Short-Term Disability Insurance (STD)

Common Pitfalls

Confusing Short-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance with public disability benefits

Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance is not a government benefit and is not connected to any public benefit program. It is private insurance that you get through a private company.

To find out if you have STD coverage through your employer, talk to your Human Resources person. To sign up for an individual policy, contact an insurance company or insurance agent.

If you are looking for information about public Social Security benefits for people with disabilities, see DB101's Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) article and DB101's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) article.

Basing decisions on misinformation

Most of us usually rely on the experience of others to understand how to deal with similar situations. The problem with this is that benefits are person-centered. Benefits programs fit each person differently, based on a variety of facts and conditions, such as:

  • Your work history
  • How much you earn
  • What you own
  • How disabling your condition is
  • How clearly you report the details of your condition to your medical provider
  • How well your medical provider understands or documents these details
  • What benefits an employer offers
  • What benefits you have purchased individually

Lack of documentation

The more you document your physical or mental condition, the easier it will be to support a claim and to make a case for continuing benefits. Write everything in a daily journal, noting even minor symptoms. If you are too sick or can't keep a daily journal, ask a friend or relative to help you take notes on your symptoms. You can also use this journal to tell medical providers about your condition.

Denial of your disability

People often go through a time when they deny to themselves, their families, and their medical provider(s) that they have a disabling condition. For some people, denial is their way of coping with the changes in their life. During this time, what the person tells medical providers may not match the actual severity of their condition or how seriously it affects day-to-day activities.

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