Caring for your mental health is an important part of wellness. Having a short-term disability insurance plan in place can help cover you if an injury or illness puts you out of work for a brief period. Not all short-term disability plans cover mental illness, but they can assist you if something else happens and you require a temporary break.
In some cases, you may be able to receive benefits from short-term disability for mental health. This depends upon the company and the plan you choose. Aflac does not currently offer short-term support for mental illness, but we are working on a solution that helps support consumers looking for mental health coverage.
The specific mental illnesses eligible for short-term disability coverage vary vastly from company to company, but clinical depression is one of the conditions that could be more likely to receive coverage. This is because clinical depression can become debilitating and make it difficult to perform basic life tasks like getting up and doing daily work or even just taking a shower.1
Anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also impact one’s ability to work and may allow them to qualify for benefits.2 Coverage largely depends on each company and the benefits available.
While these mental illnesses may not be covered by short-term disability plans, you still have options. Sometimes, a period of rest and professional help may be needed before returning to work. Aflac is currently working on ways to help support mental health challenges.
Short-term disability insurance is designed to help you recover if you sustain an illness or injury that temporarily puts you out of work.3
Every short-term disability plan works differently, but Aflac Short-Term Disability Insurance is available through employers. Essentially, your employer may offer several plans and the premium can be deducted from your paycheck if you opt to apply for coverage.
Then, if a covered short-term disability strikes, you can take time off work to recover and receive cash benefits to help replace your income. These cash benefits can be used to help pay for medical bills or everyday expenses like groceries or rent.
Short-term disability coverage varies from plan to plan. In general, you can receive benefits for a covered medical condition that negatively affects your ability to work for a short period. Short-term disability has more to do with the time you are unable to work, but there are a few stipulations around what isn’t covered.
For example, it’s uncommon for a short-term disability insurance plan to cover the loss of an occupational license, an inability to work due to a war, an injury during a riot or protest, self-harm or for any time spent in prison or jail.4 It’s also uncommon for short-term disability insurance to pay benefits for any pre-existing conditions.5
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Help cover yourself and your family with affordable coverage from Aflac.
It’s not unusual to question if you can use short-term disability coverage for mental health conditions. If severe enough, depression could qualify as a short-term disability at some companies.6 Depression may be a qualifying condition if a doctor gives a formal evaluation, and the patient meets specific criteria.7
How short-term disability and mental illness work together largely depends on the plan you choose to pursue.
Short-term disability is helpful for momentary injuries and illnesses, but there are other supplemental insurance plans that can help prepare you for other events. Here are a few options you can apply for ahead of time to help protect you from the unexpected:
Short-term disability insurance with benefits for mental health conditions can be very helpful. Since there are stipulations around pre-existing conditions, it’s important to chat with an agent as soon as possible to learn more about plans and ways you can best provide care for yourself.
Gathering information about your situation is a wonderful first step. Let us help you find the right support and see if short-term disability insurance is the best option to help meet your needs. It’s helpful to remember that you have options.
Explore your short-term disability insurance options.
1 VeryWell Mind - Crippling Depression. Updated April 29, 2021. Accessed Mar 28, 2022. https://www.verywellmind.com/crippling-depression-definition-symptoms-treatment-5119870.
2 Hawks Quindel Law Fim - How to Claim Disability Benefits for Mental Health Conditions. April 8, 2020. Accessed April 3, 2022.https://www.hq-law.com/blog/ltdi/stdi-ltdi-benefits-mental-health-disabilities/.
3 GoodRx - What Is Short-Term Disability. Updated Feb 4, 2022. Accessed Mar 28, 2022. https://www.goodrx.com/insurance/employer-sponsored/what-is-short-term-disability.
4 Verywell Health - Best Short-Term Disability Insurance. Updated Oct 4, 2021. Accessed Mar 28, 2022. https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-short-term-disability-insurance-5092516#toc-faqs.
5 Investopedia - The 4 Best Short-Term Disability Insurance of 2022. Updated Dec 18, 2021. Accessed Mar 22, 2022. https://www.investopedia.com/best-short-term-disability-insurance-5072040.
6-7 BetterHelp - Depression/ Short-term Mental Health Disability. Updated Mar 28, 2022. Accessed Mar 28, 2022. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/is-depression-a-disability-i-can-claim-for-short-term-disability/.
This is a brief product overview only. Coverage may not be available in all states including but not limited to ID, NJ, NM, NY, or VA. Benefits/premium rates may vary based on plan selected. Optional riders may be available at an additional cost. Policies and riders have limitations and exclusions that may affect benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please contact your local Aflac agent. In Idaho, Policy A57600IDR. In Oklahoma, Policies A57600OK & A57600LBOK. In Virginia, Policies A57600VA & A57600LBVA.
Aflac insurance coverage is underwritten by Aflac. In New York, coverage underwritten by Aflac New York.
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