 per month. The
cost per year, $484.56, is less than the amount you
would receive for your weekly benefit ($576.92).
While the rates for long-term disability are less
than the cost of short-term disability coverage per
$10 of benefit, coverage can extend for months or
even years. In addition, long-term disability premium
payments are waived during the period you’re
disabled. Short-term disability payments are not.
Think about how that cost compares to the
amount you pay to insure your health, car or home.
When you do, you just might view disability
coverage as more of a necessity than a nicety.
It’s also important to consider that educators in
Massachusetts are not eligible for Social Security
Disability Income, which is available to those in
most other professions.
How to find out more
The MTA disability plan has been adopted by
many local associations, which makes their members
eligible to enroll.
To find out if your local participates, call a
benefit counselor at 877.401.4083. To find out
how to introduce the plan in your district, contact
Tom Colbert at 888.646.1972, ext. 104, or e-mail
Are you eligible for student loan forgiveness?
The 10-year anniversary of Public Service Loan Forgiveness has come and gone. This should have been cause
for celebration. Many workers thought their loans would be forgiven.
Instead, they have discovered that they were not actually eligible for the program.
As a result, consumers are being scammed by profiteers who promise but can’t deliver loan forgiveness, often at
a cost of $1,200 to $2,000. Individuals are being bombarded with e-mails, letters and robocalls with messages
such as: “You qualify for loan forgiveness!” or “Your loan forgiveness papers are waiting to be completed!”
The U.S. Department of Education will not reach out to you to complete the loan forgiveness process. If you have
Federal Student Loans, you need to know first if you’re eligible and then what your responsibilities are in order to
For full details on eligibility and to determine next steps, please visit mtabenefits.com/benefits/financial/debt-counseling
To be eligible, you must have:
• A qualifying repayment plan
• Loans that are eligible for
• Verification of employer
and payment eligibility