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How Does Short-Term Disability Work?

March 7, 2022
Disability. Medical Concept, Handwritten on Black Chalkboard. Top View Composition with Chalkboard and Red Stethoscope. Black Chalkboard with Disability - Medical Concept. 3D Rendering.

If you’ve undergone a procedure or come down with a sudden illness that prevents you from working, you may need to file for short-term disability.

Injuries can really complicate things with your employment. Disability insurance is there to help you financially while you’re off work and recovering. With a few different types of insurance available to injured workers, it can be confusing to figure out when to apply for short-term disability.

In this post, we’re going to tell you how short-term disability insurance works so you can sustain yourself through recovery. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process, keep reading and we’ll try to clear it all up for you.

How Does Short Term Disability Work

Short-term disability insurance pays you a portion of your salary while you’re off work due to injury or illness. It typically lasts between three to six months, but coverage can last up to a year. After a year, you’re switched to long-term disability instead.

Only a small number of states require employers to pay the premiums for short-term disability insurance, but most employers do it anyway. How much money you’ll actually receive varies quite a bit depending on your employer and the injury in question.

As mentioned, you don’t apply for short-term disability if it makes more sense to file for long term disability – an entirely separate process. For disabilities that occur at the workplace, you’d apply for workers’ compensation instead of short-term disability.

Lastly, if your conditions are more severe than a mild injury or illness, then you may be better off with Social Security Disability Insurance. 

How To Apply For Disability Insurance

To apply for short-term disability insurance, you’ll want to seek out employee resources from your employer. Usually, the best person to contact is in the HR department, who you inform about your intention to apply for short-term disability.

HR should be able to look at your benefits and contact the insurance company on your behalf to get the paperwork started. You’ll have to fill out a claim form and provide any other documents requested by the insurance company.

This may include confirmation from your physician that your injuries do, in fact, prevent you from working, as well as some medical history. Submit everything to your employer or the insurance company (whichever is specified) and you’ll find out in due time whether you’ve been approved or not.

Some employers will require their employees to use up all of their sick days before short term disability kicks in. If you’re denied, you have the right to appeal the decision, and if that doesn’t work, you may want to hire a disability lawyer to help you make your case.

Your Employer Should Have The Best Possible Insurance Package

Now that you understand short-term disability insurance a bit more clearly, you can more effectively navigate the entire process. If your employer has a great group insurance package from the best local insurer, then you’ll be well looked after during your injury.

At Semple Solutions, we find creative solutions to maximize benefits while accommodating your employer’s finances. Visit our site to learn more about the fresh ways that we approach group health insurance. If you’re an employer, contact us today to talk about what we can do for you.