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

What qualifies as a short-term disability in your plan?

Shawn E. McDermott

When you cannot work for some time, you need a backup plan to ensure your financial needs are met. That’s where a short-term disability (STD) insurance policy comes in – to provide a portion of your salary when you have a condition or injury that prevents you from working.

If you have a short-term disability policy, it is crucial to know when you may need to make a claim.

The definition of a short term disability

Generally, anything that prevents you from working for a short period, usually less than one year, can qualify as a short-term disability. Unlike long-term insurance plans whose benefits can extend for years, STD benefits run for a few months before they stop. It is expected that you should have fully recovered and returned to work within that time.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Minor work injuries that don’t result in permanent injuries
  • Pregnancy or maternity leave
  • Surgery rehabilitation
  • Some mental illnesses and so on.

These situations are not permanent, and a short-term policy will do for such instances. Remember, the condition must not have been pre-existing or self-inflicted for a claim to be accepted.

Is it worth having a short-term disability policy?

You may wonder if having a short-term disability policy is in your best interests. The truth is, everyone’s needs are unique and it depends on your circumstances. Most employers provide STD coverage for their employees at a subsidized cost.

However, if your employer does not offer such a plan, or you are self-employed, it may be advisable to get a long-term disability plan instead. While the waiting period for an STD plan is generally short, the benefits terminate after several months. So if your condition persists any longer than that, you may financially be on your own.

Not every short-term disability claim goes as smoothly as expected. If you’re having trouble with your policy or know someone who is, it may be time to seek legal guidance.

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