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What Does Short-Term Disability Cover?

When a sudden illness or accident leaves you temporarily unable to work, you may be at risk of losing your salary or income. Short-term disability insurance is designed to provide financial support when you are unable to work for a covered disability. This type of coverage may not be restricted to workplace accidents – you're covered even if you have an accident at home or require time off to manage a covered illness or health condition. Read on to learn how short-term disability insurance works and the benefits it offers.

How short-term disability coverage works

Short-term disability insurance pays out a portion of your income while you’re sick or injured to protect you from a potential loss of income while you rest and recover. While the exact plan or process may differ based on your insurance provider, Aflac allows you to apply for short-term disability insurance through your employer. Premiums are deducted from your paycheck, and you’ll receive benefits for any covered illness or injury that occurs at work or otherwise.

Disabilities covered may be subject to the insurer's limitations and exclusions, but the payouts can be used in any way you want. You may receive monthly or weekly payments depending on the coverage.

What qualifies as a short-term disability?

Every insurance company will have their own list of events and disabilities that are covered or excluded.

Your insurer may also exclude certain conditions. If you currently have a short-term disability plan, you can contact your insurance company for an exhaustive list.

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Short-term disability benefits

You don’t receive short-term disability benefits automatically. As with other types of insurance, you need to file an insurance claim. You may need to provide medical records or other proof of your disability. If you have secured short-term disability insurance through your employer, contact HR for more information on how to file a claim. If you have purchased coverage from an insurer yourself, you can get in touch with your insurance company to understand how the process works.

You can use short-term disability insurance payments to help with everyday expenses like utility bills, groceries, childcare, and rent, as well as for medical bills, credit card payments, and loan payments. You can also use the money for discretionary expenses, such as going out to eat.

Short-term disability features

Here are some of the factors you should think about when considering short-term disability insurance:

Benefit amount

Your insurance benefit is unlikely to match your salary, but you may be able to get up to 70% of your weekly or monthly gross pay 3. The specifics will depend on your policy, so read the terms carefully before applying.

Premium payment

Your employer will deduct premium payments from your salary if you have obtained short-term disability coverage through work. If you have purchased a policy independently, you can set up a monthly or yearly payment plan with your insurer. The premiums you pay vary based on many factors, such as the coverage you're seeking, the insurance period, and more.

Elimination period

There's usually a two-week waiting period after you become disabled or ill before you receive any payouts from your policy. This is called the elimination period. You may need to use paid time off (PTO) days to ensure you receive your salary until you receive your insurance benefits.

How long does short-term disability last?

The duration of your benefit depends on your insurer and the short-term disability policy you have. You may also want to consider other insurance options such as cancer insurance, critical illness insurance, or hospital insurance.

How to get short-term disability

As mentioned before, you can secure short-term disability insurance on your own or through your employer. Here’s how you can apply for each type of insurance:

Short-term disability through your employer

Aflac’s short-term disability insurance is a plan you can secure through your employer. A group plan obtained through your job will likely have lower premiums than an individual policy. Note that in some states, short-term disability coverage must be provided by employers, while in others, it may be an optional benefit for employees. Since workplace insurance acceptance is usually automatic, this may be a better option than getting an independent policy.

Individual short-term disability plan

You can also purchase an individual short-term disability insurance policy through an insurance provider. Keep in mind that an individual policy may come with higher premiums. When applying, the insurance company may consider factors like your age and health status when deciding whether to approve the policy.

Get short-term disability insurance from Aflac

Short-term disability insurance is a great option for anyone looking to reduce the worry caused by a temporary loss of income. The benefits can provide policyholders with funds to help take care of expenses while they recover from a covered injury or illness.

Short-term disability insurance from Aflac is a great way to help protect your income if you experience a short-term disability. This policy is available exclusively through employers and offers options for guarantee issue, guaranteed-renewable, and affordable premiums. Chat with an agent and get a quote today!

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