Short-Term Disability Insurance

Research shows that millions of Canadians suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain. It is said that one in five locals have chronic pain and you might be one of them. Many people ignore the pain because they’ve become used to it. However, you may eventually decide to visit a doctor so you can do something about it. If you’re dealing with back pain, you can expect the recovery process to be extensive and brutal. It will take a long time to recover after back surgery. And, you might have to wait several months before you feel normal again.

You’ll agree that it is unthinkable to return to work and sit at your desk for eight hours a day while trying to recover. Why should you have to? Right now, you’re likely wondering how you’re going to make up for the lost wages. How could you possibly cover your rent, grocery bills, and car payment while you cannot work? Thankfully, there is a way to protect yourself and get the assistance you need.

By taking advantage of short-term disability benefits, you can make up for the lost money and survive until you’re able to return to work. In this in-depth guide, you’re going to learn a lot more about short-term disability insurance and benefits.


What Do I Need To Know About Short-Term Disability?

Some people have never heard about short-term disability. Well, you should know that it is a type of insurance that can help replace your income when you’re unable to work for a short period. Short-term disability benefits offer protection when you miss work due to an illness or non-job-related injury. It is vital to understand that injuries at home are not going to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

If you’re hurt at work, you won’t have to worry about it. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover it. However, you may get hurt at home. Or, you might be self-employed. This is why you’ll want to consider getting a short-term disability policy. It will protect you when workers’ compensation does not.


Who Offers Short-Term Disability Insurance?

In many cases, your employer will provide you with short-term disability insurance. However, this is not always the case. In many areas, companies are not required to offer this type of insurance. With this in mind, your employer may or may not offer short-term disability insurance. If you’re working for a company, you’ll have workers’ compensation coverage but you may not have access to short-term disability. Don’t worry. You can get protection. All you have to do is obtain a policy on your own.

Companies can provide their employees with two types of short-term disability. This includes self-funded or insurance. If it is self-funded, the employer is going to provide and pay for the benefit. If it is through an insurance company, your employer will work with an insurance company to ensure that you’re protected.

If your employer doesn’t offer short-term disability but you want coverage, you can still get it. All you have to do is purchase a private disability insurance plan. This might seem easy but it won’t be. You’ll have to go through a long application process and the premiums can be pretty high. Just remember that the costs are going to be based on the applicant’s age and benefits. Some experts say that applications will pay roughly 1 to 3% of their annual gross income.

If you earn $50,000 a year, you will likely pay $500 to $1,500 per year in premiums. To purchase disability insurance, you’ll want to work with a licensed insurance agent. The biggest problem is the cost. Therefore, you should shop around until you find a good plan that you can afford.


What Is Considered A Disability?

Unfortunately, there is no universal definition of disability. Therefore, you’ll have to study the fine print in your policy to find out. In most cases, disability will be defined in the plan. It is policy-specific. However, it is usually an injury or illness that makes it impossible for you to do your job. There are numerous things that could lead to a disability. For instance, you may experience complications during a pregnancy. If you are forced to stay home for several months, you may qualify to use your disability insurance.

A major surgery that requires a lengthy recovery period may also qualify. To find out for sure, you should check the documents that you received from your insurance provider. In that information, you should be able to find the definition of disability. Use that information to determine whether you can get benefits.


Will Short-Term Disability Cover Mental Health?

Mental anguish can be just as painful as physical injuries. With that being said, you may be required to take time from work due to a mental health issue. What happens if you experience a nervous breakdown and cannot return to work? Are you going to be covered by your short-term disability policy? The good news is that the majority of disability plans will cover mental health. You’ll need to check your paperwork to be positive but most plans will cover it.

Just remember that you’ll need to prove that you are dealing with mental health issues. This means that you’re going to need to speak with a psychiatrist and show the insurer that you are unable to return to work.


How Long Can I Stay Home With Short-Term Disability?

You may be wondering how long you can receive short-term disability benefits. Unfortunately, there is no set number here. It could be 30 days but it might be longer. It depends on the policy that you purchased. With this in mind, you’ll need to scour through your paperwork until you find the answer that you’re looking for. While it may be called short-term disability, the benefits may be paid out for a year. It depends on the structure of the policy.

Furthermore, you have to understand that your time away from work will depend on the health issue that you’re facing. You should always follow your doctor’s guidelines and stay at home until you’ve fully recovered. When your doctor says you can return to work, you should. Until then, you should try to use your short-term disability insurance. What happens if you’re severely injured and cannot return for more than a year?

In this type of scenario, you would be dealing with a long-term disability insurance. Some employers offer long-term disability insurance policies. Long-term and short-term disability plans are similar. The only difference is the duration. Being covered by a combination of both is a good way to protect yourself to the fullest.


What Happens If You Still Can’t Return To Work?

Short-term disability is not going to last forever. Once the benefits period has ended, you will no longer be paid to return home. Furthermore, you should understand that the payments are going to end as soon as you’ve returned to work. What happens if the payment period has elapsed but you still cannot return to work? Your short-term disability plan covers you for six months. Your doctor expected you to recover from back surgery in six months but this didn’t happen. Your recovery is taking longer than expected.

Will you be forced to return to work? Or, will you be able to get assistance until you fully recover? Ultimately, it depends on the situation that you’re facing. You may have long-term disability benefits. If this is the case, you should be able to seamlessly transition from short to long-term disability benefits without missing a payment. If you have to switch over, you will need to file new paperwork and submit your medical records once again.

If the insurer sees that you cannot return to work, you will likely start receiving long-term disability benefits.


How Often Will The Disability Benefits Come?

