Illinois short-term disability insurance is an important benefit if you are planning a pregnancy, or concerned about paying bills if you miss work temporarily. 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.
- Claims and policy application forms
- Pregnancy and maternity leave
- Illinois laws and related regulations
Illinois Short Term Disability Application
There are several important short-term disability forms and requirements for policies in Illinois. Complete a claims form when applying for benefits, and a policy application form when purchasing coverage.
The state does not offer a program for private workers, so the number one requirement is the purchase of a private policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant. Provide for immediate cash needs if you were relying on a state program, or you did not purchase a private policy in time.
Apply for a short-term loan if you do not qualify to receive benefits.
Application 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. Temporary policies have more favorable disability definitions, and the claims amounts are smaller as they do not last as long.
Policy Application Forms
Policies covering normal childbirth are the most popular form of coverage, but are only available through employer groups. Your employer may need to complete a new account form in order to offer a voluntary option to employees.
If your employer agrees to offer an employee-paid option, you must complete a policy application form to commence coverage. A licensed agent will ask medical questions and complete the policy application. Get a short-term disability quote to determine monthly premiums.
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Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) offers voluntary short-term disability to its employees, but not its members. You must be a BCBS employee to take advantage.
BCBS primarily provides traditional healthcare plans, which make payments to medical providers, but do not replace income. You need a separate policy from another carrier.
Illinois Short Term Disability Maternity Leave
Short-term disability does cover maternity leave in Illinois. Mom’s recovery from normal childbirth is covered under many policies, but not all.
Only policies covering normal childbirth cover maternity leave.
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.
Individual short-term disability policies purchased online may replace a portion of mom’s income if she must stop work prior to delivery because of medical complications.
Bed rest by itself is not a qualifying medical condition. Your doctor must certify the medical reason why you are unable to work.
Recovery from Childbirth
Only employee benefit programs cover mom’s recovery from normal childbirth.
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 Short-Term Disability Laws
Illinois has very few short-term disability laws, which might pertain to private workers in the state. Public workers enjoy far more legal protections.
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.
However, since voluntary short-term disability can be 100% employee paid, there should be no compelling reason for employers not to offer an option.
Illinois law does require that healthcare plans cover the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. These treatments often preceded a period of temporary disability by nine months.
Purchase a private policy prior to conception to take advantage.
Federal laws require that workers with permanent medical conditions receive Social Security. You may qualify for federal entitlements if you are disabled, and expect your condition to last for more than one year.
Contact the Illinois Office of Disability Determination. There are 52 offices located throughout the state.
Teacher Retirement System
The Illinois Teacher Retirement System (TRS) provides temporary, non-occupational disability coverage to members with three or more years of service. Teachers must exhaust sick leave before claims payments begin.
Family Leave Laws
Illinois family leave laws provide an option to collect unemployment compensation while disabled. Only six states define a “compelling family reason” as an employee’s own disability.
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.”