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Washington DC or Baltimore Short Term Disability Lawyer

For many people, being unable to work means being unable to pay your bills or support your family. The reality is that many of us simply do not have much cushion to fall back on when the unexpected occurs. Thankfully, you may have access to short-term disability benefits, but the process can be difficult to follow. If you’re unable to work and facing financial hardship, a Washington DC short-term disability lawyer can help you get the assistance you need.

Employer-Provided Short Term Disability Coverage

Many Americans have short-term disability coverage through group policies available through their work. As a result, you may need to work with your employer to file a claim and receive your benefits. That said, do not be surprised if your employer does not understand the policy or know how it works. In fact, many employers and employees are unaware they even have coverage. Employers often purchase group coverage through a broker and then forget all about the policy, failing to even communicate that it is available to its employees. 

Short Term Disability: The Basics Explained by a Baltimore Short-Term Disability Lawyer

Short-term disability is an income-replacement benefit. It pays benefits to people who are unable to work due to illness or injury. The amount of the benefits paid and how long they will be paid varies from policy to policy. Most disability insurance policies will cover 60% to 80% of your income prior to your disability and will pay benefits anywhere from three to six months. Before you can receive benefits, you will likely need to exhaust a mandatory waiting period, typically 14 days. You may also need to first exhaust your sick and/or vacation leave. However, many policies pay benefits retroactively to the first day of your disability. 

To reiterate, short-term disability benefits are intended only to replace your income. Short-term disability benefits will not cover the following: 

  • Your medical expenses
  • Other losses experienced as a direct result of your injury or illness
  • Your pain and suffering

Consulting with a Baltimore short-term disability lawyer can help you identify the specifics of your policy.

Qualifying Injuries for Washington DC and  Baltimore Short Term Disability

As mentioned above, short-term disability insurance pays benefits to people who are unable to work due to injury or illness. Claims submitted due to injury tend to get approved more quickly because injuries are often easier to diagnose and predict how long you will be unable to work. Short-term disability benefits are typically available for the following types of injuries, provided that you meet the other qualifications:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken limbs
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Burn injuries

If your injury prevents you from going back to work for an extended period of time, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits so be sure to discuss this with your Baltimore short-term disability lawyer.

Illnesses Eligible for Washington DC or Baltimore Short Term Disability

Short-term disability benefits are also available to people suffering from serious illnesses. Unfortunately, these claims can be harder to get approved – it can be difficult to demonstrate that your illness is going to result in disability. Many illnesses start off minor but can deteriorate over time. However, you should be aware that many policies exclude pre-existing conditions. As a result, you may not be able to claim short-term disability if you become ill due to a heart condition that you have had for several years prior to obtaining coverage. It is best to consult with a Washington DC short-term disability lawyer about your medical history to determine if you may be eligible to file a claim.

Short Term Disability vs. Workers’ Compensation

Short-term disability will provide coverage no matter where you were injured or how you became ill. Workers’ compensation, on the other hand, is an income replacement benefit intended to cover only those illnesses or injuries that were sustained in the course of your employment. Because workers’ comp benefits are available to almost anyone who gets injured or sick at work, many short-term disability policies do not provide coverage for work-related illnesses and injuries. 

Short Term Disability vs. Long Term Disability

Short term disability is often confused with long term disability. While they are very similar benefits, the coverage provided may be through two separate policies, which can make submitting a claim even more confusing if your short-term disability is beginning to become a long-term disability. In addition, the fact that your short-term disability claim was approved does not mean that you will have long-term disability coverage. An experienced Baltimore short-term disability lawyer can help you understand the difference between these two benefits and make sure you get the benefits you deserve. 

Our Baltimore Short-Term Disability Lawyer Explains Eligibility Criteria

Every plan has different qualifications when it comes to providing benefits. If you purchased your own private short-term disability policy, you probably already meet the qualifications provided that you are currently disabled and have been paying your premiums.

If you have an employer-provided short-term disability policy, the question is somewhat more complicated. While the requirements may vary by employer and by policy, you generally need to meet the following criteria in order to qualify: 

  • You must have worked for your employer for a minimum period of time. For example, you may not be eligible for short-term disability benefits if you have worked for your employer for less than three months. 
  • You must be a full-time employee. Generally speaking, most part-time employees are not eligible for short-term disability benefits. 
  • You must meet a minimum earnings requirement

Your employer should be able to provide guidance as to whether you are eligible. Otherwise, you may need to check the employee handbook or review your policy if it was provided to you. 

About The Maryland Temporary Disability Assistance Program

For people living in Baltimore, you may be able to qualify for the Maryland Temporary Disability Assistance Program. The program is designed to pay benefits to low-income, disabled people in the state of Maryland on a temporary basis. The program will pay benefits up to 12 out of 36 months but will continue if the recipient also pursues an SSI claim. 

What to Do When Your Short Term Disability Claim is Denied

The disability claim process can be complicated, and trying to navigate it can be especially difficult when you are sick or injured. Insurance companies do not provide much guidance and routinely deny claims for reasons that are unclear or confusing. An experienced Washington DC short term disability lawyer can help you figure out what benefits you are entitled to and how to submit a successful claim. 

Contact our Washington DC or Baltimore Short Term Disability Lawyer if You Need Assistance

When you’re unable to work, short-term disability benefits may be the only thing that stands between you and serious financial hardship. Baltimore short-term disability lawyer Emmett B. Irwin can help you navigate the claim process and get the benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, visit us online or call 443-839-0818 today. We work with clients throughout Maryland and surrounding states, including Washington DC.