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

Understanding how short-term disability insurance works

Shawn E. McDermott

Short-term disability insurance protects workers in Colorado by providing them with a significant portion of their salary if they cannot work due to illness or injury that is not incurred on the job. Benefits generally are 40% to 80% of your salary before the illness or injury occurred and are intended to replace your income for a period lasting three to six months.

Getting short-term disability coverage

Anyone who has a job or their own business can sign up for short-term disability insurance. Employers commonly offer this type of insurance as a job-related benefit. You can also sign up for a policy with an independent insurance company. However, unlike health insurance, short-term disability insurance is not guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so you could be denied coverage depending on your circumstances.

Rules for Short-Term Disability Policies

All policies have different rules. If you get coverage through your employer, you may have a waiting period, often six months, before you can submit short-term disability insurance claims. Many policies also have exclusions for pre-existing conditions, meaning they won’t pay you if you can’t work due to previously incurred illnesses or injuries. These include disabilities incurred by attempted suicide, drug abuse or war. Individuals may have to wait up to a year before they may be able to submit any claims for pre-existing conditions. Note that on-the-job injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, not by short-term disability.

What if my claim is denied?

Like other types of insurance, short-term disability insurance claims are often denied by the insurer. Read your policy closely to determine what qualifies as a disability.

If you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, speaking with an insurance claims attorney can help. You may have a case for getting compensation benefits.

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