ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
- How does Voluntary Long
Term Disability work with other benefits ? Payments begin after
the 30-day elimination period has been met, even if you have Colonial,
AFLAC, or other individual plans but not as long as you are getting
paid 100% of your normal pay by your employer for sick leave or receiving
Worker’s Compensation. You will receive some payments anytime you are
getting less than 100% of normal pay.
- How long do I have to
wait before filing a disability claim? You may file a claim
anytime after your effective date. However, claims filed within the
first 12 months of enrolling may have to be investigated in order to
determine whether the condition is considered pre-existing. Although
you may have been accepted into the plan with a pre-existing condition,
pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage during the first
- What is the maximum
disability insurance I can get? We give the maximum allowable
by law (60% of income).
- Can I get my money refunded
if I am dissatisfied? In terms of refunds, Disability insurance
works like your Health and Dental insurances. It is unlikely that the
insurer will return premiums to you for months that the insurer has
already provided you with coverage since unlike tangible items, coverage
cannot be physically returned by you in exchange for getting your money
back. Some insurances come with a return of premium option
that you can get at an additional cost. But this option only allows
premiums to be returned to you as a reward for staying in the plan for
a required period of time, such as 20 years. If you feel that you are
owed a refund because of something the insurer did wrong, then you can
write to the insurer and request a refund, however.
- How do I file a disability
claim? By contacting the claims department after the 30-day
elimination has been met and first referring to your certificate booklet
for your group and certificate numbers. Claim forms may also be downloaded
- Can I cancel at any
time? You may cancel anytime by faxing or mailing your written
cancellation notice to WBAT Ins, which will assist you with terminating
both your policy and the payroll deductions.
- What role does the union
play? The union obtains a lump sum premium payment (consisting
of individual premium deductions) that has been forwarded to them by
the LA Co Auditor/Controller and directs it to the insurer in a blanket
payment each month. With regard to this, the union’s obligation is to
the insurer, not the individual. Therefore, individual intentions such
as refund requests and complaints should never be directed to the union.
- Who should I contact
if I have a question? You should always contact your representative
first. You may also contact WBAT Ins or the insurer direct.
- Who is WBAT Ins? WBAT
Ins bridges the gap between the insurer, which is accustomed to providing
group insurance and it’s customer base to help meet the needs of the
individuals by assisting with new enrollments, cancellations and other
- How do I cancel my disability
insurance or Supplemental Retirement? Cancellation is required
to be in writing and may be faxed or mailed to WBAT Ins., which will
see to it that both your policy and payroll deductions are terminated.
- What if I already have
Colonial or AFLAC? Colonial and AFLAC are individual plans
and since this is a group plan, your benefit will not be offset. However,
we cannot determine what effect, if any, payments received by this plan
will have on benefits received by your individual plans.
- What if I have a pre-existing
condition? Unless it is during open enrollment, you will be
required to complete a one-page health questionnaire consisting of only
six health questions. A pre-existing condition may have an effect on
whether you are accepted into the plan. During open enrollment when
everyone is accepted, pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage
during the first 24 months.
- Am I the policyholder?
As the policyholder, the union retains the original policy.
Since this is a group plan, individual insureds get certificate booklets
that provide detailed coverage information and serve as proof of coverage.
Prior to receiving the certificate booklet in the mail (at the time
of enrollment), ensureds receive a summary of benefits that may be used
to obtain plan information. Once received, the insured should always
refer to the certificate booklet before making a claim.
- What if I wish to make
a complaint concerning my disability insurance? If your complaint
is about your payroll deduction, it should be addressed to the union
and if it is about the plan itself, then to the insurer. In either case,
it must be directed to enrollment company, which will forward your concerns
to the appropriate place.
- What happens if I cancel
but my deductions don’t stop right away? Please allow at least
two deductions before contacting us as cancellations may take up to
two months. If they continue beyond that, then you will be refunded
only the premiums that continued after cancellation.
- What is the benefit
of having group insurance? Having group insurance means shared
risk to the insurer. That usually translates to you as beefier benefits
and lower premiums.
- What happens if my deductions
start late? Payroll deduction is a free service provided by
the union for the convenience of making premium payments automatically
through payroll deduction. However, making sure premiums are paid
is still the responsibility of the individual insured . Therefore,
if premium deductions do not begin and you fail to notify the union
immediately, then the union may not be held liable if the insurer terminates
your coverage. It is advisable and expected of everyone to check for
premium deductions to begin during the next pay cycle after applying.
Do not wait until filing a claim to do so or you may not
be covered! If premiums are not paid, either of the following
could occur: (1) Your coverage could terminate; (2) The insurer could
ask for back premiums owed; or (3) the insurer could delay your coverage
until premium payments begin.
- What are the reasons
for deductions failing to begin? Deductions may not start for
any number of reasons. The most common reasons are: misspelled name,
hyphenated name, name change due to marriage or divorce, change of work
location, middle initial, etc. For this reason, it is important
to write legibly and make sure your name matches the way it is written
on your paycheck stub exactly.
- How long does underwriting
take? Although the insurer may take as long as necessary, customarily,
it takes up to 30 days. Usually, if it goes beyond that, it is because
of a tie-up in medical underwriting and you may need to contact your
doctor to make sure they are cooperating by providing a physician’s
- I expect my cancellation
to take effect IMMEDIATELY . So, if it doesn’t, I will get a
refund, won’t I? It is simply not possible to cancel payroll
deduction immediately. Here’s why: you turn in your request to your
agent and they, in turn, notify both the union (during window period
only – on the 25 th of each month) in addition to the insurer. The union
then passes your request on to your employer at month end. Although
there may be some exceptions, by this time, it is already too late to
prevent the following month’s deduction from occurring. At any rate,
it also took up to 60 days to get your deduction going so, the insurer
agreed to accept payment in the rear, which means you were covered even
before they received their first premium payment. Ultimately, what it
also means is those last two deductions occurring after cancellation
brought your premium payments current. So, just to be sure, before a
refund is issued, you will be required to produce a paycheck stub showing
1 st and last deductions. This way, neither the insurer nor you will
ever get cheated out of money.
