Filed Under:Health Insurance, Disability

Disability benefits caucus attracts bipartisan support

(IRS image)
(IRS image)

Four members of Congress have teamed up to start a Congressional Income Protection Caucus.

The caucus, or interest group, will focus on promoting group and worksite disability insurance benefits programs.

The organizers in the Senate are Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.

The organizers in the House are Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.

The organizers noted in a letter inviting colleagues to join the group that shortcomings in private disability benefits programs are leading to workers relying too heavily on the cash-strapped Social Security Disability Insurance program.

The average SSDI payment is just $1,130 per month, the organizers wrote in the letter.

When employers offer disability benefits, the typical cost is just $300 per employee per year, the organizers said.

The staff members in charge of day-to-day caucus operations will be Brian Nagle, of Hagan's office; Clade Clurman, of Kirk's office; Jim Hall, of Fincher's office; and Georgette Perros Sierra, of McCarthy's office.

Dirk Kempthorne, president of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), put out a statement welcoming the creation of the caucus.

The ACLI wants to work with the caucus to raise awareness of disability risk, promote personal responsibility and encourage preparedness, Kempthorne said.

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