What is DBL?
On April13, 1949, Governor Thomas E. Dewey signed the Mailler-Condon Bill which, upon his signature, became Article IX of the Workmen’s Compensation Law, also known as the Disability Benefits Law (DBL). While Workers’ Camp mandates benefits for on-the-job injury and work related illness, DBL provides payments for eligible wage earners who are incapacitated by illness or disability by a non-occupational injury. Currently, only five other U.S. states and territories have mandatory disability insurance programs in place: New Jersey, California, Hawaii, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.
When does a business have to provide DBL coverage?
- If a business employs one or more persons for at least 30 work days in a calendar year.
- lf a business’ employee is a domestic helper who works at least 40 hours in a week in their private home.
- If a business is a sole proprietor or partnership and their only employee is their spouse. (In this case, they may elect to exclude their spouse and may do so by notifying the Workers’ Compensation Board.)
Can an employer choose not to provide DBL coverage?
Yes, but only under one of these conditions:
- If an employer is a proprietor or partner without any employees
- If an employer’s corporation has no more than two corporate officers who are the sole shareholders and who elect to exclude themselves from coverage by completing Form 2123 and b. no other employees.
When can someone be covered as an employee?
- If the person has worked for a covered employer for at least four consecutive weeks.
- The person is a part-time employee, i.e. a person who works fewer hours than constitute their employer’s normal work week. Any part of a day worked is counted as a day of employment, and they become eligible on the 25th day of such regular, part-time employment.
- The person is a personal or domestic employee who works for the same employer in a private home at least 40 hours a week.
- The person is an employed college student who meets any of the above requirements.
- The person is a corporate officer who is an employee (unless you are only nominally an officer or receive no wages or remuneration for your services).
You are eligible immediately if…
- You become reemployed after receiving unemployment benefits provided your prior employment was covered; or You move from one covered employer to another — as long as the gap in employment isn’t more than four weeks.
Who is not eligible for DBL?
- A minor child of an employer
- Government, railroad, or maritime workers
- Ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, sextons, Christian Science readers, or members of a religious order
- Teachers or other professionals working for nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institutions; and people receiving rehabilitative services in a sheltered workshop run by such institutions under a U.S. Department of Labor certificate
- Someone receiving aid in exchange for work from religious, charitable or educational institutions
- Golf caddies
- Daytime students in elementary or secondary school who work part-time.
- Independent contractors
- A corporate director who is not an employee
- A proprietor or partner without any employees
- An executive officer (i.e. pre vice president, secretary or treasurer) of an incorporated nonprofit religious, charitable or educational institution.
- “Extra Employees” (so called because they are normally not in the labor market but are hired to do work for a limited, special period of time, after 45 days, however, they become eligible).
- “Casual Employees” (so called because they normally work in a different occupation and are hired for a day or less).
Taxation of DBL Benefits
- Determine the total cost per employee. i.e. $5.00/ee/mo = $60.00 annual premium
- Less employee contribution at .60/week = $31.20 annual
- Remainder $28.80
- Divide by $60 = 48% = taxable amount
- The remaining $52 is not taxable, applies to Fed, FICA, Medicare