Colorado short-term disability insurance fills an important hole for growing families in the Centennial State. Lost income does not have to happen.

Women tend to use the programs more often than men do. Time spent recovering from childbirth is often unpaid by most employers.

Learn how short term disability insurance works in Colorado. Get the cash you need to pay your ongoing bills when you need it most.

  • Benefit forms, applications, qualifications, and rules
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Colorado laws regarding disabilities

Colorado Short Term Disability Benefits

Colorado short-term disability benefits operate 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 or her from performing the duties of his full-time occupation.

The state does not have a mandatory program. Do not assume you have coverage.

Apply for a short-term loan if you do not qualify to receive benefits.

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Claims Form

Filing your disability claims form requires precision. Outside companies audit claims personnel closely to avoid fraudulent claims payments.

Most companies provide online claims forms and instructions. Follow the instructions closely.

Policy Application

Two Colorado short-term disability applications often come into play when purchasing coverage.

Employers complete a new account application with the carrier before offering voluntary options to employees. The application states that the employee will withhold premium for employee checks, and promptly forward withheld premiums.

Employees complete a policy application when starting coverage. The carrier will review the policy application, and issue a policy if the person is healthy enough.

Request a short-term disability quote before applying for a policy.


The qualifications criteria for claims review fall into three categories: illnesses, accidents, and mental illnesses.

A qualifying accident or illness is any condition that was not preexisting at time of application. Injuries that are self-inflicted, or that occur while intoxicated or while committing a crime do not qualify.

Individual policies sold directly often exclude normal childbirth as a qualifying condition.

Most mental illnesses do not qualify as a valid claims reason. Policy language typically excludes these losses.


The most important Colorado short-term disability rule to follow is to purchase your policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant. Many people overlook this simple rule and suffer the consequences.

Most policies employ a preexisting health condition exclusion. Policies do not cover losses caused by preexisting conditions during the first twelve months after the effective date.

Carrier underwriting rules also make it difficult to purchase coverage after your health deteriorates.

Colorado Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave

Short-term disability for maternity leave may be the best deal in Colorado!

The 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 lasts a week, other times it lasts a month, and other times it lasts 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.

Labor and Delivery

If you are trying to conceive, you are working towards a disruption in earnings during mom’s recovery from labor and delivery. 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. The policy makes cash payments directly to the policyholder to support income during the period she is medically unable to work.

Colorado Short-Term Disability Laws

Colorado does not have any specific short-term disability laws. Several federal regulations provide job protections while employees are unable to work, or require accommodations.

State Program

Colorado does not have state short-term disability insurance. There is no state rule mandating that employers offer the option, or for employees to purchase the policies.

Most workers must purchase a private policy.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are free to offer short-term disability to employees through a payroll deduction. Employer responsibilities would include three main requirements:

  • Allow agents to educate employees and capture elections
  • Support a payroll deduction and promptly forward premiums withheld
  • Verify that employees are no longer earning an income in the event of a claim


Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) membership includes state government and municipal employees, public school teachers, university and college employees, state troopers and others.

PERA provides short-term disability coverage for members with five years or more of earned service. Members with less than five years of service need to purchase a policy through their employer if offered.

State Employees

State workers 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.