Short Term Disability Vs Workers’ Compensation
It’s important to remember that short term disability insurance is different from workers’ compensation insurance, which provides coverage for injuries that occur on the job. Nearly 90 percent of disabilities are not work-related. Therefore, they are not covered by workersâ compensation.
If an injury or illness that limits your ability to work was caused by something unrelated to your job, workers’ compensation will not cover your lost income. Likewise, if you are injured or get sick from performing your job, short term disability insurance likely will not provide benefits during your absence from work.
Learn More:Workers’ Comp vs. Disability
Contact An Experienced New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured while at work or during the course employment, you may be entitled to workers compensation benefits. For more information about the seven-day waiting period or any other workers compensation concerns you may have, call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at 248-4404 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey workmans comp attorneys.
The information on this New Jersey Attorney / Law Firm website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
Short Term Disability Vs Ssdi
Another common belief is that Social Security Disability Insurance can cover temporary disabling events. While this is true in some cases, SSDI benefits are the most difficult to qualify for.
Social Security generally will not consider you disabled if you work and earn more than $1,220 in a month. If you are not working, Social Security will consider whether you can work. If you can, you will not qualify for SSDI benefits – even if itâs not the type of job you did before your injury or illness.
According to the Social Security Administration, only 34 percent of SSDI claimants had their applications approved from 2006 to 2015. Even if you qualify for SSDI, benefits will likely replace only a small fraction of your income. The average monthly disability benefit in 2017 was $1,172.
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How Long Does Long
Once long-term disability benefits have been approved, an employee can continue to receive benefits for the length of the policy term or until they return to work. Most long-term disability plans provide coverage for 36 months, although some plans can provide coverage for up to 10 years or even for the life of the policyholder.
Example Of The Disability Insurance Waiting Period
Lets say you have a 60 day waiting period. You are an auto mechanic. On weekends, you like to work on your lawn and garden. Neighbors say you have the best curb appeal on the block!
One day you are walking in your yard, examining your grass. Unexpectedly, you step into a hole and turn your knee awkwardly. Theres shooting pain, but then the pain goes away. You get up and walk it off. You have some pain throughout the day, but you take ibuprofen and dont think much about it.
Until the next morning.
You are in pain. You cant move your leg. Your wife drives you to urgent care when they take an MRI. You tore your MCL and ACL. The doctor is surprised you didnt have much more pain.
You cant work. You wonder what you will do. Then, you remember the disability insurance policy you have. It will pay $3,000 per month. Your primary doctor fills out the disability paperwork and you submit the claim.
The carrier approves your claim. Here is what the timeline looks like:
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How Much Will I Receive From Sdi
Your benefit amount is calculated based on the amount of earnings you had in the highest-earning quarter of your base period, and is about 60-70 percent of your regular earnings. In 2018, the maximum amount of SDI you can receive is $1,216 per week. SDI payments are processed every two weeks.
The entire amount you receive in SDI benefits from a single claim may not exceed the total amount of wages you earned during your base period.
How Much Paperwork Is Involved
The exact paperwork youll be required to complete is again dependent on your specific plan. But the process typically begins with a relatively straightforward claim form that requires some information from you , your employer , and validation from your doctor that your condition prevents you from working.
Fortunately, if you find yourself confused about any of the documents or applications, you can ask for helpwhether its from your companys own HR department or even people at your doctors office.
I actually found the team at my physicians office to be extremely helpful, says Tiernan, who admits her own leave process was slightly more complicated, as she took advantage of both short-term disability and FMLA for the birth of her child .
They have a whole team dedicated entirely to filling out forms and navigating this process, so I was on the phone with them a lot. They helped me figure out the best forms to fill out, what the dates would be, and any follow-ups that I needed. They even spoke to my HR team directly here at the office.
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Best Overall: Mutual Of Omaha
Taking the top spot for best overall short-term disability insurance coverage is Mutual of Omaha. This insurer provides up to 24 months of benefits , with some policies offering coverage from the very first day of your eligible disability. Monthly benefits are available up to $5,000, and policies can be issued through age 61.
