Basic Things You may Need to Know about Short Term Disability

Any kind of unexpected illness or injury which renders you unable to work can lead to financial trouble for you and your family unless you have some source of cash that would replace even a certain percentage of your monthly work pay.

It is important that employees know the benefits package their employer has for them because these benefits will play a major role once any of them suffers an injury or illness that would render him/her unable to work for weeks, months or even years. Besides the Workers’ Compensation Insurance benefits, which states require of employers, other items in this package may include short and/or long term disability policy/ies.

Short term disability insurance, which is available only through your employer, provides coverage, but only for a limited amount of time (usually 30 to 120 days or one to four months; there may be policies, however, that indicate payment of benefits up to a year). There is also an elimination period or waiting period before you can start receiving your benefits, usually up to 14 days.

A short term disability policy indicates the maximum coverage amount you are entitled to receive and you will receive this amount until you recover or until you exceed the policy’s maximum coverage amount or specified time limit. This policy, by the way, pays out benefits for reasons which include a qualified disabling injury or a lingering illness or pregnancy and recovery from childbirth.

There are two things that can have major effects on your short-term disability benefits:

  • Your employment. The termination of your employment means the end of your coverage. This is because you cannot convert your short-term disability plan to an individual plan.
  • Amount of benefit. Benefits or income from other sources will reduce the amount of your short-term disability benefit. Three among these various sources include: Social Security retirement benefits; Social Security disability benefits; and, Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Currently, there are five states where employers are required to provide short-term disability insurance (SDI) benefits to their employees: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island (rules on eligibility vary between states).

As explained in the website of the Hankey Law Office, if you suffer from disability while employed, you may be able to claim short term disability benefits provided by your employer. This will pay a percentage of your salary if you are unable to continue working. To find out if you are covered under a short term disability policy, you should speak with your firm’s human resource department. The human resource employee should be able to provide you with the application for short and long term disability insurance. You can file for claim as soon as your doctor tells you that your disability will last as long as the elimination period.


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