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Short-Term Disability Insurance in Florida — The Basics

Wed Feb 21st, 2018 on     Disability Insurance,    

Short term disability insurance benefits serve as a form of temporary wage replacement for those who are suffering from a serious disability (though it’s worth noting that not all plans require employment, or a history of employment, to qualify for disability benefits).  If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, for example, to such and extent that you can no longer work for a period of time following the accident, then your short term disability insurance will kick in and you will be entitled to receive benefits.

Many people unfamiliar with disability insurance do not understand what short term disability insurance is, and whether they can actually receive benefits pursuant to their policy.  There is a real and unfortunate “knowledge gap” when it comes to short term disability, particularly in scenarios where the policyholder may be automatically covered under an employer-based group plan.

In reality, short term disability insurance is fairly straightforward to understand.  Consider the basics.

Short Term Disability Benefits

Short term disability benefits payout when you have been injured, or are suffering from an illness or condition that is severe enough to disable you — in other words, enough to prevent you from fully and adequately handling your job/career duties for a specified time period (up to one year, usually).  Benefits vary depending on the insurance plan, and sometimes, on the nature of the work that you are involved in.  Some plans pay a percentage of your wages, while other plans pay a set amount of funds (that does not vary, regardless of your wages or other supplementary earnings).  The time structure of payment — weekly, monthly, etc. — may also vary, depending on the insurance plan.

In the short term disability context, insurers frequently deny claims on the basis of the injury not being sufficiently “disabling.”  The insurer benefits a great deal from denying or otherwise delaying the processing of your claim, as policyholders may find the prospect of going through an appeals process (or litigation) too overwhelming to pursue, particularly if their disability will be corrected within the year.  Insurers count on the fact that many policyholders resign themselves to the denial and do not bother to mount a challenge.  With the assistance of a qualified attorney, however, the denial can be properly challenged and damages may be rightfully and efficiently recovered.

Requirements and Limitations of Short Term Disability Insurance

Short term disability insurance plans tend to be quite different from one another.  Your insurance plan may have a strict definition of disability, for example, that requires that you be rendered fully disabled, as opposed to partially disabled.  Your plan may also establish a significant waiting period for benefits, require that you be employed full-time to qualify for benefits, and demand regular, consistent updates on your medical condition.  Generally speaking, all plans require a minimum period of disability of two months (sometimes more).

Once your short term disability insurance period runs out (up to one year later), then you may qualify for long term disability benefits, if you have such insurance.  Otherwise, your benefits will simply end, even if you continue to suffer from the disability at-issue.

Contact Miami Disability Insurance Lawyers Here at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin Today

Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin is a Miami-based insurance litigation firm that has represented clients throughout the state of Florida in insurance-related disputes since 1995.  Our attorneys have an extensive track record of success in helping policyholders obtain a favorable resolution to their claims, including short term disability claims.

Are you involved in a short term disability insurance dispute?  Call (305) 577-3996 to get in touch with experienced Miami disability insurance lawyers here at Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin.  During your initial free consultation, our attorneys will evaluate your claims and help you identify a winning strategy for resolving the dispute at-issue.

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