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Short-Term Disability & COVID-19

–Update as of 3/16/2020–

Many of us are staying home much more than usual in an attempt to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Many workplaces have invoked work-from-home policies for the foreseeable future.

But what if your job isn’t something you can do from home? What if time away from work is needed, either due to illness or fear of exposure? Can a short-term disability benefit help with that?

If you’re not sick, most carriers won’t consider you eligible to use your short-term disability benefit because you don’t meet the definition of “disabled” that is part of the policy.

If you are sick, then you’re much more likely to receive assistance for time off. For STD, carriers will evaluate your claim just like any other (i.e. they will require a claim form to be completed, which will include a doctor’s statement confirming your diagnosis and current medical condition as well as proof that time off is required). If you remain ill and unable to work through the elimination period that qualifies you for the benefit, then they may consider you eligible for the benefit.

There are temporary changes that may be coming to FMLA and unemployment through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that may provide help where disability coverage does not.

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