Should you file for short-term or long-term disability?

When you are suddenly unable to work, the effects can be devastating if you do not immediately file for disability. Knowing whether you need to file for short-term or long-term disability can be tricky, depending on the circumstances. On one hand, you may feel like you just need to be insured for a few months. On the other hand, you may be unsure just how long it will take to recover. Each have their benefits and drawbacks.

If you fall seriously ill or suffer a temporary injury, like a broken bone, short-term disability insurance is probably the best bet. These will be the cheapest policies and will start the soonest. Sometimes, you will receive benefits within a week. Generally, you can only be on short-term disability for two years. Anything longer than that and you are on your own.

Long-term disability insurance, as you can imagine, is intended for those who will be out of work for an extended period of time, generally longer than 6 months. These policies tend to last until you are at least 75 years old. While this does offer peace of mind potentially for many years, there are drawbacks. The main is that long-term disability only pays about 70 percent of your former income, while short-term often pays closer to 100 percent. But, long-term disability benefits can pass on to the surviving spouse in the event of death.

Because of these benefits, many disabled workers often file for both types of benefits. If you need assistance applying, or you are facing wrongful denial of disability, a qualified attorney can assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.


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