When we talk about disability benefits, most of us think about people who are disabled for a long time or permanently. Many people are unaware that they can get disability benefits for short-term issues, as well. Disability issues can turn anyone’s life upside down, even temporarily. Short-term disability benefits allow people to effectively conquer severe circumstances for a short duration before they can return to work. This post will provide essential details about short-term disability benefits and the requirements to qualify.
What Is Short-Term Disability?
If you a non-job-related accident, injury, illness, or disease causes you to become disabled, you may be eligible for income replacement or compensation. It is called short-term disability. By its name, it is clear that it can compensate you for only a short while.
So, you may also wonder why your disability cannot be job-related. This is because you may be eligible for workers’ compensation if you become injured during work or while on work premises. It is easier to acquire than short-term disability benefits, and it may provide more comprehensive coverage.
Long-term disability or impairment can negatively affect your financial condition, because it prevents you from working or otherwise earning money. It can also affect your family. Through the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may be able to seek financial assistance, but only if you have previously worked and paid taxes into the system. There are other rules that may apply, as well.
If you expect your disability to last only a short time but still required financial assistance, you can apply for short-term disability benefits through different means. SSA does not provide short-term disability benefits. So, what is it and how does it work?
How Can I Apply for Short-Term Disability Benefits?
The first step to applying for short-term disability benefits is seeking the application form for state disability insurance or temporary disability insurance (SDI/TDI). You can request it from your state’s labor department or employment department website. Additionally, you can ask your company’s human resources department for the application.
After you complete the application, you can file your short-term disability claim. You will fill the specified required sections, and your doctor and employer to do the rest. They will add information about your disability and your job.
Another essential factor for receiving short-term disability benefits is that you must have a job after your short-term disability period ends. Your state’s medical leave law, the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, or the federal Family and Medical Leave Act can help to preserve your job while you are on disability.
Most disability laws are designed for long-term disability issues. According to the rules, if you qualify for disability as per the listings of the SSA’s blue book, you may be eligible for Social Security disability insurance or Supplemental Security Income.
How Can I Qualify for Short-Term Disability?
The rules for qualifying for short-term disability are entirely dependent on the laws in your state. However, the following points can provide a bit of insight into the process:
- Depending on the state in which you reside, your working period before the disability will be relevant to the benefits you can receive. For example, you may have had to work for your employer at least 30 days or six months. Your employment tenure is an essential requirement with regard to your working history.
- As we had mentioned earlier, your injury or illness must be unrelated to your work or previous employment.
- Sometimes, the state requires that you make a certain threshold of money before you can qualify to receive short-term disability benefits. For example, you may need to earn a minimum wage rate to avail yourself of the benefits. Your company’s HR department or a disability attorney can instruct you further.
- Short-term disability benefits are only payable upon the eighth day of your disability. You have to wait at least seven days before you are eligible for benefits.
- In most states except in California, short-term disability benefits last for 26 to 30 weeks. California’s time is almost double that of other states, providing 52 weeks’ worth of benefits.
- In most states, you can receive 60% of your wage amount from weekly benefits.
- Medical reports must prove the existence of your disability to the system from which you will receive your short-term disability benefits.
- Following childbirth and recovery from childbirth, women can avail themselves of short-term disability benefits.
There could be times when it can be tricky to apply or qualify for short-term disability benefits. A Social Security attorney or a lawyer who focuses their practice on disability claims can help you determine how to proceed. It is important to ensure that the lawyer with whom you speak is well-versed in your state laws. An experienced attorney can help you to understand the benefits to which you are entitled.