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Best Practices in Short-Term Disability Plan Design: New White Paper From DMEC and Liberty Mutual


The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) has teamed up with Liberty Mutual Group to develop a white paper highlighting the best practices that employers can follow to design effective short-term disability (STD) plans.

STD plan design varies broadly, from industry to industry and company to company. “Regardless of their unique situations and challenges, all employers have one important commonality,” notes Joe Wozniak, CPDM, CFO of DMEC. “Companies cannot afford to manage STD plans today in the same way they’ve done in the past. There is too much at stake.”

The paper outlines five best practices that can help employers address the most challenging STD issues in order to improve workforce productivity and increase competitiveness.

“Employers must address a variety of program issues, such as different employee classes and state regulations,” observes Nazneen Vimadalal, who heads the marketing area of Liberty Mutual that provides group disability and leave products. “A company’s short-term disability plan design can be an important part of its strategy to improve productivity, manage costs, and maintain competitiveness.”

The two major best practices identified in the white paper are:
• Medical case management of STD cases; and
• Early return to work programs to reduce the cost and duration of absences, using light duty and transitional assignments whenever possible.

The white paper is based on findings from the 2010 Leadership Series—STD Plan Design, the 6th annual symposium series offered by DMEC with sponsorship from Liberty Mutual Group. The Leadership Series brought together 178 leading human resource professionals in regional meetings to share best practices of short-term disability and sick pay plans that better managed employee absence and cost.

To read the white paper, visit or

About DMEC
The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) is a non-profit organization that advances strategies and resources to improve workforce productivity by minimizing the impact of absence and disability. The primary goal of DMEC is to assist employers in developing cost-saving program and returning employees to productive employment. Visit for more information about educational publications and events.

About Liberty Mutual
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium.
Liberty Mutual Group offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, assumed reinsurance, fire and surety.

Liberty Mutual Group ( employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.


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