According to the Wall Street Journal, there are now almost 11 million people collecting disability benefits (Dec. 27, “Jobless Tap Disability Fund”), and at least a few of those people are probably collecting COBRA too. Does the thought of coordinating Social Security Disability (SSD) and COBRA intimidate you? If so, you aren’t alone! Coordination of SSD and COBRA can be an overwhelming task if you don’t have a few COBRA-tricks up your sleeve. Below are three COBRA solutions to help you navigate effortlessly:
COBRA SOLUTION #1: BUILD A TIMELINE
Timing is everything for coordination of SSD and COBRA! All notifications, from the initial COBRA rights letter on down need to be sent if accordance to the law … and a timeline is the key for managing this. Your COBRA timeline should include:
- Date of hire
- Date of eligibility
- Date initial COBRA rights notice was mailed
- Date of the SSD determination letter
- Date you received notification of the SSD award
- Date reflecting the end for the first 18 months
- Date the 11-month extension will begin
- Date that indicates 24 months of disability
- Date on which the 11-month extension expires
COBRA SOLUTION #2: KEEP A FILE
Maintain a separate file for each person with SSD/COBRA participation. This file should contain all pertinent information, including letters, emails, notes, correspondence with the Social Security Administration, copies of Summary Plan Descriptions and the SSD extension, along with any other items specific to this situation.
COBRA SOLUTION #3: LOG EVERY COMMUNICATION
Keep a log that documents every phone call and meeting pertaining to the case – not only with the participant, but also with any other party involved. This is invaluable documentation as SSD cases can last 29 months and most peoples’ memories don’t last that long!
In summary, these cases can be complex and lengthy, but by using these COBRA solutions, you can navigate the complex web of SSD and COBRA coordination with ease.
Wondering if you should outsource your COBRA Administration? You’re not alone. COBRA is more complex than ever before. Our free report, “In Search of ROO,” outlines how to make an informed decision and achieve return on your outsourcing investment.