Michigan short-term disability insurance is of paramount importance to growing families. Many have very little room for financial mishaps, and then a newborn creates more pressure.
Lost income from an accident or illness does not help when expenses continue. A policy replacing a portion of income becomes vital.
Learn how short-term disability insurance works in Michigan.
- Qualifications to purchase a policy and apply for benefits
- Covering pregnancy and maternity leave
- Related Michigan laws and regulations
Michigan Short-Term Disability Qualifications
Michigan short-term disability qualifications mean different things depending upon the context.
In order to qualify for benefits, you must first meet the first requirement – purchase a private policy, before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant.
Purchasing a Policy
Request a short-term disability quote to determine monthly premium costs before purchasing a policy. An agent can help you complete the policy application form and submit it to the carrier for underwriting approval.
You do not qualify to file a claim for benefits without purchasing a private policy first. Do not assume that the state automatically covers you for temporary medical conditions.
Applying for Benefits
Applying for short-term disability benefits requires the filing of a claims form. Download the claims form from the issuing company’s website.
Complete the section about personal information, have your doctor certify the medical reason for the claim, and your employer certify that you are not working and earning an income.
Consult an attorney if you feel the carrier denied your claim unfairly. Most claims are small because of the temporary nature of the coverage. Keep this mind when weighing attorney fees.
Qualifying Medical Conditions
Short-term disability qualifying medical conditions include accidents and illnesses.
A covered accident occurs after the coverage effective date and is not otherwise excluded by the policy. Commonly excluded accidents are those self-inflicted, which occur while intoxicated or while committing a crime, while engaged in military combat, or during a professional sporting activity.
Workers’ compensation commonly covers on-the-job accidents. You may have the option to include coverage for on the job accidents at 50% of the monthly benefit.
Qualifying sicknesses include a disease, infection, or illness not caused by an accident, which occurs after the coverage effective date, while the policy is in force. Complications of pregnancy and recovery from normal childbirth are the most common claims reasons.
Michigan Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave
Short-term disability for maternity leave in Michigan is a very sought after policy type. The reasons should be obvious, as normal childbirth is a planned medical event for many women.
However, many people miss out by waiting until after conception, or because their employer does not offer the option.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Individual short-term disability purchased directly may cover pregnancy bed rest.
Pregnancy bed rest is very common claims reason. Pregnancy complications requiring bed rest is a qualifying medical condition when a doctor certifies the medical reason behind the bed rest, and the coverage begins prior to conception.
Recovery from Childbirth
Employee benefit programs cover mom’s recovery from normal childbirth. Only this policy types provides maternity leave income.
Employees pay the premium themselves, so it is affordable for employers to offer the option.
The policies make a six-week benefit payment for vaginal delivery, and an eight-week payment for C-section birth – less the elimination period.
Michigan Short-Term Disability Laws
Michigan does not have any state specific short-term disability laws extending rights for workers. Several federal regulations do come into play, and alternative means of replacing income do exist with limitations.
Michigan does not have a law mandating state-short term disability. The state does not offer an option, or require employers to offer one.
Employers who offer the programs do so voluntarily. Employees with coverage also volunteered to participate before the need arose.
Michigan State employees are entitled to up to 26 week of job-protected unpaid leave for parental care.
State police in Michigan are covered under a group short-term disability program. Long-term disability is available to all state employees.
Job Protected Leave
Michigan does not have separate laws providing job protections while employees are unable to work. There are no state-level family leave laws to supplement the national legislation.
With limited job protection safeguards, your employer may not need to hold your job open. Once you are physically able to work, unemployment benefits may be an option.
Alternative Income Replacement
While Michigan laws do not directly provide for income replacement for temporary medical conditions, there are several alternate sources of income replacement.
Michigan law states that you must be able and available to work to collect unemployment compensation. Therefore, you cannot collect unemployment and short-term disability at the same time.
If your disability begins while unemployed, you policy may honor a claim if you are unable to perform two or more activities of daily living. Check your policy language.
State Disability Assistance
Michigan State Disability Assistance (SDA) provides cash assistance to adults to help them pay for living expenses while they are physically unable to work. To qualify you must:
- Receive other disability benefits
- Reside in a special facility
- Be unable to work for at least 90 days
The Disability Determination Service offices in MI administer Social Security. This federally funded program assists people with severe conditions expected to last at least one year or more, or result in death.
Offices are located in Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City.
Workers compensation is another state mandated program designed to provide both income support and help in paying for medical care. It covers only off job illnesses and accidents.
However, most conditions that translate into lost earnings occur off the job.