Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
golddust
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:24 am

Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by golddust »

I was looking for a Disability Insurance and while learning more about the product, I learnt that all the companies require the insured to be in the United States for at least 6 months in a year to be eligible for receiving the benefits.

For a person who is in the United States on a work visa like H1B - this doesn't help to solve the issue. Since the residency status is linked to a Visa and essentially a job, loosing it means you need to leave the country immediately and would no longer be in a position to receive the benefit.

My concerns:

- Can I ever own a Long Term Disability insurance until I have permanent residency?
- Are there any companies which would consider this situation as a special case and have the underwriting terms updated accordingly?
- What are the alternatives to be secured for Long Term Disability? Buy a DI in home country? Combine it with a DI from US?
User avatar
White Coat Investor
Posts: 14944
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2007 9:11 pm
Location: Greatest Snow On Earth

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by White Coat Investor »

I think you can buy it, but you need to talk to an experienced independent agent. Let me know if you need help finding one.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course
Topic Author
golddust
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:24 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by golddust »

Thank you for responding @WhiteCoatInvestor. It would be great if you can point me to an independent agent who is more familiar in this regard.
simas
Posts: 768
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:50 pm

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by simas »

golddust wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:41 pm
For a person who is in the United States on a work visa like H1B - this doesn't help to solve the issue. Since the residency status is linked to a Visa and essentially a job, loosing it means you need to leave the country immediately and would no longer be in a position to receive the benefit.
did the rules change for the bolded part? where are you getting the information that you need to leave 'immediately' ?

it used to be that there was 30 days after termination of the previous visa (not loss of job, immigration does not know and does not care about it, what they know about and care about is the filling of the visa petition), unless you find a transfer then you are back in status.
Topic Author
golddust
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:24 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by golddust »

I meant the time frame in a relative way. Most of the DI policies kick in after 90 or 180 days. And if you are disabled and you do not have a job, you would have to leave the country in that case. You might be able to get the benefits while you are in the US and while your employer still has you on the payroll or medical leave. But that would be only for the short term. There is no guarantee here about how your employer will consider the situation or what changes the administration might impose. So any disability benefits that you buy would be valid for a short term only, unless you have a different means of being in the United States because of spouse or other valid reasons.
mushripu
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:26 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by mushripu »

I worked for a company on work permit and did have long term disability benefit as part of the benefits plan. I always had questions about this scenario but never got definitive answers.
The insurance sellers and agents are interested in selling you the policy and you would be hard pressed to find someone with knowlege of the work permit issues. The agents are gonna tell you that employer cannot fire you if you are on disability.

So if you indeed end up in the disability situation, the employer wants to get rid of you or would not be very interested in extending your work permit status. A lot would depend on relationship between you and employer. Employer can always decide that they are not interested in extending work permit. You can sue employer for terminating you on disability but cannot sue for not supporting visa renewal.

Insurance agents shall seĺl you policy but when time shall come to pay, the insurance company can always pull some rabit out of hat and refuse to pay.

There are many snafus in the situation.
Topic Author
golddust
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:24 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by golddust »

I have a disability benefit from my current employer. I didn't want my disability benefits to be tied to any employer and so I started looking for a personal DI policy. I talked to an independent agent and I was fortunate to have someone who was willing to provide me a solution rather than force me to buy into in. She went out of her way to find out the residency constraint of other companies, but all of them had the same or similar clause for receiving the benefit. As @WhiteCoatInvestor mentioned, I need to talk to someone who is more experienced.

As many have mentioned on this forum, I'll echo the same - if an agent is trying to force you into buying a solution, you should definitely talk to other agents.

I am just trying to insure against the worst possible situation independent of the employer or visa requirements. I don't want to be in a situation where suffering from a long term disability, I have to move to another country and realize I have no means of supporting myself apart from the savings/investments I currently have which might not be sufficient.
BruDude
Posts: 3457
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:28 am
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by BruDude »

golddust wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:41 pm I was looking for a Disability Insurance and while learning more about the product, I learnt that all the companies require the insured to be in the United States for at least 6 months in a year to be eligible for receiving the benefits.

For a person who is in the United States on a work visa like H1B - this doesn't help to solve the issue. Since the residency status is linked to a Visa and essentially a job, loosing it means you need to leave the country immediately and would no longer be in a position to receive the benefit.

My concerns:

- Can I ever own a Long Term Disability insurance until I have permanent residency?
- Are there any companies which would consider this situation as a special case and have the underwriting terms updated accordingly?
- What are the alternatives to be secured for Long Term Disability? Buy a DI in home country? Combine it with a DI from US?
You do not have to wait until you have permanent residency to buy a DI policy, I sell them to people with H1B visas all the time. Some companies limit your benefits to 12 months if you are living outside of the US.

Guardian and Mass Mutual do not have a requirement for living in the US to collect benefits and the policies don't have any exclusions relating to it. However, they can place a foreign travel exclusion on your policy if their underwriters deem it necessary based on your travel. If you do not intend to stay in the US after the visa expiration date, they may not issue the policy in the first place. Fortunately, Guardian and Mass Mutual also have the two best DI policies.
Topic Author
golddust
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:24 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by golddust »

I would definitely like to know more about the DI policies from Guardian and Mass Mutual then. My agent did her best to help me, but she might not have had the experience with visa cases.
tj
Posts: 3720
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Long Term Disability on H1B? Is it possible?

Post by tj »

golddust wrote: Sun Nov 22, 2020 3:31 pm I would definitely like to know more about the DI policies from Guardian and Mass Mutual then. My agent did her best to help me, but she might not have had the experience with visa cases.
Just message BruDude.
Post Reply