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How Does Short Term Disability Work?

You would be a good candidate for short-term disability insurance if, through chronic medical issues, an injury, or an illness of some type, you are unable to work for some time.

What Exactly is Short Term Disability?

You can get this type of insurance either through your employer or independently, via a private insurance plan. Although many people have the idea that it’s easy to get short term disability, there are certain things that could result in applications being rejected or benefits being terminated. The trick is to be well prepared if you are thinking of applying for this type of insurance.

How Do you Know if you are Eligible for Benefits?

It Depends on the type of plan that you have, as there can be many different requirements to qualify. Each insurance plan has a different set of rules regarding what is needed in order to qualify. Here are some of the possible requirements:

  1. A minimum period that one has worked for their employer.
  2. A minimum period of disability – normally 8-9 weeks.
  3. Being employed full-time.
  4. Frequent medical updates.

Each plan’s requirements will be different but in most cases, you will be required to have some condition that will prevent you from being able to do your job for a long period of time, normally anywhere from two months to one year. Each plan does have what is called an “elimination period”, which is basically a waiting period before your benefits will start. You could have to use some of your sick days while you are waiting for this period to pass.

What Qualifies as a “Disability”?

There is no hard and fast definition that applies. It all depends on the policy or plan that you choose to take out. Generally speaking, it would be an illness or injury that would cause you to not be able to work.

It could be a major surgery that requires a long recovery, childbirth, or an injury caused by an accident. It is vital that you check what your plan covers if you wish to make a claim.

Does Mental Health Get Covered?

It is possible to get cover for mental health issues like depression, or any other type of mental problems that cause you to not be able to perform your duties at work.

You will need to check your plan and most companies will need to see proof that there has been a problem that has lasted for a long time. Before attempting to take leave from work, you should already be seeing a psychiatrist, as this will show that it is a real problem that needs to be covered.

How Much Time Will you Get Off With Short-Term Disability?

The amount of time that you will get off will depend on the plan that you have chosen. The duration can be anywhere from one month to one year, again, depending on your plan.

The amount of time that you will get off will depend on the type of problem that you have. Medical practitioners have guidelines that your employer can access, in order to know how long you will not be attending work. Any kind of disability that requires more than this amount of time off work, will then fall under long-term disability.

How Much Will You Get Paid?

When the time comes that you need to make use of your short-term disability benefit, the time that you are not at work will be paid, but you may not get the full amount.

What amount you get will depend on the plan that you have. Some offer the full salary and some do not. Most insurers will offer you between 60% and 70% of your usual weekly or monthly salary.

Some programs award you amounts depending on how long you have been with them, so it is important to make sure that you know from the beginning what you are covered for.

Should you live in a State where short-term benefits are required, then the amount you receive will also be regulated

How Often Will You Get Payments?

This is another Grey area, but you will be able to find all the information that you are looking for in your policy documents.

If the business that you work for is working with the insurer, the payments will normally be done by the insurer, therefore you might not get your payments on your standard pay date.

How Do You Apply for a Short-Term Disability Claim?

The first step that you will need to take is to get your injury or illness documented, as you will need medical backing. Once you have seen your Doctor, the report will then be reviewed by the insurance company.

The next step is to get your HR department to start the process of the claim. If the company that you work for does not have an HR department, then you should report to the manager who should be able to assist you with submitting your claim.

Lastly, be sure to check how long the elimination period is before making a claim. You do not want to use the time that could have been covered by sick days.

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