Short-Term Disability Policy Basics

What happens if you are hurt in a car crash and it takes longer than expected to recover? How do you pay the bills? Short-term disability may help you.

Questions About Short-Term Disability? 

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If you find yourself unable to return to work because of an injury or because of a sickness or illness, you may have benefits under your short-term disability insurance policy through your employer.

Let’s say you’re contacting your employer to let them know that you’re unable to return to work because you’re recovering from a medical condition. At that time, you’ll also discuss FMLA benefits, as well as short-term disability benefits that you may have through that employer.

Learn About Your Short-Term Disability Policy

Obtain These Documents

You’re also going to want to request your short-term disability policy, as well as your long-term disability policy. There’s something called a summary plan description that is just a summary. But what you actually want in addition to the summary plan description is the actual policy itself.

That’s because short-term disability and long-term disability insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company. And it’s based on this policy. So you need to know the terms of the policy by which you are bound in order to get these benefits.

Three Basic Provisions

I just want to go over the very basic provisions to get started. Then we’ll talk about the definition of disability in the next video. And we’ll talk about disability benefits in the video following that.

This is what the policy looks like. Usually, it’s about 30 pages, 45 pages long. And it has everything you need to know in order to get those benefits. Here are a few quick things to start with.

1: Whether You Are Eligible

One is that you’re going to have an eligibility waiting period. That’s the very first thing. This means that before you can even talk about anything else, you have to make sure that you are eligible for this coverage. And what that is solely based on is your date of hire.

Some policies will provide you coverage after 30 days, and some after 90 days of being employed. This policy is one of the more generous ones where you’re eligible for your disability benefits on the first day after your date of hire. So that’s number one, the eligibility waiting period.

2: When You Can Get Paid

Number two is the elimination period. The elimination period is the duration that you need to wait in order to start being qualified for disability benefits. In this policy, for example, as is the case in most short-term disability policies, the elimination period is seven days.

And that means the insurance company won’t pay you disability benefits until the eighth day that you continue to be disabled. So, that’s the basic definition of number two, the elimination period.

3: How Long You Receive Benefits

The basic definition number three is the short-term disability maximum benefit period. That means that this insurance policy will only provide you benefits up to a specific maximum period of time. And in this policy for short-term disability, it’s 25 weeks. So, it’s basically half a year.

You’ve got your first week. That is the elimination period. And then you put 25 weeks on top of that, which puts you at 26 weeks.

So, this short-term disability policy is only a policy that provides benefits for six months. After those six months, you go into your long-term disability policy if you have one. And if you don’t, then that’s all you get.

So we covered eligibility period, elimination period, and short-term disability maximum benefit period. Lots of information as always.

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If you have a question about the above content or need help with your personal injury, please call us at 303-688-0944 to schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with a member of our Personal Injury Team.

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