disability income protection
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income protection lawyers
We specialise in disability income protection because many of our clients who have disabilities and are on, or have been on, long-term sick leave, enjoy the benefit of income protection policies which provide income cover during time off work. For some the benefit can last until retirement. Under an income protection policy, an insurer will provide a percentage of your income to your employer to pass on to you. Your employer should keep your other employment benefits running alongside this cover such as continuing to contribute to your pension.
Disability income protection is known variously as income protection, permanent health insurance (or PHI for short) and Group Income Protection (GIP). The insurance takes different forms and provide different benefits. Your employer can tell you if you have this cover and if so what the policy terms are.
The arrangement is a contract between the insurer and your employer and you are the beneficiary. Your employer has a right to procure this benefit for you if they offer it as part of your employment package. If you have been off sick for several months your employer should contact you to start the application process. If they do not you should contact them because there are time limits for applying. The cover is unlikely in most cases to start before 6 months of absence with no impending date to return to work but if you are at 3-4 months and expect to be off longer we recommend that you get your application underway.
If you do not have insurance cover when your company sick pay ends and you eventually are covered by the policy the insurer will make good any shortfall from the time your pay stops to the time the cover starts. If you are turned down and have to appeal a decision you may suffer a period of no pay but this will be repaid if the cover is accepted on appeal or following a determination by the FOS.
We see a lot of work in this area and as income protection lawyers we can help deal with issues around PHI and GIP which routinely arise.
This might be helping someone make their application for cover for salary protection.
It might be helping them to appeal a decision by an insurance provider if they have been declined wage protection.
It may be seeing if the insurer and employer would be willing to commute the income protection policy so that a lump sum is available imminently and employment can be terminated.
Once you are in receipt of income protection your payments are guaranteed provided you continue to meet the definition of incapable of working.
It might be as simple as avoiding clients using income protection solicitors and signposting them to the free services of the Financial Ombudsman who can intervene and make a determination about your eligibility. You can find out more about the FOS’s invaluable assistance here:
Disability income protection policies that are commuted (cut short) by agreement between your employer and the insurer usually qualify for full tax relief under the provisions of section 406 of the Income Taxes (Pensions and Earnings) Act 2003. In some cases clearance will be sought from HRMC. We can also assist with this process and have deep experience advising around termination payments tax free.
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