To find out the specifics, you’ll have to analyze the documents that arrived with your plan. If you receive short-term disability benefits from your employer, an insurance company will administer the payments. This means that the disability benefits checks may arrive on a different schedule than your checks from work. You may not receive a direct deposit when you normally receive it from your employer.

Some Canadian customers will receive a debit card. The payments will be deposited to the debit card.


How Will You File For Short-Term Disability?

Before trying to file for short-term disability, you need to make sure that your injury or illness has been well-documented. This means that you have to provide medical evidence to prove that you are injured or sick and cannot return to work. You’ll want to speak with your doctor so you know what to expect. The insurance company’s team is going to analyze your medical record to determine whether you qualify for benefits.

Once you’ve done this, you should speak with your company’s human resources manager. He or she will help you file a claim. If you don’t have an HR department, you’ll want to speak with your manager. If you’re self-employed, you should check your paperwork and find out how you need to file a claim.

With short-term disability, you have to be out of work for so many days before you can file a claim. This is referred to as the elimination period.


How Much Paperwork Will You Need To File?

When signing up for a disability plan and filing a claim, you’ll likely have to complete a lot of paperwork. However, the amount of paperwork required will depend on the specific plan that you’re working with. First, you’ll need to complete a simple claim form. In this document, you’ll need to provide information about you. This includes information about your residence, date of birth, and medical condition. You’ll also need to submit information about your employer. Furthermore, you need validation from a doctor saying that your illness or injury is stopping you from working.

If you need assistance when completing the paperwork, you should get help from your company’s human resources department. Or, you can speak to someone at your doctor’s office. These individuals have likely helped file countless claims so they know how the process works and they’ll be able to help you. It is a good idea to get assistance from them since they’ll be able to help you avoid making mistakes.


What Evidence Is Needed To Obtain Short-Term Disability?

Insurance companies are not going to provide short-term disability benefits unless they know you’re telling the truth. Therefore, you’ll need to get a physician to sign your claim form before submitting it. This lets the insurance company know that you have an injury or illness that is stopping you from returning to work. Once you’ve submitted the claim, you will likely be asked to provide medical records so they can be received by the insurance company.

By looking at these records, the company will be able to make sure that your information is consistent with your disability claim. You can speak with your doctor’s office to find out the easiest way to send these records to the insurance company. You may feel a bit odd releasing this information to a stranger but it is required.


Will Short-Term Disability Cover Maternity Leave?

Some people have been able to use their short-term disability to cover maternity leave. This is common but it is not always possible. You may not be able to use your disability insurance for this purpose. It depends on the type of plan that you have. Some short-term disability plans specifically address the issue of maternity leave. For instance, the fine print will tell you exactly whether it is covered and how much time you can stay away from work. The duration can vary depending on the type of birth you have.

Typically, a c-section will provide longer leave than vaginal birth. However, you have to realize that some employers are not going to cover maternity leave. Some have excluded it from their disability plans. Instead, they may have a separate program for pregnant women who are going to be missing work due to childbirth.


Will You Lose Your Job For Taking Short-Term Disability?

Some patients are concerned that they’re going to lose their job for taking short-term disability. You’re even more concerned because your illness may persist for the long run. After you’ve been disabled for two years, most plans are going to switch you to a new category. You will be switched from “own occupation” to “any occupation”. This means that you have to be injured to the point that you cannot work any job. Furthermore, a long-term disability insurer is going to force you to apply for Canada Pension Plan disability benefits.

As an employee, you want protection. You want to make sure that your boss cannot get rid of you because you’re receiving short-term disability benefits. Unfortunately, nothing in Canadian law prevents an employee from being fired while they’re receiving disability benefits. However, the employer has to fire the employee for reasons unrelated to their disability. Law protects Canadians against discrimination and being forced due to a disability.

So, an employer cannot fire you simply because you’re temporarily disabled.


What Can I Expect When Returning To Work After Short-Term Disability?

When you return to work, there is a chance that things are going to be different. You may not 100% but you might be able to perform your duties. Therefore, the employer may be more lenient on you during this period. You may not be able to jump back in immediately. While you’re away, you can guarantee that the company is going to change. Workers will leave while new people will be hired. You may be required to adjust to a new shift or something else.

Either way, you cannot expect everything to be the same when you return after a short-term disability.


What Should I Do If My Short-Term Disability Claim Was Denied?

If you’ve filed a short-term disability claim and it was denied, you shouldn’t give up yet. If you are indeed disabled and you cannot work, you should be compensated. The insurance company should help you during this difficult time. There is a chance that you’ll be able to find coverage under the Canadian Pension Plan. Furthermore, you might be able to appeal the insurer’s decision. It is pertinent to submit accurate and relevant information when filing an appeal.

Even with an appeal, there is a chance that your claim is going to be denied. If this happens, you’ll have one option left. You can file a lawsuit.


Should I Read the Short-Term Disability Benefits Paperwork?

Ultimately, your disability benefits are immensely important. You never know when you’re going to get injured. You want to be ready for that to happen so you can defend yourself to the fullest. Furthermore, you want to know how your short-term disability is going to work. What do you need to do to file a claim? How long can you receive benefits? What happens if you cannot return to work? Will maternity leave be covered?

Thankfully, you can find the answers easily. You’ll want to sit down and read through the paperwork you received from your insurer. In these documents, you’re going to find a lot of information about your insurance plan. You’ll find everything you need to know and so much more. You’ll find out how to file a claim, how to appeal a denial, and so much more. You don’t want to be caught off-guard at the last minute. So, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of your disability policy so you can be ready for the unthinkable.


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