Georgia short term disability benefits provide important income security. Health insurance pays your doctors and hospital bills, but does nothing to replace your income during the time you miss work due to an illness, accident, pregnancy complications, or recovery for childbirth.
Most employers do not provide paid maternity leave, but you can purchase a policy that achieves the same goal. Learn how short term disability insurance works in Georgia but exploring key rules. Follow the links to learn more.
- The need for income replacement
- How it works for:
- Maternity leave
- Pregnancy bed rest
- Important forms
- Applying for benefits
- Georgia rules and laws
Georgia Short Term Disability Income Benefits
Individual short term disability in Georgia provides income support for up to two years if you are physically unable to work due to a covered accident or illness. Many growing families in GA have lots of extra bills: the mortgage for the new house, credit card payments for baby furniture and clothing, etc. Costs are particularly high for residents in Atlanta and the surrounding suburbs.
What if you are unable to work because of an injury or illness? Not only may it be difficult to continue paying your regular bills, expenses may be sharply higher as well. During any health event there may be left over medical expenses such as co pays, deductibles, and co-insurance. If you need to see an out of network doctor you might be surprised with charges above usual customary and reasonable.
In addition, your employer may stop making payments on your medical plan. COBRA allows you to continue medical coverage, but often the amount you must pay is sharply higher. Many families are unaware of how much medical benefits actually cost, and the amount an employer contributes.
Sadly, this realization comes when you need healthcare the most, but can least afford to make the premium payments: because one parent is no longer earning an income.
How Short Term Disability Works
Short term disability in Georgia works by replacing a portion of income while the insured is unable to work at his full-time occupation. Monthly benefit payments can reach up to 2/3 of gross monthly income, capped at $6,500 monthly. The elimination period describes how quickly payments begin. The payment duration describes how long payments last.
Short term disability for maternity leave in Georgia may cover your normal childbirth. Normal childbirth is a covered illness when delivery occurs nine months after the policy effective date. After satisfying your waiting period of one or two weeks, benefits will be paid for six or eight weeks depending upon the type of delivery. A c-section delivery is expected to last longer.
- Enjoy cash payments for normal childbirth
- Spend time with your newborn without the financial pressure to return to work
- Lower bill paying anxiety
Use the planned benefit to fund the premium cost, and worry less about losing your income.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Any complications of pregnancy that may require bed rest or stop you from working may be covered as well. This is when the income protection benefits are most important. Chances are that medical expenses are much higher. Many women are forced to choose between getting the rest ordered by their doctor, and going to work in order to stay current on bills.
Women who purchase a policy prior to conception don’t have to make this difficult choice. If you are already pregnant your options are limited. You may qualify for government assistance, and can lower costs in a variety of ways.
Get a short term disability quote to see what a policy costs. Be sure to make your purchase prior to getting pregnant. Preexisting medical conditions are not covered until 12 months after the policy effective date.
Short Term Disability Forms
There are three important forms that may need to be completed: account forms, policy application form, and claims forms.
Account forms are often completed when female employees want paid maternity leave options at work. Policies covering childbirth are only available as an employee paid benefit. If not already offered, the employer needs to complete an account setup form with the company issuing the policy.
Policy application forms need to be completed in order to purchase a policy. A licensed agent will assist in completing the application, recording answers to medical questions, and submitting the application to the issuing company.
Filing your Claims Form
Applying for benefits when disabled means that one or both of the previous forms were completed. A private policy has to be in place first. Georgia does not have a state short term disability benefit program. If a policy is in place you apply for benefits by first downloading a claims form from the carrier’s website. Follow the instructions closely. A doctor must certify the medical reason for the claim, and the employer must certify that income is not being earned.
Once complete file the claims form by faxing or mailing the form to the insurer. Keep a copy of all medical records in the event of a denial. Attorneys often advertise they can assist fighting denials. Check your policy benefits first to make sure the legal fees leave enough benefit to make the effort worthwhile. Many claimants are denied simply because of poor paperwork.
Georgia Laws and Rules
Georgia does not have state mandated short term disability insurance. Social Security Disability is available for people who are expected to be out of work for one year or more. Many growing families are struggling to make ends meet before getting pregnant, losing mom’s income, and adding another mouth to feed.
Waiting 12 months for benefits to begin simply is not an option. Consider purchasing short term coverage. Benefits may be payable with no elimination periods for accidents, and as short as one week for illnesses.
Georgia parental leave laws are non-existent. There are several federal laws that apply across all states. Eligibility criteria vary for each regulation. Not all workers are automatically covered. Unemployment compensation can sometimes be used if you lose your job while on parental leave.