Short-Term Disability Claims
When you develop a serious medical condition, it may become impossible for you to work. In some cases, your medical condition can be a long-term problem that impairs your ability to work for years or even forever. In other cases, your medical issue may be a short-term problem that lasts for only a few months. Unfortunately, losing out on income, even temporarily, can be a major problem for most people who don’t have the money to support themselves for an extended period of time.
According to statistics reported by The Council for Disability Awareness, nearly 6% of working Americans will experience some type of short-term disability whether from an illness, an injury or a pregnancy every year. If you have a short-term medical disability, you may be eligible for short-term disability benefits. Generally speaking, a short-term disability is an injury or illness that prevents a worker from performing his or her job duties.
Some common reasons for short-term disability claims include:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Surgery with a prolonged recovery period
- Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
- Sprains and strains
The experienced Boston disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help you determine if benefits are available to you and can help you obtain the benefits you deserve. If your short-term disability claim has been denied, our attorneys can step in and fight on your behalf for the compensation that you are owed.Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for a Short-Term Disability in Massachusetts
Short-term disability benefits may be available from a private insurer or through workers' compensation if the injury is work related. Unfortunately, neither social security disability insurance (SSDI) nor supplemental security income (SSI) provide for benefits for those who have a short-term condition. In order to get benefits through either of these programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), your condition either needs to be a terminal illness or it needs to be expected to last for at least a year.
Because social security disability insurance is not available for those with short-term medical issues, it’s important to explore your other options. Workers' compensation, which is one such option, is available only if your injury is directly related to your work. Workers' compensation provides temporary, or in some cases permanent, disability benefits to workers who have been injured in work accidents or exposed to toxins in the workplace. Workers’ compensation can also provide benefits to workers who have developed a repetitive stress injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome or otherwise injured themselves or became ill as a direct result of work tasks.
The workers’ compensation system in Massachusetts is a no-fault system, which means that workers are entitled to benefits regardless of whether the worker, the employer or some other party is to blame, in full or in part, for the worker’s injury.
Workers’ compensation claims are perhaps more common than one might think. Each year, employers pay out tens of billions of dollars in workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits compensate injured workers for medical expenses and lost wages.
If you’ve been injured in a work accident, it’s crucial that you report your injury to your employer in a timely manner and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Any delays can make it harder for you to succeed in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.Filing a Short-Term Disability Claim with a Private Insurer
Your other option for short-term disability benefits is filing a claim with a private disability insurer. Often, employers purchase short-term disability insurance benefits for their employees as part of the employee benefits package. If this is the case, you can obtain information from your human resources department on who your insurer is and how you begin the process of applying for benefits.
It’s also possible to buy short-term disability coverage for yourself through an insurance company or insurance agent. Having this type of coverage can be an important form of protection in case you become unable to work. Keep in mind, you will need to purchase this insurance before you fall ill in order to be covered.
A minimum of 51 million working adults in the United States reportedly lack disability insurance and only 48% of adults say they have enough savings to cover three months of living expenses in case they are unable to earn any income.
Typically, when a short-term disability policy is purchased, the policy provides coverage for three to six months of time off from work. The policy will pay a portion of your income—usually around 60%—so that you’re able to meet your basic living expenses.
In certain cases, mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder are covered under short-term disability plans. Again, the mental condition must prevent the worker from performing his or her job duties.
You can review your plan documents to see the specific short-term disabilities covered by your plan, as well as the amount of time that you can expect to take off from work.The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman Can Help with a Short-Term Disability Claim Denial
When you have short-term disability insurance coverage that you or your employer purchased, you may believe that you’re protected if you can’t work. Unfortunately, insurance companies routinely deny even legitimate benefits claims. This can be frustrating and even frightening if you’re counting on the money from the insurance policy to get you through during this stressful time.
If you have short-term disability insurance and your claim for benefits is denied, you should consult with an experienced Boston disability attorney. Your attorney can represent your interests with the insurance company, help you to bolster your claim and work to protect your rights so that you can get the benefits you need. An experienced law firm can also advise if there is a potential personal injury claim for third-party negligence.
The Massachusetts disability attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC are here to help. Give us a call today at (617) 367-2900 to learn more about how we can assist you in getting short-term disability benefits.