Illinois short-term disability insurance is an important benefit if you are planning a pregnancy, or concerned about paying bills if you miss work on a temporary basis. Protect your income by purchasing a policy.
The need is most acute for women working in the private sector. Learn how short-term disability in Illinois works.
Do not make the mistake of assuming that the state offers a program that automatically enrolls every worker in private industry.
- Forms and requirements
- How the benefits work
- Illinois laws
Short Term Disability Forms and Requirements
There are several important short-term disability forms and requirements for policies in Illinois. Qualifying state employees are eligible for four weeks of paid maternity leave, and 12 months of family leave. No such benefit is required for private employees.
Applying for Benefits
Applying for benefits once disabled requires the filing of a claims form. Download the form from the issuer’s website. Follow the instructions carefully, and provide complete documentation.
If your claim is denied, many attorneys will be happy to charge a fee to assist in resubmitting your claim. Before taking this step, make sure your paperwork is accurate, complete, and well supported. Attorney’s fees are more cost effective with Social Security and long-term disability claims disputes. Short-term disability policies have more favorable disability definitions, and the claims amounts are smaller as they do not last as long.
Policies covering childbirth are the most sought after coverage. There is one key requirement that must be followed. Your employer must offer coverage options as an employee paid benefit. These policies cannot be purchased directly as an individual.
If your employer agrees to offer an employee-paid option an application form must be completed to commence coverage. A licensed agent will ask medical questions and complete the policy application.
Short Term Disability in IL
IL does not offer state disability. Private short-term disability policies in Illinois can protect your income in case of accidents and illnesses that may cause you to miss work. Did you know that over 75% of temporary unemployment is the result of non-pregnancy related conditions? You could suffer a crippling injury or illness at any time.
Even minor accidents can cause a disruption in income for people who have physically demanding occupations. Women often work in job roles that require standing, lifting, or manual dexterity. For example, a simple broken finger could sideline a dental hygienist for months.
Replacing lost income
Many couples rely on two incomes to make ends meet. Wouldn’t it make sense to insure at least one of these incomes? This case becomes most compelling for working mothers who might be planning more children, as her normal pregnancy qualifies for benefits. The policy becomes self-funding.
Residents living in the Chicago metropolitan area may contend with higher costs for housing, transportation, and other expenses. Costs usually increase when you experience a medical event, but the mortgage, car payment, grocery bills keep coming in. Do you have enough savings tucked away to cover your costs with only one income?
Short-term disability in Illinois can cover up to sixty percent of your gross income or $6,500 per month. Pick the smaller of the two amounts. Benefit may last up to 24 months. Most women choose the 12-month payment duration to cover an entire pregnancy, plus the time to recover from childbirth.
An elimination period describes how quickly payments begin after a period of continuous disability. Elimination periods are determined at time of application. There may be a separate elimination period for accidents and illnesses. Only the accident elimination period can be shorter.
The payment duration describes how long payments continue if continuously disabled. Payment duration is selected at time of application, and can be as short as 3 months, or as long as 24 months.
Request a disability quote to see how premium costs change based upon the three main features: monthly amount, elimination period, and payment duration.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
If you are planning to get pregnant, or are undergoing infertility treatments, you are expecting to take time away from work to deliver a baby, recover from childbirth, and connect with your newborn. Do not pass up on an opportunity to buy an insurance policy that supports your income while you take leave from work.
The premium you pay leading up to childbirth may be a small fraction of what the policy may return to you for: pregnancy complications, normal delivery, postpartum problems, etc. Twenty five percent of women will experience a high-risk pregnancy that may require bed rest prior to delivery.
There is a high probability of using the policy prior to giving birth. Many high-risk pregnancies are associated with infertility treatments. The Illinois infertility mandate provides important benefits for couples trying to conceive.
Short-term disability does cover maternity leave in Illinois. Mom’s recovery from normal childbirth is covered under many policies. Only policies covering normal childbirth cover maternity leave.
When normal delivery occurs nine months after the policy effective date, the policy pays a six-week benefit for vaginal birth, and an eight-week benefit for your C-section delivery. The premium paid to cover your normal childbirth also covers you in case of unexpected medical events that you may encounter while carrying your baby before delivery, after you give birth, if you suffer an injury, or get sick.
Illinois maternity leave laws provide an option to collect unemployment compensation during maternity leave. Only six states define a “compelling family reason” as an employee’s own disability.
Illinois Disability Laws
Illinois laws do not require state short-term disability benefits. There is no law requiring employers to provide coverage, or to offer a voluntary option. But since voluntary short-term disability can be 100% employee paid, there should be no compelling reason for employers not to offer an option.
If you are disabled and expect your condition to continue for more than a year you may qualify for federal entitlements. Contact the Illinois Office of Disability Determination. There are 52 offices located throughout the state.
Illinois law requires that state employees be provided paid parental leave for 20 days. Both fathers and mothers qualify to care for a newborn or adopted child. State employees are also allowed up to a year of “family responsibility leave.”