What is the difference between long and short-term disability?


Quick Answer

Differences between long-term and short-term disability include the length of the policy, costs and the method of obtaining the disability insurance. Short-term covers the initial couple of weeks or months the policyholder is unable to work. Long-term disability insurance is designed to protect income for an extended period of time.

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Full Answer

Long-term disability insurance lasts significantly longer than short-term insurance. In some instances, long-term can last for years, while short-term only lasts a few months. Additionally, long-term disability insurance can be customized, which makes it more expensive. This type of insurance offers comprehensive benefits that can cover policyholders in the event of a debilitating accident or extended sickness. Long-term disability insurance also provides various rider options that allow the policyholder to tailor coverage to her distinct needs.

Generally, short-term disability is made available thorough an employer, whereas long-term disability insurance can be purchased without an employer. In some states, short-term disability insurance must be provided by the employer. However, if the employer does not offer this insurance, the employee does not have the option to purchase the insurance. Along with long-term disability insurance being purchased without an employer, this insurance offers portability. Portability allows the policyholder to convert a group policy into a private policy in the event the employee leaves or changes jobs.

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