Short term disabilities, like an injury, illness or pregnancy, is something employees may have to face during their tenure of employment. In such situations, most employees may find it difficult to cope without their salary, and this is where short term disability insurance comes into the picture. It can be considered as a type of insurance cover, as it pays some percentage of the salary in case of absence from work due to injury, illness or any other kind of disability of a short term. It is considered when the employee's sick leaves have been exhausted, and it is offered by employers as well as the government and some insurance companies.
These vary from state to state, and have been incorporated by states like New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. These states have made it mandatory for employers to provide short term disability benefits to their employees. In other states, short term disability programs are incorporated by most employers, and the benefits offered can be availed by the employee if certain terms and conditions are fulfilled. The coverage is usually paid by the employer, but some employers may get the employees to pay for the coverage by means of some tax manipulations. Laws regarding short term disability enable the employer to formulate short term disability policies for the employees. There are certain eligibility conditions to be fulfilled by the employee for availing these benefits, like the employee needs to complete a certain amount of working hours. Usually, a completion of 30 hours or more per week is required to qualify.
Coverage starts after the employee's sick leaves have been exhausted and before long term disability starts. The percentage of weekly salary paid ranges from 50% to 75% of the total salary. However, some employers may also pay 100% of the salary for a few weeks for those employees that have been with the company for long. The employee will have to wait for a certain period of time, known as the 'benefit waiting period', before availing the benefits, depending on the type of short term disability. The benefits are paid for a duration of 10 to 26 weeks, and the maximum time period for the payment is fixed by the state.
Applying for the Benefits
Once the employee qualifies for these benefits, applying for it is not difficult. The employee will have to fill out an application form that is available at the social security office, the HR department of the company, or the insurance company, along with a validation by a doctor. The application is then verified, and the employee may be asked to submit medical reports for verification purposes. Once the application is approved by the employer and/or the insurance company, the employee can avail the benefits. The benefit is paid until the employee is fit enough to get back to work.
Short term disability benefits enable employees to have an income while remaining off the job, since disability can bring along a lot of anxiousness and stress.