I am from California.
My employer apparently has a policy to terminate any employee on disability for 365 days. They offer a long-term disability benefit (free for 50% of your pay or get 70% for an additional premium).
I was sent a letter during my 5th month of disability urging me to file for social security disability. My STD benefits were negatively impacted once I informed the insurance provider that I wasn't going to file. I ended up having to go to the EBSA to get outstanding payments. The insurance company was just difficult, but the SSDI link is indirect.
I was eventually terminated and eventually denied for long term disability for the most ridiculous reasons I ever heard. This was after many letters and an appeal, all of which were a complete joke.
Another employee is going through a similar experience, but he has a different disability and different situation. He has the 70% pay-up and is at risk of being disabled until retirement (20+ yrs). My disability is mental, so I am allowed a max of 18 months. His threat to file for SSDI had more teeth. The insurance company actually stopped STD payments altogether until he filed for SSDI. WOW!
Neither one of us wants to file for SSDI. We both worked for the company for 10+ years and believed we had employer provided LTD.
So for my questions....can the employer force us to go through SSDI? What are the employer's benefits of having us do this? Do they really get reimbursed for what they paid us all the way back to day 1 (depending on what we get through SSDI)? Are there any reasons we would want to go through SSDI?
I am on the road to recovery, but haven't been paid a single dime since 11/1/08 because I was awaiting the outcome of my employer's LTD decision. Try going almost 7 months without income!!!!
Thank you so much for your patience. I am on mental disability, so I apologize if this isn't clear......