Four members of Congress have teamed up to start a Congressional Income Protection Caucus.
The caucus, or interest group, will focus on promoting group and worksite disability insurance benefits programs.
The organizers in the Senate are Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill.
The organizers in the House are Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.
The organizers noted in a letter inviting colleagues to join the group that shortcomings in private disability benefits programs are leading to workers relying too heavily on the cash-strapped Social Security Disability Insurance program.
The average SSDI payment is just $1,130 per month, the organizers wrote in the letter.
When employers offer disability benefits, the typical cost is just $300 per employee per year, the organizers said.
The staff members in charge of day-to-day caucus operations will be Brian Nagle, of Hagan’s office; Clade Clurman, of Kirk’s office; Jim Hall, of Fincher’s office; and Georgette Perros Sierra, of McCarthy’s office.
Dirk Kempthorne, president of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), put out a statement welcoming the creation of the caucus.
The ACLI wants to work with the caucus to raise awareness of disability risk, promote personal responsibility and encourage preparedness, Kempthorne said.