New Jersey Revised Statutes § 18a:66-184 - Disability Benefits; Payment; Total Disability; Exceptions.

18A:66-184 Disability benefits; payment; total disability; exceptions.

18.The disability benefits provided under a group policy or policies for all eligible participants in the alternate benefit programs shall provide a monthly income if the participant becomes totally disabled from occupational or nonoccupational causes for a period of at least six consecutive months following the effective date of the coverage. The monthly disability benefit may be paid by the insurance company so long as the participant remains disabled up to the participant's 70th birthday, provided the disability commenced prior to the participant's 60th birthday. The benefit will terminate when the participant is no longer considered totally disabled or begins to receive retirement benefits.

The participant will be considered totally disabled if unable to perform each duty of the participant's occupation and is under the regular care of a physician. After the 12 months following the commencement of the disability benefit payments, the participant must be unable to engage in any gainful occupation for which the participant is reasonably fitted by education, training, or experience. Total disability is not considered to exist if the participant is gainfully employed. However, following an agreement with the insurance company and the policyholder, the participant can continue to receive disability benefits for a limited time while performing some type of work. During the period of rehabilitation the monthly benefit will be the regular payment less 80% of the participant's earnings from the rehabilitative position.

For purposes of this section, a participant shall be deemed to be in service and covered by the disability benefit insurance provisions for a period of no more than six months while on official leave of absence without pay if satisfactory evidence is presented to the Division of Pensions and Benefits that the leave of absence without pay is due to illness and that the member was not actively engaged in any gainful occupation during the period of leave of absence without pay.

Disability benefit insurance provisions of the group policy or policies shall not cover disability resulting from or contributed to by pregnancy, act of war, intentionally self-inflicted injury, or attempted suicide regardless of mental capacity. For purposes of disability insurance the participant will not be considered to be disabled while imprisoned or outside the United States, its territories or possessions, or Canada.

If the participant has recovered from the disability for which the participant had received benefits and again becomes totally disabled while insured, the later disability will be regarded as a continuation of the prior one unless the participant has returned to full-time covered employment for at least six months. However, if the later absence is due to an unrelated cause and the participant had returned to full-time work, it will be considered a new disability. The disability benefit insurance cannot be converted to an individual policy.

No person shall be covered by the disability benefit provision of the group policy or policies except upon the completion of one year of full-time continuous employment in a position eligible for participation in the alternate benefit program.

L.1969, c.242, s.18; amended 2013, c.103, s.61.

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Last modified: October 11, 2016