The Seelig Law Offices

What’s The Difference Between Short-Term And Long-Term Disability?

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2020 | Long Term Disability, Short Term Disability, SSD |

Unable To Work Because Of An Illness Or Injury, But Unsure How Long Recovery Will Take? Seelig Law Offices Can Help You Sort Through Your Options.

When you are suffering from a serious illness or injury, one of your key concerns is how long it will take to heal. Figuring out how long you will be stuck in the hospital, or confined to bed, or unable to work is important. It will ease your mind to have some sense of how long you may be out of commission, and it may have an impact on what disability benefits you are eligible for.

At the Seelig Law Group, we assist New York City residents who are trying to figure out whether they may be eligible for short-term or long-term disability benefits while they recover from an accident or illness. Our experienced team guides potential beneficiaries from the time they are injured, through the application process, and if necessary, through the appeals process.

Disability Benefits Protect Employees Injured On Or Off The Job

The State of New York requires most employers to provide short and long-term disability benefits to protect employees who are unable to work at all, or at the same level they are used to, due to an illness or injury. Unlike workers comp benefits, disability benefits are available to employees who are injured both on or off the job, and workers who have fallen ill.

Short-Term Disability Benefits

Short-term disability insurance provides injured or ill workers in New York with funds designed to replace a portion of their income.

To be eligible to receive benefits from a short-term disability program, you must be a “covered employee.” You are a covered employee if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You have been working for at least four weeks for an employer who is required to offer a short-term disability program
  • You were a covered employee before and are returning to work after an unpaid vacation or leave of absence
  • You were a covered employee, but stopped working for the employer who offered the short-term disability program within the past four weeks
  • You were eligible for a short-term disability program at your old job, and took a new job with an employer who is also required to offer a short-term disability program
  • You are a domestic worker (such as a nanny, housekeeper, or personal assistant) who works at least 40 hours each week for the same employer

Covered employees can collect short-term disability benefits for up to 26 weeks. If your illness or injury is expected to last longer than 26 weeks, or is terminal, long-term benefits may be more appropriate. However most people start by applying for short-term benefits because there is always uncertainty about how long it will take someone to heal.

If you have fallen ill, or suffered an injury, and are unable to work, you should contact the Seelig Law Group right away. You only have a 30 day window from the date of the injury or diagnosis to file your claim.

Long-Term Disability Benefits

If the doctors think it will take more than 26 weeks for you to recover, or your illness or injury is terminal, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. Compared to short-term benefits, the amount offered to people who are considered disabled for the long-term is slightly higher.

Appealing A Denial

Unfortunately, there are instances when claims for both short-term and long-term benefits are denied. Seelig Law Offices has a lot of experience appealing these denials.

The first step is to exhaust the insurer’s internal appeals process. Our team can help you make your case for benefits by organizing the mountain of paperwork required, and double checking to see that the healthcare records being submitted clearly indicate your level of disability and your estimated recovery period. We have had great success in this area and have had many disability insurance claim denials reversed at this level.

If the insurer is not willing to approve the claim, the next option is filing a civil lawsuit. The Seelig Law team is as comfortable in the courtroom as we are at the negotiating table, and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get our clients the benefits they deserve.

When Winning Matters Most

If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, don’t hesitate to apply for short-term or long-term disability benefits. If you would like assistance navigating the disability benefits system, the Seelig Law Group is ready to take your call.