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Short Term Disability Claims Form

Navigating Short Term Disability Claims with The Maddox Firm

short term disability claim form

Short term disability (STD) insurance is a crucial safety net that is available to you if you cannot work due to illness or injury. It provides vital financial support during a period when earning a regular income is not possible. The Maddox Firm specializes in short term disability claims, offering expert legal guidance to ensure that individuals receive the benefits they have paid for.  We are rated five stars on all platforms, and we encourage you to read our reviews before giving us a call.  Our New Jersey and New York short term disability attorneys help clients nationwide.

 

Short term disability insurance serves as a financial buffer for individuals who are unable to work due to a medical condition. It typically covers a percentage of the employee's salary for three months to a year.  If you remain disabled after the maximum time covered by short term disability insurance, you will need to file a long term disability claim.  

 

Short term disability insurance can be provided by employers or purchased independently. Conditions that qualify for STD benefits vary but commonly include injuries, surgeries, mental health issues, and other medical conditions that impede work performance.  To be approved for short term disability benefits, you typically have to prove that you cannot perform the duties of your occupation.

Common Questions When Filing a Short Term Disability Claim

question mark: common questions for short term disability claims

There are many other laws and employer policies that come into the picture when taking a medical leave of absence and filing a short term disability claim.  The Maddox Firm can help answer all of your questions about short term disability claims.  Many common questions we get include:

  • How is the short term disability benefit calculated?  Typically, your short term disability benefit will be calculated by taking your salary on your last day worked and multiplying it by a percentage.  Some short term disability plans average the last few years of salary, and some short term disability plans take into account bonuses.  The percentage comprising the benefit ranges from 50 to 100%.  Use our disability benefits calculator to figure out your benefit.

 

  • How often will I receive a short term disability benefit?  Usually, short term disability benefits are paid weekly, but other short term disability plans provide for bi-weekly or monthly benefits. Still other short term disability plans provide that you will be paid on the same schedule as your previous pay schedule.

 

 

  • Are there any other government benefits available?  Your state may also provide paid family and medical leave.  If it does, that payment typically reduces or “offsets” the short term disability benefit. 

 

  • How does short term disability affect an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?  The law is not clear as to whether you must prove disability from your unaccommodated occupation or your accommodated occupation.  You should be aware that your disability insurer may require you to be disabled from your accommodated occupation before paying short term disability benefits.

 

  • Will my job be protected while I’m on short term disability?  The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will offer protection for up to 12 weeks of medical leave.  Your state laws may provide additional protection.  In addition, your employer may have an internal policy that allows for medical leave that lasts longer than 12 weeks.  Some employers allow medical leave for up to two years.

 

  • Can I work part-time while on short term disability?  Usually.  Most short term disability plans provide that you may receive a partial short term disability payment if you suffer a loss of income due to a disability.  That loss of income must usually be at least 20 to 25% of your pre-disability income.

The Short Term Disability ("STD") Claims Process

short term disability insurance claim form

Filing a short term disability claim involves several critical steps that must be taken in the right order.

 

  • Physician Direction: Before initiating a short term disability claim, the critical first step is obtaining a formal recommendation from your physician stating that your medical condition necessitates a break from work. This isn't merely about suggesting rest; the doctor must provide a detailed assessment that includes specific symptoms, restrictions, and limitations directly related to your condition. This medical recommendation forms the backbone of your claim, as it provides the necessary medical justification for the requested leave. It's imperative that this advice is well-documented, specifying how your condition impairs your ability to perform your job duties, which will be a key piece of evidence in your claim.

  • Notification: Once you have your doctor's recommendation, the next step is to inform your employer and your insurance provider about your impending absence from work. This should be done promptly to avoid any delays in your claim process. When notifying your employer, it's important to follow any specific procedures they may have in place for such situations. With your insurance provider, ensure you get clear information on the claim process, including any specific forms or documentation required. Timely notification helps in establishing your intent to file a claim and sets the process in motion according to the policy's stipulations.

  • Documentation: Gathering all necessary documentation is a cornerstone of your claim. This includes comprehensive medical records that detail your diagnosis, treatment plan, prognosis, and any other relevant medical information. Doctors’ notes should explicitly link your medical condition to your inability to work, providing clear evidence of the necessity for short term disability leave. Additionally, any other relevant evidence that can support your claim should be collected, such as test results, specialist consultations, and records of any related hospital stays. This documentation not only supports the initial claim but also serves as a reference point for any future inquiries or appeals.

  • Submission: Completing and submitting your claim involves filling out all necessary forms with accurate and detailed information. This step may require compiling various pieces of information, including personal details, employment history, and the comprehensive medical documentation you've gathered. It's crucial to review all forms for accuracy and completeness before submission, ensuring that every piece of required information is provided. Submitting your claim within the insurer's specified deadlines is crucial to avoid any potential delays or denials based on procedural grounds.

  • Follow-Up: After submitting your claim, the process is not over. Staying engaged means actively participating in the process, which includes being responsive to any further requests for information or clarification from your insurer. This might involve providing additional medical records, answering questions related to your claim, or clarifying any discrepancies. Proactive follow-up with the insurance provider can help keep the process moving smoothly and demonstrates your active involvement and interest in the resolution of your claim. It's also an opportunity to address any issues or concerns that may arise, ensuring that your claim is being processed efficiently and correctly.

