You need to be able to support yourself and any dependents if you become disabled. It’s good to know that if a serious accident or illness strikes, the Comprehensive Plan provides disability income while you’re unable to work.

This income protection also helps your employer continue its ministry. The plan provides you with disability income, freeing employer resources to help the good work go on.

MMBB’s disability benefits are administered by Aetna. Should you become disabled, call Aetna’s 24-hour Disability Reporting and Information Line toll free at 877.889.0242.

Eligibility

You have disability income protection if your employer is paying premiums for you to the Comprehensive Plan. Benefits begin if you are unable to work as a result of an eligible disabling condition for more than three consecutive months.
The Comprehensive Plan defines disability as:

  • During the first two years of your disability, being unable to function in your current job; and
  • After two years of disability, being unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment.

If you file a claim for disability during your first year of plan membership or reinstatement, your claim will be denied if your disability results from a condition that existed at the time of enrollment or reinstatement.

Disability Benefits in Brief

At no cost to you, your disability benefits:

  • Replace a percentage of your pre-disability compensation while you remain disabled as defined by the plan;
  • Increase each year by a percentage that is equal to the running five-year average of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of September 30 of the applicable year, except that in any year the five-year running average equals or exceeds 4%, the adjustment shall be the lesser of 2/3 of the prior year’s CPI or 4%.
  • Provide a monthly child’s benefit generally of $166.67 for eligible children up to age 21, also increased each year based on a formula that includes the CPI;
  • Continue Retirement Plan contributions and your group term life insurance coverage while you are disabled; and
  • May continue employer-paid health insurance in effect at the time you become disabled.

Your Retirement Plan Premiums Continue

Retirement Plan contributions paid on your behalf by your employer will continue, and will be paid by MMBB Financial Services while you are on disability. Contributions are based on your annual pre-disability compensation.

Contributions the plan makes for you while you are disabled are available to you in retirement, paid as an annuity. These amounts are not available for loans or withdrawals.

Your Medical Protection While Disabled

Other benefits will continue during your disability at no cost to you. If your employer is paying premiums to provide you and your dependents with medical coverage at the time you cease working due to your disability as defined by the plan, this coverage may continue while you are receiving disability benefits from the plan. When you become eligible for Medicare, your medical coverage will switch to the MMBB-sponsored Senior Medical Insurance Plan, which coordinates benefits with Medicare. MMBB pays these premiums.

Your Death Benefit Coverage Continues

Your group term life insurance will continue while you are receiving MMBB disability income benefits.

When Benefits Begin and End

Disability income benefits begin after you have been unable to work for three months due to a disabling condition as defined by the plan. Be sure to apply within the first 90 days of your disability. You will need to provide proof of continued disability from time to time.

If your disability ends and you become disabled for reasons related to your initial disability within 12 months, you will not need to satisfy the three-month waiting period again.

Your benefits end when the first of the following occurs:

  • You have any substantial gainful employment;
  • You are no longer considered disabled;
  • You start your Benefits for Life monthly annuity income;
  • You reach the disability time limit shown below; or
  • You die.

Disability Time Limit

If disability income benefits begin before you reach age 68, they continue until the later of:

  • The end of the month you reach age 65; or
  • The end of the month you receive the 48th monthly disability income benefit.

If disability income benefits begin while you are age 68, they continue until the end of the month you receive the 36th monthly disability income benefit.

If disability income benefits begin while you are age 69, they continue until the end of the month you receive the 24th monthly disability income benefit.

If disability income benefits begin while you are age 70 or older, they continue until the end of the month you receive the 12th monthly disability income benefit.

Disability Income Benefit

Your disability income benefit is based on the greater of your pre-disability compensation or the average compensation upon which premiums have been paid. The plan is designed to provide a total level of income, so plan benefits are offset by governmental disability benefits.

The offset for government benefits depends on when you were approved for MMBB disability benefits.

If you were approved for MMBB disability benefits before January 1, 2008:

  • For the first nine months of your MMBB disability income benefit, the plan will pay you 2/3 of your monthly pre-disability pay minus any Workers’ Compensation.
  • After the first nine months of MMBB disability income, if you are entitled to any governmental benefits, the combination of your disability benefit from the plan, Social Security and other governmental sources will total 2/3 of your pre-disability monthly income.
  • If you are not entitled to any governmental benefits after the first nine months of MMBB disability income, MMBB will continue to pay you at the same rate for up to 12 additional months.
  • If no governmental benefits exist after 21 MMBB disability income payments, your MMBB plan disability income benefit will be reduced to 1/3 of your pre-disability compensation.

If you were approved for MMBB disability benefits on or after January 1, 2008:

  • For the first 21 months of your MMBB disability income benefit, the plan will pay you 2/3 of your monthly pre-disability pay, reduced by any governmental disability or retirement benefits, including Social Security and Workers’ Compensation, with the reduction effective the later of the start of MMBB disability income benefits or the effective date of such governmental benefits.
  • If no governmental benefits exist after 21 MMBB disability income payments, your MMBB plan disability income benefit will be reduced to 1/3 of your pre-disability compensation.

Children’s Allowance

Your eligible children under age 21 will generally receive a monthly benefit of $166.67.

Eligible children include your birth and adopted children who are dependent upon you for support at the beginning date of your disability. Any children born to you within 10 months of your disability are also eligible for the benefit.

Your children’s benefits continue until they reach age 21. In addition, the benefit will be increased each year by a percentage that is equal to the running five-year average of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of September 30 of the applicable year, except that in any year the five–year running average equals or exceeds 4%, the adjustment shall be the lesser of 2/3 of the prior year’s CPI or 4%.

Tax on Disability Benefits

All disability benefits, including child allowances, are ordinary taxable income. Disability benefits paid to disabled clergy members may be partially or totally tax-exempt if claimed as housing allowance eligible.

Excluded causes

Disability income benefits will be denied if your disability occurs as a result of:

  • Self-inflicted injury
  • Active participation in a riot
  • An act of war
  • An act of physical aggression, including perpetrating terrorism
  • Injury sustained while perpetrating a crime
  • Incarceration related to a felony
  • Loss of your professional license