New messages from Aflac | View Notifications opens a dialog Close X dismisses the notification alert

How Much Does Short-Term Disability Cost?

If you sustain a non-job-related injury, illness, or other medical issue that prevents you from being able to work for a limited time, short-term disability may come in handy. It can help alleviate the financial burden you and your family might experience while you’re at home and recovering. Here’s a closer look at how short-term disability works and how much it costs.

How short-term disability insurance works

Short-term disability insurance offers temporary coverage when you’re injured or facing an illness or condition that makes it difficult for you to work. It’s usually offered by your employer through an insurance company, such as Aflac.

In exchange for monthly premiums by you or your employer, you’ll receive benefit payments that equal about 60% of your salary. While every policy is different, most of them come with a benefit period that lasts between three and 12 months.1 Some examples of the types of situations where you might use short-term disability insurance include accidents, back injuries, and maternity leave.

Peace of mind doesn't
have to break the bank

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Help cover yourself and your family with affordable coverage from Aflac.

Learn More

Short-term disability policy features

Here are some common features of short-term disability insurance:

Benefit amount

Typically, short-term disability insurance pays up to 60% of your monthly income. Depending on your policy, there might be a maximum benefit amount.1

Elimination period

Also known as the waiting period, the elimination period refers to the amount of time you must wait for short-term disability insurance to kick in once you face an injury or disability. Elimination periods vary but may last from 7 to 30 days.2

Type of coverage

The type of coverage you have can depend on the premiums you or your employer pays. In general, cheaper premiums result in lower coverage.


You should expect to pay between 1% and 3% of your income for short-term disability insurance. You’ll receive up to 60% of your monthly income in coverage.1


A rider is an optional add-on that can customize your coverage. Some riders will cost extra while others will be included at no charge.2

Short-term disability cost

Here’s a look at how much you might pay for short-term disability based on job type, gender, and benefit amount:2

Office Job Manual Job
25-year-old male with $750 per week in benefits $31 $65
35-year-old female with $750 per week in benefits $70 $151
35-year-old female with $1,000 per week in benefits $93 $199
45-year-old male with $1,000 per week in benefits $82 $178

Factors that affect the cost of short-term disability insurance

There are several factors that can impact your short-term disability premiums, including:2


Your health typically declines with age and increases your risk of illness or injury. Therefore, the older you are, the more you’ll pay for a short-term disability policy.


Women tend to file more claims for issues like pregnancy and mental health.2 For this reason, you might notice higher premiums if you’re a woman. But it’s important to note that rates for men will rise faster than rates for women as they get older.


You may be considered a risky policyholder if you have a pre-existing condition, a family history of chronic diseases, or smoke. As a result, short-term disability insurance will cost you more than it would if you are a healthy non-smoker.


Some occupations are more dangerous than others. If you’re a truck driver or construction worker, for example, you’ll have to pay higher premiums than someone with a desk job.


The amount you earn on a monthly and yearly basis matters. Your rates will be higher if your income is higher.


Your lifestyle can play a role in the cost of your short-term disability insurance. For example, if you engage in risky activities like skydiving, you’ll pay more for a policy than if you had a less active lifestyle.

How to save money on short-term disability insurance

To lock in the best possible deal on short-term disability insurance, consider these tips:

Get a policy while you’re young

Don’t wait to apply for short-term disability. Apply for a policy as soon as possible, as rates will likely increase as you age.

Elect a longer elimination period

As mentioned before, elimination periods may last up to 30 days.2 The longer the elimination period you choose, the more affordable your policy will be.

Choose a lower-income replacement percentage

Short-term disability pays out a certain percentage of your monthly income that depends on the type of policy you have. If you opt for a lower income percentage, you’ll be able to save some cash.

Choose a shorter benefit period

A benefit period for a short-term disability policy is usually between three to 12 months.2 A shorter benefit period will lead to lower premiums.

Get a quote for short-term disability from Aflac

Short-term disability insurance can be a real lifesaver if an illness, injury, or condition prevents you from being able to work. If you’re looking for a policy, Aflac offers affordable short-term disability insurance that you can get through your employer.

With short-term disability, you’ll be able to focus on recovery and won’t have to worry about your finances. Additionally, we offer guaranteed-issue plans that can allow you to skip the medical exam, depending on your condition and where you live. Reach out to an agent today to learn more about our short-term disability coverage options.

Still have questions?

Explore your life insurance options.

Learn More