To help a disabled insured person return to work in his or her own occupation, most disability insurance policies include a rehabilitation benefit. This benefit will pay some of the expenses incurred when the insured enrolls in an approved rehabilitation program. The amount of the benefit is paid in addition to any other benefit the insured may qualify for under the policy.

The goal of the rehabilitation benefit is to help an injured or disabled person return to work. Although many companies offer this type of benefit as part of disability insurance, not all of them do, so it is paramount that you check your policy to see what your specific coverage includes.

Typically, there are two parts to the average rehabilitation benefit:

  • One part guarantees that participation in a rehab program will not be considered as a recovery from total disability. This ensures that being active in a rehabilitation or therapy program will not reduce or eliminate benefits.
  • The other part of the rehabilitation benefit will pay some or all of the costs of the rehab program that are not covered by other means or insurance.

Your Disability Insurance Rehabilitation Benefit

Oftentimes, a rehabilitation plan needs to be approved in writing in advance, but ultimately the goal of the plan must be to have the individual return to work.

Some of the assistance that may be included and covered in a rehabilitation plan and disability insurance rehabilitation benefits include medical services, employment and vocational assessment, adaptive equipment purchases, financial planning, education expenses, and/or retraining for a new occupation. Your benefit provider will periodically review the rehabilitation plan as well as your progress during the disability and rehabilitation period.

Returning to Work with Rehabilitation Benefits after Disability

Various plans permit different circumstances to occur while benefits continue. When a disabled individual returns to work, doing so may or may not affect disability income benefits. For example, if a person who is insured returns to work in a different capacity than was originally held, monthly benefits may still be payable; this is because the person may still be unable to participate in his or her own original occupation.

Some benefit providers will pay a certain monthly amount equal to a multiple of the monthly amount insured. For example, if your monthly amount insured is $4,000 per month, plan providers may reimburse you for rehabilitation expenses that are up to 5 times the monthly amount insured, or $20,000. These numbers vary by provider, so be sure to review your specific plan for reimbursement stipulations.

Limits on Disability Insurance Rehabilitation Benefits

There are limits to the rehabilitation benefits that can be paid out, and these will vary depending on the disability plan selected, the insurer, and other factors. Some common limitations include the number of income benefits payable at any one given time (usually just one), and the cap of the amount of your monthly benefit (many companies state that your income benefit cannot exceed a certain percentage of your pre-disability income). Be sure to check your policy for the specific terms of your own rehabilitation benefit provisions.