Benefit periods range from three to 24 months
Maximum monthly benefit of $5,000
Elimination periods between zero and 90 days
Generous built-in policy benefits
Losses resulting from mental or nervous disorders are excluded
Partial disability benefits only available for up to six months, regardless of overall policy length
Policies must be purchased through an agent
Mutual of Omaha has been around since 1909, when it first started offering health and accident insurance coverage. The company has an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best. It offers insurance coverage across the country, though not all policies are available in all states.
Short-term disability coverage through Mutual of Omaha is some of the most comprehensive and benefit-rich around, which is why we chose them as the overall best provider. Coverage maxes out at $5,000 per month, with benefit periods ranging anywhere from three months to as long as 24 months. Elimination periods are available in more typical lengths , but the company also offers immediate coverage with 0/7-day and 0/14-day options.
What Qualifies For Long
The qualifications for long-term disability are usually more stringent than those for short-term disability. With short-term disability, benefits can be awarded if the employee is unable to do their job. With long-term disability, benefits will typically only be awarded if the employee is unable to do any job. What constitutes a qualifying event will be specified in the policy, so it is important to understand when benefits may apply before accepting a long-term disability policy.
Qualifying events may include chronic pain, cancer treatments, or debilitating illness or injury lasting more than 26 weeks. If an employee could qualify for another form of income replacement, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, the long-term disability policy will no longer provide benefits.
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What Does Waiting Period May Apply Mean
What Is a Waiting Period? A waiting period is the amount of time an insured must wait before some or all of their coverage comes into effect. The insured may not receive benefits for claims filed during the waiting period. Waiting periods may also be known as elimination periods and qualifying periods.
When Should I File My Claim
You must file your claim between 9 and 49 days after the start of your disability. You cannot submit your application until the 9th day, and if you wait too long you may lose your benefits. If you file your claim after the 49th day, include a letter explaining why you couldnt submit your claim on time.
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The General Design Of An Std Policy
Most STD policies have the same general design. You, or your employer, pay a monthly premium to be covered. When an illness or injury prevents you from working, you apply for a benefit by speaking with your Human Resources representative or your insurance agent. Most STD policies require a document from your doctor that explains your condition and estimates how long youll be gone from your job. There will probably be a waiting period between the date you leave work and the date when you actually receive your benefits. Many policies also require you to use some or all of your sick days before the policy begins to pay. Once the waiting period is over, you will generally receive a set percentage of the wages you received before you were disabled. For example, if you were paid $500 per week, and your policy pays 50% of pre-disability earnings, youll get a benefit of $250 per week. Short-term policies generally last between 9 weeks and 52 weeks, after which time your benefit will end. You may then have the option of moving to a Long-Term Disability policy or applying for Social Security Disability Insurance.
What Happens If I Work While Getting Sdi Benefits
If you can go back to work full time, you no longer get SDI benefits. If you return to work part-time, SDI looks at how much your SDI payments and your part-time wages are when added together. If that is less than what you earned before the start of your disability, you continue to get your full SDI benefit. However, if your SDI benefit added to your part-time wages is more than what you earned before your disability began, your SDI payment may go down.
For example, Sam earned $1,000 a week before his illness, and now gets $600 a week from SDI. After several months he’s able to go back to work part-time, and earns $500 a week. His $600 SDI payment plus his $500 in wages is $1,100, which is more than the $1,000 Sam earned before he got sick. So his SDI payment drops to $500, but he continues to get this partial SDI payment.
If you get a partial SDI benefit, you might get SDI payments for more than the 52 week maximum . For details, see How long does the SDI benefit last?
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The Length Of A Short
Short-term disability claims tend to be much quicker to pass than long-term claims.
In general, you can expect to wait 30 to 60 days for your claim to be approved, and many short-term disability claims are approved within just two weeks. Its good to know the difference between short vs long term disability insurance.
The more you prepare for your claim, and the more proof you have, the faster your claim is going to be approved. The goal is to quickly rule out any of the things your claim administrator will try to use for a denial.
Keep in mind that the shortest waiting periods also tend to come at an increased price. Your premiums will be higher, but you wont have to sit around stressing out for a month straight when youre already dealing with a disability and a lack of income. So, its typically worth the higher premium just for the peace of mind it provides.
