If you are ill or injured and unable to work, Short-Term Disability (STD) is designed to replace a portion of your wages for a set period of time. Many individuals have short-term disability coverage through employer-sponsored plans or individual policies. Unfortunately, claims are often met with delays and denials by insurance companies. Our experience has given us the know how to fight for the benefits you deserve.
Birmingham, Alabama Short-Term Disability Attorney
If you have sustained an illness or injury and are unable to work, you may be concerned about earning a living, supporting your family and covering the medical expenses. While a few states require employers to provide Short-Term Disability benefits to their employees (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island), workers in other parts of the nation may either have employer-sponsored or private short-term disability insurance. Obtaining benefits can be complicated, however, and Short-Term Disability claims are frequently denied. With so much at stake, it helps to have an experienced disability benefits attorney on your side.
Located in Birmingham, Cox & Stansberry provides comprehensive legal services to disabled individuals in Alabama and throughout the Nation. We know that insurers often seek to deny Short-Term Disability benefit claims for a number of reasons. Moreover, delays typically associated with Short-Term Disability claims mean that a you may not have a source of income while trying to recover from an illness or injury. The loss of income, combined with mounting medical expenses, can quickly become an emotional and financial burden. By working with our legal team, you will have peace of mind, knowing that dedicated advocates are fighting for your rights.
How Does Short-Term Disability Insurance Work?
Short-Term Disability insurance is designed to cover a percentage of your wages for a specified amount of time, according to the terms of the policy. If approved, benefits typically start a few days or weeks after the onset of a disabling condition but some policies require all of your paid sick leave to be used before benefits are payable. The amount of the benefit is typically based on your current income. Benefits often range from 40 to 100 percent of your gross weekly income (there may also be a cap under the insurer’s maximum benefit allowed). Finally, the duration of coverage usually ranges from 4 to 26 weeks, depending on the terms of your specific policy.
Am I Eligible for Short-Term Disability Benefits?
To be eligible for Short-Term Disability benefits, you must meet the policy’s definition of a disability. Most Short-Term Disability policies define disability as the inability to perform the material duties of your own occupation due to illness or injury. It is routine for policies to define your “own occupation” and the requirements of your occupation as it is defined and performed in the national economy and not necessarily as it is performed for your specific employer.
Some of the more common reasons for short-term disability claims are for recovery from surgical procedures, illnesses with lengthy recovery periods, as well as injuries.
What Is the Difference Between Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Insurance?
There are two main differences between short-term and long-term disability insurance (LTD) — the length of time between the onset of the disability until benefits are payable and the duration of time benefits will be paid.
In short, the waiting period before LTD benefits are payable is typically longer than for Short-Term Disability benefits. LTD is also designed to cover an injury or illness that will prevent you from working for an extended period of time — benefits can continue until you have recovered and can return to work or until you reach retirement age.
At the same time, the claims are linked in that a Short-Term Disability benefit claim may evolve into a long-term disability claim if a medical condition recurs or worsens. In any event, the surest way to receive the Short-Term Disability benefits you deserve is by working with an experienced disability benefits attorney.
What is ERISA?
ERISA — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 — is a federal law designed to protect employees’ retirement and insurance plans. ERISA regulates employer-sponsored Short-Term Disability plans in a number of ways. First, it establishes guidelines for how claims should be processed as well as the timeline for processing claims. ERISA also provides for an appeals process if an employee’s Short-Term Disability benefits claim is denied. Not all Short-Term Disability plans are covered by ERISA, however, so it is important to know your rights. Regardless of the type of coverage you have, our firm is prepared to fight for the short-term disability benefits you deserve.
Why Call Cox & Stansberry for Your Short-Term Disability Benefits Claim?
If you have received a Short-Term Disability denial notice from your insurer, there is a limited time to appeal the decision. The sooner you call Cox & Stansberry, the quicker we can get to work on your case. Attorney Amanda Stansberry is a preeminent ERISA and disability benefits attorney with a proven history of successfully pursuing appeals and litigating cases when necessary.
Our legal team works with clients from all walks of life — lawyers, medical professionals, teachers, construction workers, laborers and commercial drivers and we know how to protect your interests. Our team will work closely with you to gather the necessary medical information to support your claim. We will also draw from our network of qualified medical experts to verify the extent of your illness or injury and how it impacts your ability to perform your job duties.
When your well-being and livelihood are in jeopardy, Cox & Stansberry is here to help. We will never stop fighting for your right to the short-term disability benefits you have earned. Please contact our office as soon as possible to speak with an attorney.