Employers' Pensions and Benefits Administration Manual (EPBAM)
   

 

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Alternate Benefit Program (ABP)
Long Term Disability



  ABP Long Term Disability  
    Eligibility for Long Term Disability  
    Benefits Payable  
    Administration and Contact Information  
    The Application Process  
    When a Long Term Disability Is Approved  
    When a Long Term Disability Is Denied  
    Long Term Disabilities Requiring Periodic Medical Evaluations  
    Member Contributions during a Long Term Disability  
    Employer Contributions during a Long Term Disability  
    Group Life Insurance during a Long Term Disability  

ABP Long Term Disability Eligibility

A member is eligible for employer-paid long-term disability insurance coverage after completing 12 months of continuous full-time employment in an ABP eligible position.

ABP Long Term Disability Benefits

If the member is deemed to be totally disabled due to an occupational or non-occupational condition, the ABP long term disability benefit payable, if approved, may be up to 60% of base salary, and will be calculated using the applicant's base salary earned during the twelve months prior to the month in which the disabling event occurred.

A member's ABP long term disability benefit will be offset dollar for dollar by any periodic benefit the member is already receiving, such as Workers' Compensation, short-term disability, or Social Security.

ABP Long Term Disability Administration

All ABP long term disability claims and payments are administered by the Prudential Insurance Company of America, through the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Prudential Contact Information

Prudential contact information is provided below, allowing the employer to get in touch with Prudential at any time regarding a member's long term disability (to obtain additional copies of the Prudential Long Term Disability Application or to check on the status of a long term disability for an employee, etc.). The employer may also provide this contact information to an employee with questions or problems regarding a pending long term disability application.

To contact the Prudential Insurance Company of America, please call: 1-800-842-1718. When calling Prudential regarding an ABP Long Term Disability, please provide the following Plan Control Number: 14800.

To print a Long Term Disability Application and Carrier Election and Allocation form, please click here: ABP Long-Term Disability form.

Division of Pensions and Benefits Alternate Benefit Program Contact Information

To contact the Alternate Benefit Program at the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, an employer may call (609) 777-0887, or write to:

The Division of Pensions and Benefits
Alternate Benefit Program
PO Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295

The ABP Long Term Disability Application Process

  1. A member of the Alternate Benefit Program (ABP) wishing to apply for a long term disability begins the process by obtaining a Long Term Disability Application and Carrier Election and Allocation form from his or her employer, or by downloading and printing it: ABP Long-Term Disability form
  2. The member completes the application and election form, providing all requested information accurately, and submits the completed application to his or her employer.
  3. The employer then sends the completed Long Term Disability Application and Carrier Election and Allocation form to the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits, providing the employee's salary information for the final 12 months prior to the month in which the disabling event occurred.
  4. At that time, the Division of Pensions and Benefits informs the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program that an ABP long term disability is pending.
  5. The Division of Pensions and Benefits then sends the employee's application, with a cover letter, to Prudential, and processing begins.
  6. If employee information is missing from the application, Prudential contacts the employee to obtain it.
  7. When all information has been obtained, Prudential makes a determination as to whether the disability is approved. ABP long term disability processing times vary.

When an ABP Long Term Disability Is Approved

If the long term disability benefit is approved, Prudential informs the employee, the employer, and the Division of Pensions and Benefits by letter.

The Division of Pensions and Benefits then informs the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) that the member's long term disability has been approved. The SHBP now regards the member on an ABP long term disability as a retiree, and the member will be offered SHBP retiree coverage, if eligible, through an offering letter.

The employer and employee contributions are remitted to the investment provider indicated on the Carrier Election and Allocation form. Failure to elect an investment provider will result in the funds being remitted to the current default investment provider, despite any contract established with a provider through active employment.

The ABP long term disability benefit, which is a monthly income benefit, will be offset dollar for dollar by any other periodic benefit the member may be receiving, such as Workers' Compensation, short-term disability, or Social Security.

The long term disability benefit will continue be paid until either the member is 70 years of age, the member chooses to take a distribution*, or the member is no longer considered disabled (see "Periodic Medical Evaluations" below).

When an ABP member on long term disability reaches age 70, or chooses to take a distribution*, his status reverts to "retired" for pension purposes. The member should contact his or her authorized carrier at this time to arrange for distribution of retirement benefits.

*Note: Should the member begin receiving payments under the retirement annuity at any time before age 70, long term disability benefits terminate, since the member is regarded as retired upon taking a distribution.

ABP Disability Approvals Requiring Periodic Medical Evaluations

Some ABP long term disability approvals require the member to receive periodic medical evaluations of the long term disability.

If it is determined though the periodic medical evaluation that the member is no longer considered disabled, the long term disability coverage ends. The member can either retire or return to work.

When an ABP Long Term Disability Is Denied

If the ABP long term disability is denied, Prudential mails the member a denial letter and informs them in the letter of their right to appeal the decision.

The member must appeal within 45 days of the date of receipt of the Prudential denial letter.

If the long term disability is once again denied, the member can appeal the decision through the Director's Office, Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Payment of Member and Employer Contributions while a Member Is on a Long Term Disability

Prudential makes a 5% contribution on behalf of the member and (acting as the employer) the Division of Pensions and Benefits contributes 8% for the period during which the member is receiving ABP long term disability payments. Both the member’s and the employer’s mandatory contributions are automatically credited to the member’s retirement account while the member is considered disabled. The member continues to accrue service credit for as long as the ABP long term disability is in effect.

ABP Group Life Insurance Coverage during a Long Term Disability

An ABP member with an approved long term disability is treated as an active member in regard to group life insurance. That means that the ABP member's group life insurance benefit will remain at 3.5 times the member's salary until either the member is 70 years of age, the member chooses to take a distribution, or the member is no longer considered disabled* and chooses to retire. At that time, the life insurance reduces to one-half of the annual base salary, as long as the member is eligible for retired group life insurance coverage.

* If it is determined though a required periodic medical evaluation that a member receiving ABP long term disability benefits is no longer considered disabled, and the member is not yet 70 and chooses to return to ABP employment rather than retire, the member will retain ABP active group life insurance coverage.

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Last Updated: October 4, 2010