Accidents happen, but you don’t have to get caught on your heels and end up responsible for all your medical payments. One thing lots of people worry about is getting sick or injured badly enough that they can no longer report to work. They rack up medical bills while unable to generate income, and it an all feel overwhelming quickly. If you’re hurt on the job, you might consider suing employer for injury, but that could take years to settle in civil court and you would still be on the hook for bills and living expenses in the meantime. Sometimes the best way to manage injury and cover living expenses is with short term disability insurance.
Short-term disability insurance can either be offered and paid by your employer or individually purchased. Either way, there are some commonalities about how this type of insurance works. Short term disability exists to replace income lost in the event you become too sick or injured to the extent you can no longer perform your job duties. Each policy type has different rules and stipulations for what constitutes a disability, and most include a waiting period before receiving benefits to determine the severity of the disability. When those benefits are paid, though, they typically represent about 60 percent of a person’s gross income and can be used for any living expenses or helping to pay medical bills.
There are a few rules for when you qualify to be part of a disability policy, especially if it’s a group policy offered by your company. For starters, short term disability is typically offered only to full-time employees. There is also usually a waiting period between getting hired and starting a new job and when you’re eligible to opt into benefits such as disability insurance. In some companies this may be a month, others 90 days, and some even require a year of full-time employment before you’re eligible. Keep an eye on your company’s rules so you know when you can join the group policy and be protected against accidents that impair your ability to work.
There is also a waiting period between the time you get sick and the time benefits are paid out, called an elimination period. After this period, the insurance company will determine if you’re eligible to receive your policy benefits.
Short-term disability insurance is a great way to protect yourself against lost income due to accidents or sickness.