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Short-term disability benefits are insurance coverage that pays employees a percentage of their salary when they cannot work due to a disability. Many people cannot afford to go weeks without a paycheck while they recover from an unexpected illness or injury.

Even though short-term disability benefits do not compensate you for your entire paycheck, it can give you the funds you need to pay your bills and purchase necessities until you can return to work. 

The insurance company will look for any opportunity to deny your benefits. Hiring an attorney with experience preparing short-term disability claims can help you avoid the denial of your claim.

Our team at Arechigo & Stokka can review your short-term disability case and create a strategy to bolster the strength of your insurance claim. If the insurance company inappropriately denies your claim, we will compile more evidence and file an appeal.

Contact our office today to speak to a member of our team.

What Is Short-Term Disability?

Short-term disability (STD) insurance pays employees a portion of their salary when they cannot work because of a disabling illness, injury, or pregnancy.

Short-term disability benefits are payable for up to 52 weeks as long as the worker remains totally disabled. When STD benefits end, you may be able to obtain long-term disability benefits if you are still fully disabled.

The State of Minnesota’s disability plan allows employees to choose their coverage amount in increments of $100. The minimum benefit amount is $300, and the maximum cannot exceed 66.7 of the employee’s gross monthly salary.

For example, if you were paid $2,000 monthly at work and your policy pays 60% of your pre-disability earnings, you will get a monthly benefits check of $1,200 per month.

Many private disability insurance plans pay benefits seven days after an illness forces you to miss work. You can ask your human resources department about the waiting period for your plan.

For state government employees, you must actively enroll in short-term disability insurance within 30 days of the employee’s first day of work, reinstatement at work, or rehire at the same company.

The coverage will take effect on the 31st day of employment. If you do not enroll when you begin your employment, you may be required to provide Evidence of Good Health before obtaining coverage.

If your employer does not offer STD insurance, you can seek out coverage through a private insurance company. An experienced attorney can review your STD insurance policy to determine its specific details. Contact Arechigo & Stokka today so we can get started.

Reasons Short-Term Disability Can Be Denied

An employee must be totally disabled to receive short-term disability benefits. Total Disability means the employee is prevented from performing the essential duties of their occupation due to accidental bodily injury, sickness, mental illness, substance abuse, or pregnancy. One reason an insurer may deny your short-term disability benefits is if you are not disabled.

Short-term disability benefits typically do not apply to pre-existing conditions. You can only receive benefits for injuries, illnesses, and conditions that arise once you are covered by disability insurance.

For a pregnancy, you must have disability coverage before conception. Otherwise, the pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. In most cases, you cannot receive STD benefits for disabilities caused or contributed to by:

  • War or an act of war,
  • Commission of or attempt to commit a felony offense,
  • An intentionally self-inflicted injury,
  • Engaging in an illegal occupation, or
  • Injuries sustained while working for a different employer.

Short-term disability benefits do not apply to injuries sustained at work or during the course of employment. The insurance company will want proof that your injury or illness occurred outside of work before they approve STD benefits.

An attorney can collect evidence like doctors’ notes and eyewitness testimony to prove your injury or illness happened outside the workplace. If you suffer an injury during work, you should apply for workers’ compensation benefits instead

An insurer may also deny a short-term disability claim if you miss an important filing deadline. Your STD insurance policy should outline relevant filing deadlines you need to comply with.

Short-Term Disability Denied—What to Do Next

If your short-term disability claim is denied, your rights do not end there. You can file an appeal with the insurer within 180 days of the denial. An experienced attorney can help prepare your appeal to convince the insurer to change their decision.

We will collect information from your doctor to prove the extent of your disability and ask them to provide a statement, if necessary.

Once we compile information about the facts of your case, your disability, and why you are owed benefits, we will draft a formal appeal to send to the insurance company and begin the appeals process. Contact a short-term disability benefits lawyer at Arechigo & Stokka to discuss your case.

Contact a Short-Term Disability Benefits Lawyer at Arechigo & Stokka Today to Discuss Your Case

Missing work due to a debilitating illness or injury can create financial stress on top of the discomfort caused by the medical condition. Unfortunately, working with an insurance company is not always easy.

They may inappropriately deny your claim or request additional information before they approve your benefits. An experienced attorney can prepare your short-term disability claim in a way that minimizes the risk of the insurance company denying your benefits.

If your short-term disability claim is denied, we can gather more evidence about your disabling condition and file an appeal to contest the denial. 

Our short-term disability lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka will take care of your benefits claim while you focus on recovering from your disability. With over a decade of experience navigating short-term disability claims, we know what it takes to secure benefits for our clients.

A member of our team can walk you through each step of the insurance claims process and compile evidence to submit with your claim. Contact Arechigo & Stokka today to talk to an attorney about your case.

Author Photo Joshua R. Stokka

Josh has been representing injured workers for over 10 years. Josh was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, and attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology. Mr. Stokka alson received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law. During law school, Josh clerked at a Minnesota law firm specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation. Prior to practicing in the area of workers’ compensation, Josh clerked for a judge in the 7th Judicial District in Minnesota. This valuable experience gave him insight into how judges think, do their jobs behind the scene, and how to frame a case in order to obtain a favorable result.  Now, he focuses 100% of his practice on defending injured workers in Minnesota.

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