Short and Long-Term Disability Frequently Asked Questions

If your Short or Long-Term Disability claim has been denied, our attorneys are here to help you appeal that decision, get you the benefits you’re entitled to, and answer any questions along the way. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Short Term FAQ

What is Short-Term Disability?

Short-Term Disability Insurance provides some compensation for non-job-related injuries or illnesses that render you unable to work for a period of time. If your claim has been denied, our attorneys are here to help you appeal that decision and get you the benefits you’re entitled to.

What is Long-Term Disability?

Long-Term Disability Insurance provides you income in a time when you are unable to work for an extended period due to an illness or injury. Disability insurers are happy to take your premiums, but they don’t always handle claims fairly, which is what our attorneys are here to help with.

What qualifies me for Short or Long-Term Disability?

In order to qualify for short or long-term disability, you have to meet the definition of “Disabled” as it is in defined in your policy. Generally, most policies define “disabled” as the inability to perform the material and substantial duties of your occupation. However, it is important to be aware that the definition of “disabled” in many policies changes based on the amount of time you are eligible for benefits. This is why it is important to understand your particular policy.

How do I file a Short or Long-Term Disability claim?

In order to file a claim, you will need to request either a claim form or application for benefits from your insurer. This is typically a short document where you provide basic information regarding the nature of your disability, who your treating doctors are, and other similar information. Some insurers may require that you have your doctor(s) fill out a form regarding your restrictions or limitations.

What do I do if my Disability claim has been denied?

If your claim is denied, the first thing you should do is closely read the denial letter that the insurer has sent you. That letter should outline the basis for the denial as well as inform you of your rights to file an appeal. The next thing you should do is contact an experienced attorney who will know how to best fight the denial.

How long will it take to appeal my denied claim?

Typically, you will have 180 days to file an appeal with an insurer following a denied claim. You can submit an appeal at anytime prior to that 180 deadline but you want to make sure that your appeal contains the proper support as it will most likely be the last opportunity to submit any evidence in support of your claim. That is why contacting an experienced attorney to help you with an appeal is absolutely crucial.

How much will I get paid when I take Short or Long-Term Disability and when will I receive payments?

Short and long-term policies pay out a percentage of your Base Monthly Earnings (“BME”) which is a calculation defined in the policy. BME calculations differ depending on the particular policy. Benefit percentages can vary from 40-80% of the BME. By far the most common percentage is 60%.

Is my job protected while on Short or Long-Term Disability?

Short and long-term disability policies typically do not dictate whether your job is protected while you are receiving benefits. If your policy is silent on that issue, it will be up to the employer to determine if they will hold your position. Other programs such as FMLA will also determine if your job is protected.

How long can I be on Short Term Disability?

Short-term disability policies generally cover a period of 90-180 days worth of benefits.

How long can I be on Long Term Disability?

Long-term disability policies generally run until your 65th birthday or your Social Security Normal Retirement Age. It is important to note that some policies will limit benefits for certain conditions (i.e. mental health conditions, connective tissue disorders, non-verifiable symptom disorders, etc.).

What is the difference between Short Term and Long-Term Disability?

Short-term disability benefits will typically pay benefits on a weekly basis and will require you to provide frequent updates regarding your condition and inability to work. This can be as frequent as every week or every other week.

Long-term disability benefits are paid out on a monthly basis and will not require ongoing proof of disability on such a frequent basis. However, insurers will periodically review the claim to determine if you continue to meet the definition of disability under the policy.