Luckily, youre not just sitting around losing income from the second you lose your job until the moment your benefits are approved. It will feel that way in the short term, but disability insurance companies are required to pay back pay payments. Once you make a claim, which should be as soon as possible once youre labeled as disabled, the benefits you should be paid pending approval are added up. If your claim is approved, youre paid every payment you missed sitting around waiting for approval.
How Is The Sdi Benefit Calculated
The SDI program generally pays 55% of the average wages you earned before the start of your disability. To calculate your average income, SDI looks at a yearlong period that starts around 17 months before your disability, and ends around 5 months before your disability. Those 12 months are called your base period. SDI divides your base period into 4 quarters and uses the quarter when you had the highest wages to figure your average income, and your benefit amount.
Learn more about Calculating SDI Benefits, and check the chart of Weekly Benefit Amounts.
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New Jersey Workers Compensation: The Seven
If you were injured due to a workplace injury, one type of New Jersey workers compensation benefits that you may be entitled to is temporary disability benefits. One of the eligibility requirements for this type of benefit is that you have to be disabled for at least 7 days.
There are various ways you can meet the seven-day waiting period in order to qualify for temporary disability benefits. Your New Jersey workers compensation lawyer can help you work out the details.
How Long Does The Sdi Benefit Last
It’s a little complicated. The simple answer is that your benefit period usually ends on the date your medical provider lists on your claim form, saying you should be able to work by that date. After that date, if you still can’t work because of your disability, you and your medical provider can ask for a longer benefit period.
However, SDI is designed to replace your income for up to 52 weeks of missing work because of your disability . You can get SDI benefits of up to 52 times your weekly benefit amount, if your medical provider certifies that you still can’t work because of your disability.
If you can go back to work part-time or get other income before your benefit period ends, your weekly payment might go down, and you can get benefits for longer than 52 weeks, until you get the total amount you qualify for.
For example, Sam gets an SDI benefit of $200 a week, and qualifies for up to $10,400 in total SDI payments . After 6 months, Sam has gotten $5,200 in benefits, or half his total. Sam goes back to work part-time, and his weekly benefit drops to $200 a week. His medical provider says Sam continues to be unable to work full time because of his disability, so Sam keeps getting his $200 weekly SDI payment for another 12 months, until he reaches his $10,400 limit.
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What Doesn’t Short Term Disability Insurance Cover
Your short term disability insurance policy will likely include coverage exclusions. These will be listed in your policy contract.
Exclusions mitigate a carrierâs risk of paying a claim resulting from high-risk conditions or activities, and typically include:
- Intentionally self-inflicted injuries
- Neurological disorders
Furthermore, donât count on short term disability policies to cover time off to care for a sick family member or adopt a child.
If you have short term disability insurance through your employer, many of these plans require that you’ve worked a certain amount of time before coverage begins. Many employers also require that you exhaust paid sick leave or use paid time off before you are eligible for short term disability benefits.
Is My Condition Covered By Short
If you’ve just started your job and need to file a short-term disability insurance claim, check the terms of your policy to see whether your overage has started yet. Many plans require that you’ve worked a certain amount of time before coverage begins. Moreover, most employers require that you exhaust your paid sick leave before you are eligible for STD benefits.
If your illness or injury happened at work or was related to your job, you should file for workers’ compensation benefits, not short-term disability benefits. But if your condition is non-work-related and prevents you from performing the material duties of your job, you’ll likely be eligible for STD benefits.
Most surgeries, other than those for purely cosmetic reasons, are covered by short-term disability insurance as long as your doctor certifies they are “medically necessary.” Bariatric surgery is often covered by STD insurance, but not always, so check the terms of your plan.
Many prescription medications can cause side effects that also give rise to a successful STD claim.
Pregnant women are generally eligible for a few weeks to several months of short-term disability benefits, covering the end stages of pregnancy and a period of recovery after delivery. However, because pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition, coverage typically doesn’t begin until nine months after your policy goes into effect .
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How Sdi Benefits Work With Employers’ Paid Sick Leave Pto Or Vacation Pay
SDI payments are not just for workers who don’t get any sick pay. While you cannot collect SDI payments at the same time that you collect full sick leave pay or PTO, you may be able to combine SDI payments and partial sick leave or partial PTO payments.
You can collect SDI payments and vacation pay at the same time without having your SDI payments reduced.