Colorado short term disability insurance fills an important hole for growing families in the Centennial State. Women tend to use the benefits more often than men for childbirth. Time spending recovering from delivery is often unpaid by most employers.
Since childbirth is a planned event families should not have to face this problem. Learn how short term disability insurance works in Colorado by following the topics outlined below.
- Qualifications and rules
- Buying a policy
- Filing a claim
- How benefits work
- Colorado Laws
Qualifications and Rules
There are four sets of short term disability qualifications and rules to follow in Colorado. There are three important qualifications for purchasing policies, and rules about filing your claim.
Filing your Claim
Filing your short term disability claim has rules that should be closely followed. Company claims personnel are audited closely to avoid fraudulent claims payments. This means claimants should be very precise, and provide complete documentation. Most companies provide online claims forms and instructions that should be followed closely.
If you believe your claim was improperly denied you may want to consult a lawyer. Keep in mind that lawyers charge are portion of the claims money collected. You may get a better result by following instructions closely.
To qualify for policies covering normal childbirth you have to purchase your policy as part of an employee benefit program. Many people are unaware of this rule and search endlessly for policies that generate maternity leave income that can be purchased directly.
You also have to qualify medically to purchase a policy. If you wait until after having an accident, getting sick, your policy application may be denied. Many policies sold at the workplace are individual contracts, but with enough participation from co-workers some companies will write policies guaranteed issue. This means all applicants are accepted, but preexisting conditions exclusions still apply.
The most overlooked rule relates to time of conception. If you become pregnant before purchasing a policy, your current pregnancy will not be covered.
CO Short Term Disability Benefits
CO does not offer state disability benefits. Private short term disability plans in Colorado work by replacing a portion of income when a policyholder is unable to work due to a covered medical event. Unable to work means that the policyholder’s medical condition prevents him from performing the duties of his full-time occupation. The way that covered medical events work is covered in more detail below.
Accidents and Illnesses
Colorado short term disability insurance can support your paycheck in the event an injury or illness prevents you from working. A covered accident or illness is any condition that was not preexisting at time of application. Policies may cover a period of disability from a preexisting condition that begins one year after the policy effective date. Injuries that are self-inflicted, or that occur while intoxicated or while committing a crime are not covered.
If you are trying to conceive, you are working towards a disruption in earnings during mom’s recovery from bringing a child into the world. Normal childbirth is a covered benefit when your policy begins nine months before delivery. There is a six or eight week benefit depending upon the type of delivery. Cash payments are made directly to the policyholder to support income during the period she is medically unable to work.
Short term disability for maternity leave may be the best deal in Colorado! These cash payments during maternity leave are often quite a bit more than what is paid in premiums prior to delivery: the benefit averages about three times the annual premium.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Pregnancy complications are quite common. Twenty five percent of women experience one or more problems: RH negative disease, spotting, diabetes and many other conditions can and do occur. Gynecologists often prescribe bed rest to stabilize a mother’s condition. Sometimes it last a week, other times it lasts a month, and other times is last a trimester – or two.
A policy allows mom to get the rest she needs without feeling pressure to continue working, or put her health in jeopardy. Get a short term disability quote to determine the premium costs and then take the steps to put worry aside.
CO Short Term Disability Laws
Colorado does not have state short term disability insurance. There is no state law mandating that employers offer the option, or for employees to purchase the policies. Colorado has a handful of other laws that may provide some assistance.
Colorado requires that any employer that permits time off for family leave for the birth of a biological child must also provide equivalent leave for families adopting a child. This protection may not apply to many as there is no regulation requiring employers to provide any specific family leave benefit for childbirth. It simply levels the playing field: at a very low point.
State workers in CO are entitled to 520 hours of time off for: the birth of a child, placement of an adopted or foster care child, serious health condition of the employee, caregiver for a family member. This law provides an additional week of leave.
Colorado state employees with five or more years of service are automatically enrolled in a short term disability program. The program is administered through the Colorado Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).