Short Term Disability Benefits

When a worker gets injured during the performance of his/her job, or develops an occupational illness, he/she is entitled to file a claim with workers’ compensation for financial benefits that will cover cost of medical treatment and lost wages. There are instances, though, when off-the-job accidents occur or when an employee suddenly gets ill, undergoes surgery that requires days (or a couple of weeks) of recovery period, or suffers a temporary health problem – any of which may cause a brief pause from work. It is during this time when the role of short-term disability benefit comes into play, to make up for the loss of regular income and to protect an employee from the possibility of falling into a crippling financial situation.

Short term disability is a special insurance benefit designed to cover lost wages due to injury or illness (which is not job-related). This benefit may be employer-sponsored, paid by the employees themselves, or a combination of the two. Since the injured or sick employee can use his/her sick and vacation leaves so as not to suffer loss of pay during the first few days of absence from work, the short term disability coverage has been designed to kick off after such leaves have been exhausted (coverage may be from day 1 to day 14 after the injury was sustained or after the illness began).

Short-term disability insurance is usually offered as a combination to long-term disability insurance; many employers, however, are not too keen to include it in the list of employee benefits. Employees who prefer to avail of it, though, can pay for it on their own.

While this special type of insurance provides cash benefits to employees having medically approved leaves, it should be understood that it remains different from (and is not meant to replace) workers’ compensation insurance, which awards financial and medical support to individuals whose injury or illness is job-related.

Sometimes, due to this benefit, employees who file claims with the workers’ compensation insurance provider get to experience much difficulty in having their applications approved. Seeking the help of competent lawyers, who know how to deal with insurance agents and who know these agents’ tactics that would lead to claims denial, would be in the best interest of claim applicants. When looking for a legal representative, Minnesota workers’ compensation attorneys should be on the claimant’s top list.