Last reply 2 years ago
Moving to US from UK

HI,

Posting on behalf of a friend. I may potentially be moving to the US with work on an L1 or E1 visa . I have a few questions about employee benefits that I hope you might be able to shed some light on. I recognise that this will be different from company to company but it would be helpful to have sense of what might be applicable.

– if you work has group cover do you need to tell your work about a pre-existing condition like MS?
– do most largish companies have group long term disability cover and if you have MS can you be excluded from this cover?
– in a worst case scenario if you have to finish work due to illness and leave the country ( visa is linked to job) would you still be able to claim long term disability if you are not in the US

any help would be appreciated!

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londonlad
2 years ago

@nylon1

i worked in Chicago for a few years, prior to my diagnosis. I also transferred on a L1 Visa (inter company transfer).

I think the key questions, would be to ask whether they are going as an expat (so retaining their contract in the UK), versus, moving to the US, as a local employee.
1 important thing to consider if they go as a local employee, is what their contract terms will be.. in a lot of states in the US, you are deem “at will” in terms of contract. I.e. you or your employer can give notice at any time.. i don’t want to panic the person involved, as its super unlikely scenario, and you are still covered by discrimaition laws, and companies don’t want to get sued.. so you still have protection… but worth them understanding.

I would expect the person moving, will need to advice, the new medical provider in the US. I think when joining any new health provider scheme, you need to disclose their condition.

– do most largish companies have group long term disability cover and if you have MS can you be excluded from this cover?
I do not know for sure. And without knowing the full details i am making assumptions. but to be granted a L1 Visa, the company, will like be of substantial size. the key thing, is whether they are going as an Expat versus a local.. and what the conditions of the transfer is

– in a worst case scenario if you have to finish work due to illness and leave the country ( visa is linked to job) would you still be able to claim long term disability if you are not in the US
when you lose your job – you’re out of status and therefore have to leave the US. I doubt there will be any claim for disability at this point. But i suggest, they speak to an attorney.

Furthermore, I would also ensure they understand the medical service providers being offered to them. And contact them to discuss the treatment and whether they will entitled to cover.

Even if they are, in my case, i had to pay a portion of the medical bills while i was there. i can imagine, this could be expensive for MS drugs.. therefore again, i urge them to do thorough research before making plans.

Perhaps, being transparent with their HR to ensure things go smoothly, may help. but that is of course for the person is question, to decide.

best of luck


isaacson72
2 years ago

It really does depend on the company, but here’s answers to your questions, from my experience (I work in employment law, but am not a benefits expert by any stretch):

– if you work has group cover do you need to tell your work about a pre-existing condition like MS?

No. Your insurance company obviously has to know, and chances are somebody in the company’s benefits department could look at your file and see that you have MS but you are not required to share that information unless you feel like it.

– do most largish companies have group long term disability cover and if you have MS can you be excluded from this cover?

I work for a large company. We are offered short term disability that’s 100% covered for every employee, even for me. 🙂 We do offer long term disability here but we pay for it — I didn’t elect that coverage, so I don’t know if I would have been excluded or not. From my knowledge of how insurance/disability laws work, I don’t think I would be.

– in a worst case scenario if you have to finish work due to illness and leave the country ( visa is linked to job) would you still be able to claim long term disability if you are not in the US.

Do you mean you would still be working for the same US company, but from the UK until the job is completed, and are wondering if you could use the long term disability benefits from the US company? I think you’d be subject to the laws you live in, not work in, but I would ask an attorney or the company’s benefits specialist about that. Disability/leave laws are different in every country. It’s not tied to the company you work for, but in the country you live in. But assuming I understand your question, I would definitely talk to the benefits specialist about that one, it’s trickier than your other questions.
If you’re done with the job before you leave for the UK, then your employment would be over, and if that’s the case – your benefits do not continue.

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