Consider the following scenario: you suffer an injury that makes you ineffective at work and requires you to take time off.
You need short-term disability insurance but aren’t sure how long it will last. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about short-term disability insurance and how long it will last.
Short-term disability insurance is very important because it allows you to take care of yourself and protect yourself in case you are unable to work due to an unexpected illness or injury.
But, before you buy this insurance, you should know more about short-term disability, including how long it lasts and the difference between long-term and short-term disability insurance.
What is a Short Term Disability?
Short-term disability insurance is a type of insurance benefit that pays a certain amount of compensation or replaces income in the event of an accident or non -a work-related illness that renders you unable to work for a specified period of time.
It should be noted the words “not related to employment.” Workers ’compensation, rather than short-term disability, will often cover injuries sustained while working.
What Counts as a “Disability”?
There is no universally accepted definition of disability in this country.
“This is an overall plan or specific policy,” said Michael Bartolic, a Chicago -based attorney who specializes in employee benefits and deferred pay. “As a general rule, any kind of injury or illness renders a person unable to do his job.”
Childbirth, major surgery with a protracted recovery period, an illness that requires frequent treatment, or injuries that occur in an accident are all examples.
The best thing to do, according to Bartolic, is to check your plan documentation, as the term disability should be clearly stated there.
Who Provides Short-Term Disability Insurance?
As a benefit, your employer may give you a short-term disability plan. Companies are not forced to do so in a large number of cases.
In fact, only five states (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island) require businesses to provide their employees with short-term disability plans.
Many businesses prefer to provide these disability benefits regardless of federal tax cuts.
If your company provides insurance, there are two options:
- Self-funded or self -administered: Your employer provides and finances this for themselves.
- Insurance: provided by your employer in collaboration with the insurance company.
How Long Is Short Term Disability?
Short-term disability insurance, as the name implies, is designed to cover you for a limited time following an illness or injury that prevents you from working. Short-term disability insurance usually covers you for three to six months, depending on the policy.
What is the Difference Between Short-Term and Long-Term Disability?
Short-term disability (STD)
Once you run out of sick leave, STD insurance compensates a portion of your income for a short period of time (STDs usually last less than 1 year).
STDs will usually pay you after a waiting period, depending on your plan (also referred to as the elimination period in the contract).
From the date of illness or injury, this interval is usually 1-7 calendar days. STD benefits are paid weekly and usually last between 13 and 26 weeks. Work-related injuries are often not covered by STD coverage.
Here are some examples of common life events that are usually covered by STDs:
- Injuries that cause you to be unable to work
- Long-term illness
- The birth of a child is an important event in one’s life.
Long Term Disability (LTD)
LTD insurance starts as soon as your STD benefits and sick leave provided by the employer have expired (LTD usually lasts more than 6 months). There is usually a waiting period of 90 or 180 days, which can be covered by PSD insurance if you have it.
The benefits continue for a variety of reasons, but usually last until the employee returns to work, is no longer able, or reaches Social Security retirement age.
Here are some examples of common life events that are typically covered by LTD:
- Disorders of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (back pain, osteoarthritis)
- The injury was caused by an accident
- Circulatory/cardiovascular diseases (heart attack, coronary artery disease)
- Mental illness
What Does Disability Insurance Do?
Therefore, because it is designed to replace a portion of your income if you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury, disability insurance is also known as “disability income insurance.”
Disability insurance pays you directly, which allows you to cover your expenses without restrictions on how you spend the money.
Disability insurance can cover up to 70% of your income for a period between 3 months to retirement age, depending on the policy.
The length of the benefit period and the level of coverage provided by each type of policy are two basic variations between long-term and short-term disability policies, while each policy is unique.
Is Mental Health Covered With Short-Term Disability?
What if it’s not something physical that keeps you away from the demands of your job? What if you suffer from depression or a mental health problem that makes it difficult for you to fulfill work responsibilities?
Many short-term disability policies cover mental health (again, it’s very important to check your own plan documents). However, you need documentation that this is a problem you have been facing for some time.
“You should see a psychiatrist before you go,” McDonald advises. “There has to be a very good understanding of those issues.”
Is Your Job Covered When You Have a Short-Term Disability?
Short-term disability, unlike leave without leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), does not provide immediate employment protection.
Many individuals are shocked to learn that you can be fired from your job during the holidays and that you are not guaranteed to work together when you return.
The American With Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those who fit the ADA’s definition of disability and makes it more difficult for ADA -covered employers (those with 15 or more employees) to fire employees because of their shortcomings.
Before firing an employee, the company must first assess whether an accommodation can be made (without causing the company “unnecessary hardship”) to allow the individual to do their job satisfactorily.
To find something successful, employers must contact employees to test various adaptations.
Only then can an employer consider dismissing an employee if there is no reasonable method of enabling the person to fulfill essential obligations in their employment.