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Blue-collar employees in medium and large private establishments are more likely to be eligible to receive short-term disability benefits than other employees, but are much less likely to receive long-term disability benefits.
In 1997, 58 percent of full-time blue-collar workers in medium and large private establishments were covered by a short-term disability benefit. Coverage rates were somewhat lower for other workers: 54 percent of professional and technical employees and 52 percent of clerical and sales employees were covered by a short-term disability benefit.
While over half of blue-collar workers were eligible to receive short-term disability benefits, just over a quarter—28 percent— could receive long-term disability benefits. In contrast, 62 percent of professional and technical employees were eligible for long-term disability benefits, as were 52 percent of clerical and sales employees.
Short-term disability benefits provide for salary replacement, most often partial, for a 6- to 12-month period. Long-term disability benefits provide a monthly cash amount to eligible employees who, due to nonwork-related illness or injury, are unable to work for an extended period of time; most participants have a waiting period of 3 or 6 months, or until sick leave and short-term disability benefits end, before benefit payments begin.
These data are from the BLS Employee Benefits Survey. Learn more in Employee Benefits in Medium and Large Establishments, 1997, BLS Bulletin 2517 (PDF 804 K)..
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Blue-collar workers have highest eligibility for short-term disability benefits, lowest for long-term at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/nov/wk5/art01.htm (visited March 25, 2023).