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What Is A Short-Term Disability Insurance And How It Works?

Updated : September 11th, 2020

It is estimated that about 5% of American workers experience a short term disability due to various reasons, including pregnancy, illness, or injury. A disability may lead to a loss in income, thereby financial crisis. Fortunately, a Short-Term Disability insurance program can replace your lost income and provide you financial support while you take a break from your work to recover from illness or injury.  

What Is A Short-Term Disability Insurance?

Short-Term Disability (STD) insurance provides income replacement or compensation if you are unable to work for a limited period due to illness, injury, and childbirth. Generally, the insurance program pays 40% to 60% of your weekly gross income. 

Who Qualifies For A Short-Term Disability Insurance?

To be eligible for the Short-Term Disability insurance, you must meet several requirements. They include: 

  • You must have worked a minimum length of time before being eligible for the insurance program, i.e. 1 month or 6 months, depending on your state rules
  • The injury or illness must be non-work related
  • You must earn minimum wages if your state requires
  • Pregnant women can collect Short-Term Disability benefits for several weeks for delivery and recuperate 
  • You have to submit medical records to prove your disability
  • There is 7-days waiting period before benefits are payable. You cannot collect benefits until the 8th day of your temporary disability 
  • Benefits will not last more than 26-30 weeks ( 52 weeks in California)

States Providing A STD Insurance 

Only a few states provide Short-Term Insurance benefits. They include California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. A few states offer temporary disability aid to low-income families through other programs. 

For example, Maryland’s Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP) offers monetary and housing and medical assistance. 

California, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island states have paid family leave programs, and states like D.C. are set to authorize a paid family leave program starting from July 2020.

How Does A Short-Term Disability Insurance Work?

If you are not able to work due to illness or injury for a limited time and have a Short-Term Disability policy, you can file a claim. While filing a claim, submit medical records or other information that proves you are unable to work. Once approved, the payment will be sent to you directly. Note that you use the money to pay any bills, and there are no restrictions or limitations on how the benefits must be used.

Who Pays For A Short-Term Disability Coverage?

The state or employer provides a Short-Term Disability insurance policy. Generally, employers who offer policy have a choice of having their employees pay for coverage, with tax implications. 

A Short-Term Disability policy provided by an employer pays a percentage of an employee’s wages for a limited amount of time. STD insurance policy given by employers may offer a wide range of full or partial income coverage, depending on the premium and policy level.

Each state has its own set of requirements as to whether companies must provide STD insurance. States can also decide the weekly cash benefit limits.

How To File For Short-Term Disability Insurance Program?

You can apply for Short-Term Disability either by filling a form given by your employer or 

By visiting your state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development and filing the application form. The form will have 2 or 3 sections. After entering the necessary details in the employee section, give the form to your employer and doctor to complete the pending sections. 

Is Short-Term Disability Insurance Taxable?  

STD insurance may or may not be taxed. If you are paid with pre-tax dollars, the benefits will be considered a part of your income, and you would be liable to pay taxes. But if you are paid with after-tax dollars, you need not pay taxes on the benefits. 

Final Words  

Short-Term Disability insurance can provide you financial security when you are unable to earn income to support you and to your family. If you are injured or pregnant, and qualify for the insurance program, then hurry up and submit an STD insurance application. 


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  1. I had trouble getting my proof of self-employment to upload in secure file exchange and finally got it submitted by 12:06 am , 6 minutes late. What are the possibilities that they will deny it? I have received unemployment from March 2020 to some of Jan and some in Feb 2021. Most of Dec, Jan, Feb, March, & april were stopped for this proof of employment.
    Also, I see proof of Income as a 2nd issue but it is always on there. That was not on my TO DO list.
    I feel for u all on ID.ME…

    Anyone trying to reach UI, call their number, press 2 or 3 (questions abt filing a claim?) and then wait thru the message. At the end of it, u will be connected to a live person! I promise.. don’t push another button.. I’ve done it 4 times and it never failed.

    We lost our home, my ex took my child…. (kept her after a visit and called cps facilitating drama while the cops wouldn’t give her back without paperwork locked up in the court house..shut down for covid) I raised her by myself for 12 years & now she is with a violent alcoholic and parental alienating parent .. ….my dog, my 9-year sweet little best friend, was attacked, passing away 3 days later.. all in this time frame.
    But! It will all be ok. I have faith.

    Be grateful for your life and all that is in it today. What u dwell on daily will be your strength or weakness.
    Good luck to all of u.
    And thank you, Jeff, for responding out here. It is appreciated!
    Davulia S.

  2. I filed over two months ago. I have not received any information. My status says “pending resolution”. I have no way of contacting anyone. My position was eliminated at my job and I submitted the documentations online. I dont know what else I can do.

