Group Benefits & the Role of the Employer

One of the important perks of being an employee are the group benefits offered in addition to the salary provided. Group Benefits programs, which provide for health, dental and vision benefits, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, out of country health and travel insurance, and disability benefits can be provided to employees at a lower cost than what individuals can purchase similar products for, because the risk is spread across a larger group of people.

Something that crops up in disputed disability cases is the difficulty some of our clients experience in either getting the forms to claim disability benefits from their employer, or in getting clear information from their employer about what benefits they have.

Why offer Group Benefits to your employees?

  • offer competitive compensation and benefits in the labour marketplace
  • give employees a security blanket in the event that sickness or injury strikes
  • increase the chances that employees will not hesitate to seek health care and treatment, if and when they need it, so that productivity and absenteeism is kept to a minimum.

The cost of these benefit programs has been on the rise and some employers are questioning whether they should continue to offer these benefits. As employees make claims, the claims history does have an impact on the cost of maintaining the programs.

As an employer, if you’re offering these group benefits, you owe it to your employees and to good business practices that when an employee faces a potential disability claim, that you provide support and guidance, along with the forms, so that they have every chance to obtain the benefits that forms part of their employment contract. It makes no sense to interfere with an employee who is making a claim for disability (or other benefits). If your employee misses an important deadline in notifying the insurer, not only does this put the employees claim in jeopardy, but it also potentially raises liability on the employer.

Why offer Group Insurance

Why offer the Group Insurance if you aren’t prepared to do everything in your power to ensure that your employees can access the claims process in a timely fashion? Other than concerns about the cost, and also the staffing challenges that a disabled employee can create, there is no valid reason for refusing to provide the necessary forms or directing employees to obtaining the required forms to submit.

The ultimate decision on whether a disability claim will be accepted is up to the insurance company, and claimants will have to provide the necessary information to have their claim approved, but as an employer, it is foolish to put up additional barriers or hurdles for your employees to overcome in their pursuit of these benefits.


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