Disability Insurance: Short Term: Claims
When you leave work to go onto disability, the Short Term Disability program is the benefit program that usually starts paying the fastest. Therefore, complete the short term disability claim form and submit it first so you can start receiving income quickly.
All insured Short Term Disability plans and many employer administered plans will require you to complete a claim form in order to start benefits.
Since the benefit is for a limited amount of money for a limited period of time, the claim form won't be as thorough as the one used for a Long Term Disability claim nor will employers or insurers generally be so strict about allowing or denying the benefits.
A short term disability claim form will contain the same three sections as in a claim for Long Term disability: Employee portion, Physician's Portion and Employer's Portion.
- The “Employee Portion” of the claim form: is where you put your name and other personal information such as name and Social Security number, as well as a brief description of what’s keeping you from working. When you describe the condition, if there is space, describe how it keeps you from working.
- The "Physician's Section" of the claim form: This section is where your doctor gives a medical explanation of what is preventing you from working. Generally the doctor should include enough information to show that you are "unable to perform the material duties of your occupation." For more information, see: Disability Insurance: Claims: Filing.
- Employer Portion Of The Claims Form: If the plan is insured, there will be an “employer portion” of the claims form. (There won’t be an employer portion if the employer self insures or administers the plan.) The “employer portion” of the claims form is where the employer provides your salary (for computing the amount of your benefit) and a job description (to measure against the medical data to decide if you are disabled).
NOTE: It is preferable for you to submit the claims form yourself so you get a chance to review the Physician's and Employer's portions before submission. This way you can coordinate the information and check to see it is accurate. It also establishes a procedure in case there is also going to be a Long Term Disability claim.