Short-Term Disability Insurance (STD)

The Basics

Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance is private insurance that replaces some of your income if you can't work because of an injury or illness. STD is important because it can ease the financial burden on a household when someone has a serious illness or injury. Talk to your Human Resources department to see if your job offers STD coverage as a benefit.

The main difference between disability income insurance, like STD, and Workers’ Compensation insurance is that for disability income insurance, the injury or illness does not need to be work-related.

There are two types of disability income insurance:

  • Short-Term Disability (STD) pays you a portion of your income for a short period of time. Depending on your plan, STD generally will last between nine and 52 weeks (one year). The average STD policy in Arizona lasts for six months. STD is explained in detail in this article.
  • Long-Term Disability (LTD) pays you a portion of your income after you run out of STD. Depending on your plan, LTD may pay you for a specific number of years, like two years or five years, or until you turn a specific age, like 65. For more details, read DB101’s article about LTD.

With STD, the amount of time you can get benefits and the dollar amount you get from the benefits can vary significantly.

Some employers offer group disability income insurance policies as part of their benefits packages. If your employer does not offer STD or if you want additional coverage, you can buy an individual policy from an insurance agent. Each insurance policy has different features. You can get more information about your Short-Term Disability Insurance plan from your employer’s Human Resources department if you get your coverage through your job or from your insurance agent if you have an individual policy.

Talk to your job's HR or to an insurance agent

Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance is not a government benefit, and it is not connected to any public benefit program. It is private insurance coverage 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.

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

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