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Marc Whitehead
Board Certified-Personal Injury Trial Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization




Short Term Disability (STD) Benefits

Short term disability insurance provides partial income replacement if you become temporarily disabled, until you either return to work, or go on long term disability.

Group STD coverage is often offered and paid for, at least in part, by employers as a benefit to employees. Individual coverage can also be purchased directly from an insurance broker.

The purpose of short term disability insurance is to help replace lost wages when an injury or illness keeps you from working for a limited span of time. Some policies may require you to use up any available sick leave before STD benefits begin. Typical examples of short term disabilities are non-work related injuries, sickness, or maternity leave.

The terms of STD policies usually include

  • a percentage of the salary to be paid out
  • the duration of benefits covered in the disability package (generally from 3 to 6 months, or longer, depending on the policy)

What Is the Difference Between Short and Long Term Disability (LTD) Insurance?

The two main differences between short term and long term disability insurance are

  1. the length of time from the occurrence of a disability until benefits are payable
  2. the duration of time benefits will be paid.

The purpose of LTD insurance is to provide you with financial coverage in the event that an injury or an illness will prevent you from working for quite a long time, even permanently.

The waiting period before the benefits begin is longer than it is for short term disability payments. Benefits are typically paid out monthly, and can continue until you have recovered from the disability and can return to work, or until you reach retirement age.

Short term disability benefit claims are often the first step in the long term disability insurance claims process.

At some point, your "short term" disability may recur or get worse, and evolve into a long term disability. People who are severely or permanently disabled, after receiving benefits from their short term policy, may pursue long term disability benefits when going back to work is no longer possible.

When this is the case, it is critical that you have a clearly defined record of the disability's onset. These claims are likely to be much more expensive for the insurer to pay out. It is common practice for many insurance corporations to resort to unfair tactics to deny or delay long term disability benefits.

Even claims for short term disabilities may be wrongfully denied in order to avoid payments. The insurance company will gamble that your condition will improve and you will return to work and simply forget the claim, or hope you'll give in to the denial. However, the loss of wages even for a brief time has a severe impact on your finances. Payments that are rightfully due to you should be paid, even if it is after the fact.

Take a look at some of the major insurance companies known for denial of benefits for both long and short term disability.

Have you been treated unfairly by the insurance company since you filed your disability claim?

A denial is not the last word. If your claim was rejected, we can help you know your rights and options by reviewing the language of the plan, your medical records and the nature of your disability.

Ask a lawyer a question about your short or long-term disability denial or call 800-562-9830. This consultation is free and without obligation. Don't Give Up! Call for a Free Consultation.

Disability questions and answers

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