If you are injured or become seriously ill, you might be able to make a claim for either short-term or long-term disability. However, in order to qualify, you are going to need to meet certain guidelines and have your condition for a previously specified period of time. For example, your short-term disability policy might start covering your lost work time after you miss 14 days, so you would not be paid for the first two weeks unless you are able to use sick or vacation days to cover the difference.
What does Short-Term Disability Cover?
Short-term disability policies can have various stipulations, but they generally offer coverage that will start within two weeks of the start of the injury or illness. Some policies are generous enough to cover qualified individuals from the first day, but this is relatively rare. As any disability denial attorney can tell you, most short-term policies are designed to cover people who are unable to work for a time period ranging from two to six months. Again, the specific policy that you have will determine how long you can receive benefits. Many people opt to purchase a short-term disability policy in order to protect themselves until their long-term disability kicks in.
What does Long-Term Disability Cover?
Unlike short-term disability, there is an extended time period that must pass before you can become eligible to receive benefits. In most cases, long-term disability will not begin until at least 90 days after the injury or illness begins, and some policies do not offer coverage until 180 days has passed. Therefore, it definitely makes sense to sign up for a short-term policy so that you do not have to wait up to six months to receive a payment. If your disability will impact you for the rest of your life, you will be able to receive benefits until the age that is stated in the policy. In other words, it is possible for an 18-year-old man who has a long-term disability policy to collect payments until he turns 65 if he becomes permanently disabled.
Do I Need Both Policies?
According to research that has been conducted by the Council for Disability Awareness, more than 14 percent of U.S. workers will become disabled for at least five years during their lives. When you consider the fact that this figure does not factor in all of the people who will need to collect disability insurance for a shorter period of time, you can easily see how important it is to have a short-term and long-term disability policy.
Will My Disability Policy Cover My Issue?
There are some exceptions written into most short-term and long-term policies, so it is important to make sure that you have a full understanding of the qualification guidelines. For example, most policies will require you to work for a specific period of time before you are eligible to make a claim. In other words, if your policy requires you to work for one year before it becomes effective, you will be unable to receive funds if you become disabled after nine months.
If your disability claim is denied even though you have met all of the qualifying criteria, you should contact a disability denial attorney. It is also important to make sure that you keep records of all of the medical care that you receive so that you will have proof to support your claim.
Author Anthony Joseph is known for writing about tough legal issues that are currently affecting America. Living with a disability can be a huge obstacle to being able to earn a living and provide for loved ones. Sometimes getting your disability approved can itself be another obstacle. The best decision you can make is to have a disability denial attorney fighting for you to ensure that you receive the benefits you so rightly deserve.