How Does Short-Term Disability Work?

short term disability insurance

Life is unpredictable. Sometimes the biggest moments in life can come as a surprise. However, you want your income to remain secure. While you’re familiar with insuring your car or house, have you considered protecting your paycheck? Short-term disability insurance provides financial support for a period of time if you’re unable to work and receive a paycheck.

Short-term disability insurance pays a percentage of your salary while you’re unable to work. The period of time that you receive benefits is determined by how long you are disabled, and the benefits you receive depend on your elimination period. Your elimination period is the span of time that your disability must meet before you are paid. Once you reach your elimination period, you receive a check to help you cover expenses.

The Process of Short-term Disability

So how exactly does short-term disability work? Let’s walk through a fictional scenario to get a better understanding of how the process of receiving short-term disability insurance looks like in the case of an unexpected injury.

Susie was crossing the street when she was hit by a car. Susie broke her leg and a couple of ribs. She was worried, knowing her injuries would prevent her from working for a few months. She realized she would need help financially, so she submitted a short-term disability claim to her insurer.

Once she completed her claim form, she made sure her physician provided an estimated duration of disability and any additional detail that would be helpful for the claim review. She submitted the completed and signed form at the appropriate time based on her elimination period. Susie’s elimination period was 7 days.

After 7 days, Susie began receiving a check to help her pay for groceries, mortgage and other bills.

Is Short-term Disability Right for Me?

Think about your personal finances. Would you, like Susie, need help paying bills if you had an unexpected accident or illness? Would you be able to pay major expenses like your mortgage or your child’s tuitions? What about minor expenses like groceries or gas? If you have disability insurance through your employer, is it enough to give you complete peace of mind?

Short-term disability insurance can be a great option for many types of situations.  Maybe you only need coverage until your employer’s disability insurance kicks in. Or, perhaps you’re interested in a policy that’s not tied directly to your job. Whatever your preference, there are options for short-term disability insurance to meet your specific needs. Workers Compensation may be right for you if you’re able to work partially and only need 50 percent of the typical benefits. Or, if you’re more likely to need vocational rehabilitation or therapy, consider a Rehabilitation Benefit policy.

Insure Yourself

If you’re feeling more confident about how short-term disability insurance works, take a look at this disability insurance needs calculator to understand the right amount to fit your needs.

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