What’s the Difference Between Long Term Disability and Short Term Disability?

If you have disability insurance, it can benefit you when unexpected injuries occur. These policies cover workers when an injury or illness prevents them from returning to work. This type of insurance comes in two varieties: short-term disability and long-term disability.

Each type of disability benefit applies in different situations. The two forms of disability are designed to cover either injuries that will heal in a relatively short amount of time or injuries that are unlikely ever to improve. The specifics of each type of benefit are far more complex. If you have questions about filing a disability claim, a discussion with a long-term disability law firm could help you determine your course of action.

Short-term disability

Short-term disability benefits are aptly named. They are not intended to be a long term solution for an injured worker. Instead, these benefits are intended to assist a worker make ends meet while recovering from their injuries. As long as treatment is ongoing, short-term benefits could be available. A common example of short-term claim could include a person that breaks their leg at work. These injuries often take months to heal, but typically see a worker return to the job. Disability benefits can help cover the worker’s salary while they are away from work.

The window for receiving short-term benefits is fairly limited. In most cases, these policies will pay out benefits for between 90 and 180 days. Every policy is different, so the maximum amount of time these benefits are available will vary. A long-term disability lawyer at our firm is ready and able to advise you on the maximum time benefits are available.

The policy will also determine the amount of the available benefits. These benefits are generally based on a worker’s salary prior to the injury. In some cases, a policy may only pay out around 50 percent of a worker’s pre-injury wages. Other policies could match a worker’s full salary for the duration of the claim.

Insurance policies often include strict limitations on these benefits. In some cases, a policy will include a coverage cap. This could include a maximum percentage or dollar amount limit on the weekly benefits.

Long-term disability

Long-term disability claims are fairly similar to short-term claims. Benefits are based on a worker’s salary, and certain policy terms could limit the maximum payout in some cases. The major difference between these types of disability benefits has to do with the length of time for which they are available.

Long-term benefits are generally available for anyone whose injuries prevent them from working for at least a year. The length of each policy differs. While some have a set length that benefits will be available, others are open-ended.

Unlike short-term disability benefits – which are available immediately – the benefits from a long-term policy usually carry a waiting period. While you must demonstrate that your injuries will last at least a year, most policies only require you wait a month before pursuing a claim. It is not uncommon for injured workers to first rely on short-term disability then move to long-term compensation when it becomes available.

Preszler Injury Law is ready to help

Understanding how each type of disability benefit could impact your life is often complicated. These policies differ on when benefits are available as well as how long they last. If you are unsure of your options following a workplace injury, you could benefit from speaking directly with a long-term disability law firm.

At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we approach every claim with one goal: recovering the benefits our clients deserve. We are experienced in every aspect of the process, from reviewing claims to handling disputes. We believe our comprehensive approach puts us in the strongest position to advocate for our clients. If you have been injured and are unable to work, we look forward to discussing your case with you. Call as soon as possible to set up a free consultation.