Similar to short term disability insurance, long-term disability plans can be purchased individually or offered by employers. There are also two federal disability insurance programs that are administered by the federal government: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To be eligible for either of these programs you must meet the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of a disability, which is having an illness or injury that's expected to last 12 months or longer, or it's predicted to be terminal.
Short-term disability insurance (STDs) can be purchased individually, administered through your employer, or provided by your state or territory. Currently only California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico have state run short-term disability programs. Programs vary and the definition of disability as well as your benefits will depend upon your specific plan. Generally, STD programs will cover up to 26 weeks away from work and pay between 55 and 100 percent of your wages. Some plans start immediately, while others have a waiting period before benefits start. Some pay at a higher percentage for the first several weeks or months before dropping to a lower percentage, based on your length of employment.
Could any other factors affect the benefit payment I receive?
If you receive benefits or income from certain other sources, your short-term disability payment will be reduced accordingly. Income from individual disability insurance policies and most deferred compensation plans (such as 401(k) or 403(b) plans) is not taken into account.
When should I file a claim?
You should file a short-term disability claim as soon as you or your doctor thinks that your disability will last at least as long as the elimination period. You don't have to wait until the elimination period has passed to file a claim. You can ask your benefits administrator to provide instructions for filing a claim with us.
If you are partially disabled and working, your benefit payments may be affected. Your plan has a description of how earnings affect short-term disability benefits.
Short-term disability insurance is designed to supplement a portion of your income you will lose if you need a brief medical leave from work, usually up to six months. Your employer may hold your position for you during this period, since you expect to return to work. However, they are only legally required to keep your position open if you are taking your 12 weeks of FMLA Leave.
Therefore if you have an accident where you cannot work for several days or even a few months, you will not be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits.
Whether your disability from cancer is expected to be short-term or long-term, it helps to know the differences between the two and understand how to apply for each type of benefit.
Also, benefits aren't payable for any period of disability during which you're confined in a penal or correctional institution for conviction of a criminal or other public offense.
The provides short-term Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) wage replacement benefits to eligible workers who need time off work. You may be eligible for DI if you are unable to work due to non-work-related illness or injury, pregnancy, or childbirth. You may be eligible for PFL to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
If I return to work after receiving short-term disability benefits and then go out again for the same diagnosis, is it a continuous claim or a new claim?
You won't have to re-satisfy the elimination period if you recover from a period of disability and the same (or related) disability comes back within the time period outlined in your plan.
If you recover from your disability, return to work and a new disability occurs, this disability will be treated separately. A new elimination period is required before short-term disability benefits could begin again.
What if I can't return to work?
If you still can't return to work at the end of your benefit period, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits.
What happens to my coverage if my employment terminates?
Your coverage ends. A short-term disability plan can't be converted to an individual plan. If your employment ends during a period of disability, the benefits continue as long as you remain otherwise eligible under the plan.
Do I pay for a short-term disability plan?
Your employer determines the portion of the benefit expense that an employee pays for. Contact your benefits administrator for more details about your specific plan.
What are short-term disability benefits and why are they important?
Short-term disability benefits help to protect your paycheck and your standard of living if you become disabled. The benefits replace a portion of your salary if you're out of work due to a qualified illness or injury. Pregnancy also is covered as a disability.