Q. What happens if an illness or injury prevents me from returning to work at ExxonMobil?
A. The Plan provides benefits for long-term disabilities. The availability, amount and duration of the benefit depend on a number of factors described in this section.
Eligibility for benefits
You are eligible for long-term disability benefits only if you meet all of the following requirements:
- You have at least one year of benefit service.
- You become incapacitated.
- You are no longer receiving short-term disability benefits.
- Your employment ends as a result of your disability.
- You obtain proper medical care and follow instructions as to treatment.
- When asked, you give the claims administrator a certificate from the physician who is caring for you.
- You have medical examinations, as required.
- You keep the claims administrator advised of your location while disabled.
- You take any other steps as required, including signing medical releases.
The Plan pays a benefit, if necessary, to bring the total payments you receive to at least 50% of your monthly benefit pay. This total includes other benefits such as:
- The offsettable amount of your company pensions (upon the earlier of commencement or age 65 normal retirement), cash surrendered pensions that you would have been eligible to receive, and relinquished pensions you would have been eligible to receive. Cash surrendered pensions that you would have been eligible to receive and relinquished pensions include amounts assigned pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order or other valid assignment. At the time those assigned amounts are commenced, that amount becomes an offsettable amount even if you have not commenced your pension and you are under age 65 normal retirement.
- Any Social Security disability benefit or retirement benefit to which you are entitled.
- Other government (federal and state) disability benefits.
- Any other benefit to which the company contributed (such as workers' compensation, Jones Act benefits.).
- Rehabilitative wages — a wage amount equal to 10% of your last Monthly Benefit Pay will be ignored. Beyond that amount, each $2 of income reduces the long-term disability benefits by $1.
- Non-rehabilitative wages — offsets the payment from the ExxonMobil Disability Plan dollar for dollar.
Social Security disability benefit means the monthly Social Security benefit you actually begin to receive or could receive if you applied for the benefit. This benefit is based on Social Security rules and formulas in effect when your long-term disability benefit starts.
When you become eligible to receive a long-term disability benefit, you are assumed to be not entitled to a Social Security disability benefit for the first six months of eligibility. This means that even if you are receiving a Social Security disability benefit, it is not taken into account in determining the amount of the first six monthly payments of your long-term disability benefit. After that period, entitlement to a Social Security disability benefit is assumed and an estimated Social Security benefit amount is deducted from your benefits under this Plan unless you present a Social Security denial of your claim.
You are required to complete the process for obtaining a Social Security disability award. The Claims Administrator provides assistance from Social Security specialists to help you apply for Social Security disability benefits. If Social Security denies your claim, the Plan will also help you through the process of appealing the denial. You may lose long-term disability benefits if you do not complete this process.
If you are receiving long-term disability benefits and you are not entitled to Social Security disability benefits, and you are age 62 or older, the Plan will offset the Social Security retirement benefit that is payable beginning at age 62.
If you are paid a benefit that is greater than the amount to which you are entitled under the Plan, that amount will be treated as a pre-payment of a benefit and will reduce future benefits until that advanced amount is recovered.
Here is an example of how long-term disability benefits reach 50% of your Monthly Benefit Pay. It assumes you have used all full-pay short-term disability benefits and your ExxonMobil employment has ended as a result of your disability.
- You are a 50-year-old worker who made $6,000 a month.
- You had 13 years of service.
- Your long-term disability target amount is $3,000 (50% of $6,000).
- You receive $800 a month from workers' compensation.
- You apply for disability benefits from Social Security. After six months, Social Security begins to pay you $800 a month.
- You commence $100 a month as a company pension.
This chart illustrates a monthly payment of $3,000.
Each month you receive:
You receive $1,700 from other sources. The Disability Plan pays the remaining $1,300 a month in order for you to reach your $3,000 LTD target.
Increases in government benefits which occur after these benefits are originally taken into account under this plan will not reduce future plan payments.
Continuation of LTD benefits
The Plan's Claims Administrator (LINA) conducts a review called the benefits continuation test near the end of the Initial period of disability.
The initial period of disability is the two-year period starting from the last day you were actively at work for the company. This period includes short-term disability time. Long-term disability benefits continue only if the test determines that you are incapacitated. This means that your physical or mental health impairment at the time the test is done prevents you from performing any work for compensation or profit for which you are or may become reasonably fitted by education, training or experience and such inability is expected to continue for six months. If it is determined that there are jobs which you can perform for any employer, the Claims Administrator determines if compensation for any such job would replace at least 60% of your monthly benefit pay. This is called "productive employment".
The definition of incapacitated is not the same definition as that used under Social Security disability. This means that you could qualify for benefits under the Plan even though you do not qualify for Social Security benefits or vice versa.
After the initial benefits continuation test, Cigna periodically reviews your situation to determine if your benefits continue.
If you fail the benefits continuation test
If the test determines that you are able to engage in productive employment, whether for ExxonMobil or any other employer, your LTD benefits end. ExxonMobil has no obligation to rehire you; you must reapply for employment.
If you had more than 15 years of service when long-term disability benefits began:
- Unless you have reached age 55, you become a suspended retiree
- If you are 55 or older or you have commenced your ExxonMobil Pension Plan benefit, you become a retiree.
If you are a retiree and you fail the benefits continuation test, you receive a monthly transition benefit equal to your LTD benefits for six months.
If you become a suspended retiree solely as a result of failing the benefits continuation test, you receive a monthly transition benefit equal to your LTD benefits for six months.
Transition benefits may be denied if you engage in employment other than rehabilitative employment without notifying the LTD Claims Administrator of such employment.