Frequently Asked Questions

Voluntary Long-Term Disability (VLTD) Insurance

Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance


Voluntary Long-Term Disability (VLTD) Insurance

Do I need Disability Insurance?
What would happen if you became disabled and couldn’t work?  How long would you be able to pay your mortgage or rent, car payment and everyday living expenses?  Today, many people neglect to financially protect themselves from the devastating impact of a long-term disability. Voluntary long-term disability (VLTD) insurance from CIGNA, pays you cash benefits when you’re sick or hurt and can’t work.

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Am I Eligible for VLTD Coverage?
To be eligible for VLTD coverage, you must be an active member of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, working 20 hours per week, and able to perform all normal duties of your job.  

Dependent insurance (for your spouse and/or children) may also be available, but only when you, as the member, also select coverage for yourself.

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Will I need to answer health questions for VLTD coverage?
If you do not enroll on or before the end of your initial enrollment period and wish to apply for coverage at a later date, Evidence of Insurability will be required. Your coverage will be effective the first day of the month coinciding or following the date CIGNA approves the coverage.

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When am I considered disabled?
Disability and disabled mean that because of an injury or illness, a significant change in your mental or functional abilities has occurred, for which you are:

  • Prevented from performing at least one of the material duties of your regular occupation during the first 2 years of disability and after 2 years are unable to perform all of the material duties of any gainful occupation; and
  • During the first 2 years of disability are unable to generate current earnings which exceed 80% of your monthly earnings from your regular occupation, and after 2 years are unable to generate current earnings which exceed 60% of your monthly earnings from any gainful occupation.

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When will my disability benefits begin?
If you become disabled, your VLTD benefits become payable after you have been continually disabled for:

  • Option 1:  180 days
  • Option 2:  180 days

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How much is the VLTD benefit amount?
Your benefit is equivalent to either 50% or 60% of your before-tax monthly earnings, not to exceed the plan’s maximum monthly benefit amount, less other income sources.

Maximum Monthly VLTD Benefit
Option 1:  $3,500
Option 2:  $8,000

Minimum Monthly VLTD Benefit
Option 1: $100
Option 2: $100

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How long are VLTD benefits payable?
If you become disabled prior to age 62, benefits are payable to age 65 – your Social Security Normal Retirement Age. At age 62 (and older), the benefit period will be based on a reduced duration schedule.

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When do VLTD benefits end?
Coverage for you ends on the earliest of:

  • The date the policy or plan is cancelled;
  • The date you are no longer in an eligible group;
  • The date your eligible group is no longer covered;
  • The last day of the period for which you made any required contributions;
  • The last day you are actively employed;
  • The day before you enter the armed forces on active duty; or
  • The day you do not satisfy any other eligibility conditions as described in your certificate

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What if I do not have a self-addressed return envelope?

Please return all enrollment forms to:

GIS Benefit Center
PO Box 8633
Madison, WI 53708-8633

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How do I file a disability claim?
For complete instructions visit the How to File a Claim section on this web site. It will direct you on who to call and where you can download the forms.

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Can I make changes to my VLTD coverage?
If you experience a family status change during the year, you may be able to increase your coverage or add a dependent without evidence of insurability - if your request is received within 60 days of the family status change. If your request is submitted more than 60 days from the date of the family status change, you will be required to submit Evidence of Insurability (answer health questions).

In most cases, you may only increase your coverage or add dependent coverage if the increase or addition is consistent with the family status change.

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Voluntary Term Life (VTL) Insurance

Do I need life insurance?
Whether you’re single, married, have children or are close to retirement, having life insurance is a must. Voluntary term life (VTL) insurance provides the security loved ones need to get through the financial hardships that may accompany the death of an income earner. 

When determining how much life insurance you need, think about the expenses you may encounter through every stage of your life. Insurance professionals recommend carrying life insurance equal to four or five times household income.

However, since everyone’s needs are different, it’s important to assess your personal situation and specific needs.

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Am I eligible for VTL coverage?
To be eligible for VTL coverage, you must be an active member of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, working 20 hours per week, and able to perform all normal duties of your job.  

Dependent insurance (for your spouse and/or children) may also be available, but only when you, as the member, also select coverage for yourself.

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Are my dependents eligible for VTL coverage?
Dependent insurance (for your spouse and children up to age 19, or age 25 if they are full-time students) may also be available, but only when you, as the employee, also select coverage for yourself. All dependents must be performing normal activities and cannot be “totally disabled” as defined in the policy.  Totally Disabled Dependent means that, as a result of an injury, a sickness or a disorder, your dependent: (a) is confined in a hospital or similar institution; (b) is unable to perform two or more activities of daily living (ADLs) because of a physical or mental incapacity resulting from an injury or a sickness; (c) is cognitively impaired; or (d) has a life threatening condition.

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Can I sign up for Voluntary Term Life Coverage with CIGNA and have other Life Insurance?
Voluntary Term Life Insurance through CIGNA is available to NRLCA members up to 5 times salary to a maximum of $100,000 without any medical questions as well as $50,000 for Spouse and $10,000 for children also without any medical questions.  This coverage is supplemental to other group or individual life insurance products that members may have already.  There is no coordination within Life Insurance Products.  Members can purchase Life Insurance amounts that they need as well as can afford.  This is a great opportunity to purchase low cost group term Life insurance at low costs without medical questions up to certain amounts.

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Will I need to answer health questions for VTL coverage?
If you enroll for coverage over the Guarantee Issue amount, you will need to complete the Evidence of Insurability Form (answer health questions). Guarantee Issue Amounts are as follows: 

  • Member:  $100,000
  • Spouse:  $50,000
  • Child(ren):  $10,000

If you do not enroll on or before the end of your initial enrollment period and wish to apply for coverage at a later date, evidence of insurability will be required. Your coverage will be effective the first day of the month coinciding or following the date CIGNA approves the coverage.

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What do I need to do to sign up for Voluntary Term Life Insurance coverage?
Please mark the selection for member, spouse and child and return your enrollment form in the self-addressed envelope.  If you do not have a self-addressed envelope, please return all enrollment forms to:

GIS Benefit Center
PO Box 8633
Madison, WI 53708-8633

Don't wait! After this initial enrollment any amount of insurance will be subject to medical evidence of insurability.  This is a great opportunity to purchase low cost group insurance that will protect your loved ones as well as your paycheck in case of illness or an accident.

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How do I file a life claim?
For complete instructions visit the How to File a Claim section on this web site. It will direct you on who to call and where you can download the forms.

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Can I make changes to my VTL coverage?
If you experience a family status change during the year, you may be able to increase your coverage or add dependent coverage up to the Guarantee Issue amount(s) without evidence of insurability. In most cases, you may only increase your coverage or add dependent coverage if the increase or addition is consistent with the family status change.

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What if I have more questions?
Please contact the GIS Benefit Center toll free at (877) 817-4801.

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