Do you suffer from a disability? Do you need time away from work to recover but aren’t sure if you qualify for short term disability?
If so, you are not alone. Around one in four 20-year-olds will need at least a year off work for a disabling condition before reaching retirement age.
Keep reading to learn how to qualify for short term disability, so you can get the help you need.
What Is Short Term Disability?
Short term disability provides compensation or replaces your income for non-job-related injuries or illnesses when you cannot work for a limited time. The keyword is non-job-related. If injuries happen while you are working, this falls under workers’ compensation.
These benefits typically last no longer than 26-30 weeks. The weekly benefit is usually about 60 percent of your wages.
How Do You Get Short-Term Disability Insurance?
Your employer may offer short-term disability as a benefit. However, not all companies are required to, depending on what state you live in. Only California, New York, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and New Jersey mandate employers to offer short-term disability plans.
If your employer does not offer this as a benefit, you can purchase this insurance privately through an insurance agency.
Short Term Disability Qualifications
To receive short term disability benefits, you need to meet the following qualifications:
- Having lost wages due to your disability
- Unable to work for at least eight consecutive days
- Being employed at the time the disability began
- Have a covered condition
Short term disability conditions covered by the policy depend on the insurer and type of plan you have. But, typically, these conditions include:
- Cardiovascular conditions
- Kidney disease
- Immune disorders
- Mental disorders
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Skin disorders
- Respiratory problems
- Digestive tract issues
- Herniated discs (not from work)
This plan also covers injuries from things like car accidents or other injuries at home that prevent you from working.
How to Apply for Short Term Disability
There is usually a claims process in place for short-term disability. Typically, your employer will be involved when handling your claim.
You will need to notify your human resources department or supervisor that you can’t work and need to file a claim. You will also need to fill out paperwork, including a short term disability application, that details your claim, along with a note from your attending physician that you are unable to work.
As a general rule, you may need to use your sick days before the short term disability benefits kick in. You may even need to use vacation days, depending on your company’s policy.
Check out this useful reference for receiving short term disability benefits.
How to Qualify for Short Term Disability
If you have any further questions on how to qualify for short term disability, you can talk to your human resources department. Remember, it’s important to note that you need a note from a physician that you are unable to work and you need to have a condition that qualifies. Your injury or illness cannot be work-related.
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