- But, I feel it is not
fair that my payroll deduction was delayed, never got started, or suddenly
stopped. Who is to blame for this? Unfortunately, this is what
we often hear when an employee wants to file a claim and discovers that
their protection has lapsed because they failed to notify us that their
premiums were no longer being deducted. It is not our responsibility
nor is it within our power to find out whom, if anyone, has dropped
the ball. Because this system as it is designed inherently has errors
in it, we cannot guarantee that somewhere between completing your application,
turning in your payroll deduction authorization (pda) to your agent,
and your employer deducting your first payment that something won’t
go wrong. One reason is we have no way of tracking and no control over
your payroll deduction authorization once your employer receives it.
Plus, initially, we have no way of knowing if your pda matches
your paycheck stub or is error-free in the first place. Besides all
this, since applications are hand-written, illegible writing can lead
to errors putting the blame squarely on you, the applicant. So, although
rare, this sometimes does occur. But when it does, it is up to you to
notify your agent immediately.
- Oops, I want to file
a claim but I just noticed that my premium payment has not been deducted
for the past 3 months. Don’t let this happen to you. Most people
will notice an unauthorized deduction and report it right away. Be just
as vigilant when it comes to your premium deduction. Your insurer is
already accepting payment in the rears, in other words, late
so when premium deductions stop, your payment falls behind even more
and every day that goes by that we are not notified creates an even
- What must I look for
after starting my new plan? You will see Local 685 and code
448 on your paycheck stub when payroll deduction starts. You will also
receive a certificate booklet along with a set of cancellation instructions,
FAQs, Disclosures, and a newsletter. You are advised to call if you
have not received anything within a month of applying or by the time
payroll deduction has started.
- Colonial refunds all
money deducted after cancellation. What about you? Colonial’s
situation is different from ours in that they control their own payroll
slot, cutting out the middleman. Luckily for them, having greater control
over your deductions probably means your payments don’t have to be made
in the rears in addition to cancellations taking effect more quickly,
a benefit stemming from having been around so long. Money deducted after
cancellation, therefore, should be fully refundable.
- What happens if premium
deductions stop? This means your premium is not being paid
and your protection is in danger of being terminated. So, if this should
happen unintentionally, you must contact your agent immediately
to get it going again.
- Does payroll deduction
automatically mean I am covered? You may have been forewarned
by a well-meaning agent to look for your first deduction as a sign of
coverage, but while this is usually true, it is not always the case.
Payroll deduction is no guarantee that your premium is being paid. For
this reason, you should wait until you receive your certificate booklet
in the mail before assuming you are covered. If not, call immediately
to make sure that you are in the Fortis system. Once in the system,
you can then assume you are covered unless premium deductions stop.
- I received my certificate
in the mail even though payroll deduction has not started. Am I covered?
Yes but not for long if you don’t contact your agent to make
sure premium deduction starts. Your insurer is only concerned about
receiving premium payment. They don’t care how it gets there. However,
you have arranged to have your premium payment deducted directly from
your paycheck. This is usually one of the best and safest ways to make
payment. But your authorization for payroll deduction could fail for
any number of reasons and the union is not liable if this happens.
- I want to keep my current
plan until I am approved with you but I want to avoid paying both premiums.
Can I be assured of this? Unfortunately,
not. When you applied for coverage, you also turned in a payroll deduction
authorization (pda), which automatically starts deduction in up to 60
days provided there are no complications. Underwriting usually takes
up to 30 days so you should already have an answer before payroll deduction
starts but not always. While your decision to keep your current plan
until being accepted into this one is a safe and commendable one, you
assume the risk of paying for both in the event that you do not got
your approval notice in time.
- Do I have the option
of making payments by automatic debit through my checking account or
direct billing? Not with any of the group plans such as disability
or dental insurance. However, the answer is yes for individual health,
life and supplemental retirement plans.
- What is the benefit
to having payroll deduction? Payroll deduction is a free service
that allows you to make premium payments without ever having to lift
a pen once arrangements are in place for it.
- Can I contact the union
regarding my plan or payroll deduction? The union that is providing
this service to you receives no benefit from doing so. Nor do they assume
any responsibility. After they receive your authorization for payroll
deduction they simply use the information that you have provided to
get it started and then when it does, it continues until you request
to cancel. The union has no part in any decisions made about your plan
and they are only able to forward money that has been forwarded to them
by your employer. Because the union has limited staff, the union requests
that you direct your questions to the enrollment company, your agent,
- Can I receive benefits
from this plan in addition to workers compensation? This plan
is designed for your use after your sick time or other employer-sponsored
benefit is exhausted.
- What if I lose my certificate
booklet? You may request another by mailing a self addressed
stamped 6” X 9” envelope with $1.06 postage with your request to WBAT
Ins or by contacting Assurant. If you need to file a claim but do not
know your certificate number, go to wbatins.net to
Service – (800) 451-4531; fx (888) 208-2323
Office (562) 212-5006
(562) 244-5100; fax (562) 425-5141;
forms & information – wbatins.net
is not an advertisement. This is meant to be a source of information only.
All information should be verified with the insurer.