Confusing Short-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance with public disability benefits

Short-Term Disability (STD) Insurance is not a government benefit and is not connected to any public benefit program. It is private insurance that you get through a private company.

To find out if you have STD coverage through your employer, talk to your Human Resources person. To sign up for an individual policy, contact an insurance company or insurance agent.

If you are looking for information about public cash benefits for people with disabilities, see:

Lack of documentation

The more specifically you document your medical condition, the easier it will be to support a claim and to make a case for continuing benefits. Detailing in a daily journal even the most seemingly insignificant symptoms can be of great value. If you or the individual are too ill, or can't maintain the journal on a daily basis, a friend or relative can log the entries. This journal can also provide you with a way to inform providers about your medical condition.

Denial of Your Disability

It is common for individuals to have periods of time when they deny to themselves, their families, and medical provider(s) that a disabling condition exists. For some, it is an approach to coping with a new condition. During this period of time, the individual’s communication with medical providers may not accurately or fully describe the severity of a condition or how seriously it affects day to day activities.

Basing decisions on misinformation

Most of us usually rely on the experience of others to understand how to deal with similar situations. The real problem with this is that benefits are person-centered. Benefits programs fit each individual differently, based on a variety of facts and conditions, such as:
  • Your work history
  • How much you earn
  • What you own
  • How disabling your condition is
  • How clearly you report the details of your condition to your medical provider
  • How well your medical provider understands or documents these details
  • What benefits an employer provides, and
  • What benefits you have purchased individually.