We do not handle Social Security Disability (SSDI) claims.

Strengths and shortcomings of short term disability insurance

Shawn E. McDermott

Disability insurance generally comes in two categories: short term disability and long term disability. Obviously, the main difference between them lies in how long the disability is expected to last, and in how long the benefits will continue. Generally, STD insurance pays a percentage of the person’s usual take-home pay. Some plans pay 60% of an employee’s pre-disability wages, while others pay somewhat more.

Defining disability

Before getting deeper into this subject it’s important to note that, for insurance purposes, the term disability is defined vaguely. Insurers and other sources have different ways of defining it, but for the most part, in the context of employment-related insurance, “disability” just refers to an illness or injury that renders a person unable to perform their job.

The insurance plan for Colorado state employees notes that it won’t cover STD insurance claims if the injury is the result of self-harm or criminal activity. Most other illnesses and injuries can be covered.

One common scenario is for an employee to draw STD benefits while they are recuperating from surgery. Often, women draw STD benefits after giving birth.

How long do STD benefits last?

The specific terms of an insurance policy spell out how long STD benefits will continue, and policies vary widely. Some terms cap STD benefits at 30 days, while others can last up to a year.

Sometimes, an employee’s recovery from illness, surgery or injury takes longer than expected. They may have expected to be back at work within a month, but after a month goes by, they find they are not yet healthy enough to perform their job duties. In these cases, the employees can typically switch over to LTD benefits.

If all goes well, employees can file for STD benefits, and continue to have income while they return to health. Unfortunately, things don’t always go well. It can be a good idea to seek out help from lawyers who have experience in STD and LTD insurance issues. A good attorney can speak for employees at hearings and appeals, and fight to get their clients the benefits they need.

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