You must meet these requirements to qualify for short-term disability
Your ability to work and earn money is an integral role that can influence your family’s livelihood. According to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the estimated 82.6 million families in the nation, 81.1 percent have at least 1 employed family member.
Suppose you are part of the fortunate 81 percent, but you happen to get injured or suddenly become sick.
How well do you think your family’s financial situation would be when your ability to earn a full income has been affected?
This is a question that has plagued the minds of many Georgia workers in recent years. In 2018, more than 77,500 workplace injuries were reported in Georgia. Furthermore, out of the total population, 2.5 workers per every 100 workers sustained a work-related injury.
The likelihood of suffering a workplace injury is relatively high. Even minor injuries can interfere with your overall work performance. A simple fractured bone can take up to 2 months to fully heal. During this recovery period, you miss out on work, ultimately affecting your monthly income and making it difficult to stay afloat and pay daily expenses, medical bills and rent.
Short-term disability insurance can help provide some injured Georgians with the compensation they require during their recovery. The coverage includes reimbursement of your partial salary with some plans giving 60 percent salary earnings benefits.
To help you preserve your livelihood as an injured worker, we’ll discuss how to apply for short-term disability at work and the benefits of securing an insurance policy. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgeable Georgia disability attorneys for answers.
What is short-term disability?
Not all short-term disability insurance plans can cover massive damage. To understand the perks of short-term disability insurance, you need to have a general understanding.
Under Georgia state law, short-term disability is a form of insurance that provides substantial benefits to workers whose working performance is affected due to injury. Unlike long-term disability benefits, they can last anywhere between a few weeks to months.
Unlike workers’ compensation that provides relief to injured workers on the job, a short-term disability is a purchasable private insurance policy, covering all illnesses and injuries that occur outside of work. There are no federal short-term disability compensation programs in Georgia. This means you need to either purchase the relevant insurance package from an insurance company or utilize your employer’s pre-existing coverage.
The purpose of this insurance is to provide financial relief and help you deal with hospital bills and general living expenses when you can’t work. In such a scenario, most people may not have adequate savings to facilitate their expenses.
Short-term disability insurance can be used as a contingency to help cover the necessary finances to sustain your livelihood during an unforeseen circumstance, affecting your work capacity. On average, a short-term disability policy will cover 60 percent of your monthly income, with some offering various percentages depending on your plan.
You can opt to purchase your premium coverage or utilize an existing insurance plan instilled by your employer. Bear in mind that they could be conditions that could limit your overall benefits when you sign under your employer’s coverage.
How to qualify for short-term disability benefits
Qualifying for short-term disability insurance depends on the insurance policy offered to you. Most insurance companies follow the same guidelines to determine your eligibility. Most policies entail a waiting period of a few weeks while others provide nothing.
Additionally, some insurance companies may require employees with a pre-existing medical condition to wait 30 days before enrolling in the program. However, to receive your benefits, you will be required to provide medical records and statements issued by your medical practitioner regarding your condition.
Your doctor will prove that your injury has wholly hindered your ability to work for a limited duration. Soon after, you will be rewarded benefits after 7 consecutive calendar days or a month of impairment.
More so, processing benefits can be significantly slowed if you possess a sickness instead of a physical injury, which is easier to analyze and prove.
Process of receiving short-term disability benefits
To claim a short-term disability benefit, Georgia employees must undergo the process of submitting a claim. This can be done by filling out application forms from their insurance company or your company’s human resources department. In the claim, you will include:
- Your statement
- Authorization for the insurance company to obtain your medical records
- Your doctor’s statements
- Employer statement and information
- Disability information
From here, the claimant will submit their application. Most claim decisions occur within the first 7 business days. During this process, your physician and employer will be questioned regarding your condition. To increase the success of your claim, provide the correct information that will be confirmed by both parties upon questioning.
How long can you receive benefits?
A short-term disability plan can cover 60 percent of your salary with benefits lasting up to 11 weeks. Most insurance companies can cover even longer durations of up to 6 months of wage loss benefits. On average, you can be expected to earn between $800 and $2,500 weekly, depending on your specific insurance coverage.
Common reasons for needing short term disability insurance
These are the most common reasons why employees may need short-term disability insurance:
- Back disorders
- Maternity leave
- Rigid and painful joints
- Respiratory ailments
- Digestive problems
- Chronic illnesses such as diabetes
Learning how to apply for short-term disability at work can be a tiresome and strenuous effort. At Westmoreland Law, our team of professional Georgia attorneys will handle all the paperwork to safeguard your benefits while you rest assured knowing that we got you covered.