  3. I have been apply Ohio Pua unemployment since July 5th still pending issues. Upload what they ask for when ever I call says your case is in Adjudication. Very very frustrated, financially I am broke. Health issues. Waiting a long period.Don’t know what I will do ?

    1. Nafisa,

      I can understand your situation. There will be a delay considering the number of applications that are being processed. Please continue chasing the office/check your status online at regular intervals until payments normalize.

    2. Same here since Feb 2021 turned in all the documents still pending issues 3 months now. When you call they tell you to be patient. Pulling my hair out it’s so frustrating.

  4. I was receiving PUA unemployment. they made me file for a new claim in February. Now I am in adjudication even though I gave all the same information from my previous claim. Have been adjudication since February and I call and they say they will put in a ticket to have an Adjudicator call me. Nothing. I am wondering If I can go down to to Maryland Unemployment Office and demand that someone talk with me to release my claim for payment. It’s been 56 days. I read that they have a maximum of 45 days.

    1. Luis,

      Your adjudicator may be inundated with pending cases. Please continue to follow up (if you have the contact details) or consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

    2. t sounds just like mine only im disqualified yet actie every till sept 4th . they haven’t asked me for anything! i file then its disqualified yet im told im ok and have nothing to do bit wait for an answer? answer to what? they switched my program and all and asked me to provide proof for a claim that wa denied al eady back in 2018! deny me once and then again perhaps? lol idk

  5. My mom had unemployment in Florida. She just recently moved temporally to California with a sister since she needs assistance, and now the website is telling her she cannot do anything because she is register in another state. Can she keep filing unemployment in Florida, even if she is living and register now in another state? how is the process to change the unemployment? I tried calling and there is no answer. Thank you!

    1. Stephanie,

      Please ask your mother to consider transferring the UI benefits from FL to CA (details will be available on either of the websites). If there are benefits weeks left in the account, she will be able to claim them.

    1. Leatha,

      UI benefits are offered to claimants who lose employment involuntarily and be able to and available for work.

  6. I lived in ga in 2019 and move to florida in 2020 and work for the xmas months in nov-dec. I was told to do a combine wage claim. my question is which state do i file the claim in?

  7. I filed for pua in Ohio back in October 2020.My claim has been in ajudacatuon since 11/1/20.So 2 to 6 weeks is a total understatement! When I call.i am told to basically hurry up and wait some more.I have recently been redetermined and my claim is allowed.but I have one pending issue.How long is too long?

    1. Nicole,

      Unfortunately, nobody has an answer. There are perhaps thousands of pending applications. Please consider the option of visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible.

  8. If you claim your weeks for unemployment and for the next 2 months you still have not received your money. Where can you go in volusia county to talk with a live person

      1. HI Jeff,
        I applied back in Dec 5th, 2020 and I haven’t received any correspondence, is there a local office that I can make an appt to make certain my claim is right.

        1. Adam,

          You can consider visiting an office in the vicinity if safe and feasible (details will be available on the Unemployment Office’s website).

  9. On NYS DOL website, my claim is saying current yet the information is for my old claim with 0 days remaining despite receiving 2 weeks of payments on the new claim and I was able to certify last night. I haven’t received anything; no letters or emails.

  10. I was disqualified for UI benefits for not providing an ID and other forms of identification. How do I fix this?

        1. Gary,

          You may not be eligible since unemployment insurance is only extended to those who become unemployed due to involuntary reasons.

    1. Hi Mike, I’m in NYS and was at the end of my BYE on 3/14, I was still certifying but wasn’t getting paid. I found out I had to file a new claim because my other was exhausted. I’m still waiting on approval. Maybe you have to file a new claim. I hope this helps.

  11. They say 2-6 weeks it’s more accurate to say 2-6 months; and when you call many of them are rude and unwilling to assist!

  12. someone needs to look into Sharon L. Anton gillette, wyo. or dickinson, nd she is a fraud and has done so many fraudulent things and please look into her

    1. Annette,

      Please report it to the Fraud Division of the Unemployment Office in your state. You can report on the website.

  13. I worked part time for thee years here in florida. I’m currently not working. I’m also retired and collects social security.
    My question is
    Am I qualified to file for unemployment ?

    1. Ruby,

      To be eligible, you’re required to have sufficient hours and earnings. Please use the “Benefits Calculator” available on this website.

  14. So adjudication takes 8 to 12 weeks. Oh okay, that explains why I havent received payment since July. That surely helps just like the rest of the information that you give. And by the way. What’s the NEW reason you can’t get through to the Call Center.

    1. Maria,
      I have gotten through to the call center (live agent) every time i’ve tried calling within the last 2 weeks. The number to a live agent (follow the prompts carefully) is (667)-207-6520. i have gotten through within 10 to 15 mins with each call i had made!

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