What Are the Criteria to Be Eligible for Short-Term Disability?


Quick Answer

A person is eligible for short-term disability if he worked the state-imposed length of time before being eligible for benefits, if he met the state minimum earning requirement, and if the illness or injury is not work-related. Only a handful of states participate in the program.

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Full Answer

California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island are the only states that have implemented short-term disability programs. Some states offer temporary disability that helps low-income people, such as a paid family-leave program or medical, housing or cash assistance. Other programs that offer short-term disability benefits are the workers' compensation program, if the injury or illness is work-related, and private disability insurance, which is paid for by employers or purchased by the employees.

The states that do offer a short-term disability program may have a minimum earning requirement. There may also be a one-week waiting period before the benefits can be paid. In the state of California, benefits cannot last more than 52 weeks, but most states cap the benefits between 26 and 30 weeks. The weekly benefit amount is approximately 60 percent of the worker's wages. If a pregnant woman claims short-term disability, she can receive it for several weeks, for the delivery of her child and recovery thereafter.

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