Mistakes People Make When Filing a Short Term Disability Claim

​When filing a short term disability insurance claim, individuals often encounter pitfalls that can complicate or jeopardize their claims.  Here are some of the mistakes we commonly see:

  • Not Hiring a Short Term Disability Lawyer: When facing a short term disability, the challenges can be overwhelming. Hiring a short term disability lawyer can significantly alleviate the stress associated with managing the claims process.  The Maddox Firm will handle the complex paperwork, ensuring that all submissions are complete and accurate, which is crucial for the success of your claim. We also act as a liaison between you and the insurance company, making sure that your case is presented effectively and that all communications are clear and precise. Furthermore, a short term disability attorney’s expertise can be invaluable in navigating the nuances of disability law, helping to secure the benefits you need during a financially vulnerable time. Their involvement can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your claim, providing you with peace of mind and allowing you to focus on your health.

  • Delaying the Filing Process: Procrastination in filing a short term disability claim can have serious repercussions. The sooner you initiate the claims process after your disability occurs, the better. Early filing prevents the rush of last-minute submissions, which can often lead to errors or omissions. Timely filing also ensures that you're within the insurance policy's specified window for claims submission, which is critical to avoid denials based on procedural grounds. Starting the process promptly helps to ensure that your claim is considered under the most favorable conditions and can lead to a quicker receipt of benefits, which is essential for maintaining financial stability during your recovery period.

  • Incomplete or Inaccurate Forms: The accuracy and completeness of your short term disability claim forms are fundamental to the success of your claim. Inaccurate or incomplete forms can lead to misunderstandings, require additional clarifications, or even cause claim denial. Ensuring that every piece of information is thoroughly and accurately provided demonstrates the legitimacy of your claim and aids in its expedient processing. It's essential to double-check all entries and ensure that the information aligns with your medical records and the details of your case.

  • Insufficient Medical Documentation: The cornerstone of a successful short term disability claim is robust medical evidence. Insufficient documentation can lead to questions about the validity of your claim and may result in delays or denials. It's imperative to gather all relevant medical records, diagnostic results, and physician statements that detail the extent of your disability, its impact on your ability to work, and the expected duration of your recovery. Comprehensive documentation provides a clear narrative of your medical condition and its repercussions on your daily life and employment.

  • Not Following Doctor's Orders: Compliance with your healthcare provider's recommendations is crucial not only for your health but also for the integrity of your disability claim. Disability insurers view adherence to treatment plans as an indication of the claimant's earnestness in recovering and returning to work. Non-compliance can be interpreted as an indication that the disability may not be as severe as claimed, which could undermine your case. Following your doctor's orders and keeping a record of your compliance can significantly bolster your claim.

  • Failing to Communicate with Employers: Effective communication with your employer is essential when navigating a short term disability claim. Employers can provide necessary support and facilitate the claims process, especially if your disability insurance is provided through your workplace. Keeping your employer informed about your medical situation and your claims process helps maintain a transparent and cooperative relationship, which can be beneficial if you need to arrange for a gradual return to work or require accommodations upon your return.

  • Overlooking Policy Details: Understanding the details of your disability insurance policy is critical. Being unaware of what your policy covers, the benefit amount you're entitled to, and how long you can receive benefits can lead to misunderstandings and potential disputes. Familiarizing yourself with your policy's specifics can help you set realistic expectations and make informed decisions throughout the claims process.

  • Ignoring Deadlines: The claims process is governed by strict deadlines that must be adhered to. Ignoring these deadlines can lead to unnecessary delays or the outright denial of your claim. Being proactive and organized in tracking and meeting these deadlines ensures that your claim progresses smoothly and helps avoid any interruptions in your benefits.

  • Underestimating the Impact of Social Media: In today's digital age, it's crucial to be mindful of your online presence while undergoing a disability claim. Insurance companies may monitor social media profiles to gather information that could challenge the validity of your claim. Posting photos, videos, or comments that suggest physical activities or capabilities inconsistent with your claimed disability can be detrimental to your case. It's wise to exercise discretion and be aware of the potential impact of your online activities while your claim is being processed.

How The Maddox Firm Can Help With Your Short Term Disability Claim

The Maddox Firm - New York Long Term Disability Attorney

The Maddox Firm regularly assists our clients short term disability claims and long term disability claims.  We understand the right way to file a short term disability claim and substantiate it with additional medical and vocational evidence to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

 

The Maddox Firm can provide valuable assistance with your disability claim forms in several ways:

 

  • We Help You Understand Your Rights: The Maddox Firm can explain your rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and how they apply to your disability claim.  Our team can help you understand the provisions of your insurance policy and any legal obligations your insurance company must fulfill during the claims process.

 

  • We Review and Advise on Claim Forms: The Maddox Firm will review your short term disability claim forms and long term disability claim forms before submission to ensure that they are completed accurately and comprehensively.  They can help you understand what information is required and how to best present your case to maximize your chances of approval.

 

  • We Gather and Organize Documentation: The Maddox Firm has vast experience in gathering and organizing the documentation needed to support short and long term disability claims.  We can help you collect relevant medical records, test results, employment documentation, and other evidence to strengthen your claim.

 

  • We Communicate with Your Insurance Company: The Maddox Firm will take over all communications with your insurance company on your behalf, including responding to requests for additional information or clarification.  We ensure that all communications are handled professionally and in accordance with your best interests.

 

  • We Help with Appeals and Litigation: If your claim is denied or benefits are terminated, The Maddox Firm can help you navigate the appeals process with your insurance company to secure the benefits you are entitled to.  In cases where litigation becomes necessary, The Maddox Firm can represent you in a lawsuit against your insurance company.

 

 

Whether you are looking for assistance in navigating the claims process, appealing a claim denial, or litigating a final adverse decision, The Maddox Firm can help with your short or long term disability claim.  The experienced team at The Maddox Firm will examine your insurance policy, correspondence from your insurance company, medical records, and any other relevant documentation in order to give you personalized guidance on how we can help you win your short and/or long term disability claim. Our New Jersey and New York long term disability attorneys help clients nationwide.

 

 

Contact us to help you file your claim, appeal, or litigation the right way.

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