What would you do if you suffered an illness or got into an accident that prevented you from working for several months? You may think that the chances of such a thing happening are remote, but they are more common than most people think. Disabling illnesses and accidents are far from the exclusive domain of high-risk, manual labor-intensive industries; even white collar employees can suffer them, as the COVID-19 pandemic showed us. If you are concerned about your ability to earn an income should you become ill, a Baltimore short-term disability lawyer can help you weigh your options for short-term disability insurance.
What is Short-Term Disability Insurance?
Short-term disability insurance is an insurance policy that provides the insured a portion of their salary in the event that they are temporarily unable to work due to a disability. It generally covers illnesses and injuries that are more serious than those for which the use of sick days would be appropriate (e.g., flu), but not those that are serious enough to require long-term recovery (e.g., cancer). Policies vary, but short term disability insurance typically covers:
- C-section pregnancies
- Accidental injuries
- Automobile accidents
- Recovery from surgery
- Certain mental illnesses
The amount of benefits paid depends upon the policy but can range from 40-70% of the employee’s income, and the benefit period usually lasts between three and six months, although some policies can last up to two years.
Short-Term Disability vs. Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation
While short-term disability and Social Security disability may seem similar, there is actually little overlap between the two programs. Social Security disability is available only for very serious illnesses that leave the sufferer totally disabled and that are expected to last for at least a year. In most cases, the types of illnesses for which short-term disability insurance would be appropriate — less serious with shorter recovery periods — would not be qualifying illnesses for Social Security disability benefits. On the flip side, work-related injuries — even if they are the types of injuries for which short-term disability would be appropriate — are generally excluded from coverage, as work-related injuries are handled by the workers’ compensation program.
So, Do You Need It?
Given life’s unpredictability, short-term disability insurance makes sense for most people. However, you should give special consideration to short term disability insurance if:
- You are self-employed or own a business
- You have long term disability insurance with a long elimination period
- You have limited savings
- You have a spouse or children who depend upon your income
Get Advice from a Baltimore Short-Term Disability Lawyer
If you’re considering whether you need short-term disability insurance, an experienced attorney can evaluate the specifics of your situation and help you make an informed decision. For more information, please contact Baltimore short-term disability lawyer Emmett B. Irwin by calling 443-839-0818 or using our online contact form.