Utah short term disability benefits are an important income security option for growing families. Young families may face financial pressure paying every day bills. Then extra expenses associated with a medical event are added to the mix. This happens most frequently to couples having children.
Make sure you protect your income to help with these extra expenses. Most employers do not provide paid leave. Learn how short term disability insurance works in Utah.
- How benefits work
- Important forms
- Applications and claims forms
- Related Utah laws
Utah Short Term Disability Benefits
Utah does not have a state-based program. A personal short term disability policy in Utah works by replacing a portion of income for disabilities that result from a covered accident or sickness. Certain limitations and exclusions apply. The policy does not provide benefits for basic hospital, medical, or surgical expenses.
The most important exclusion relates to preexisting conditions. A preexisting condition is any physical condition for which you were treated, received medical advice, or had taken medications for in the 12 months prior to the policy effective date.
Most policies will cover preexisting conditions not otherwise excluded if the disability begins 12 months after the policy effective date. This exclusion comes into play most often with women seeking coverage once already pregnant. The average gestation period for a pregnancy falls well short of the exclusion period.
Three policy definitions are useful to know when understanding how short term disability works. The monthly benefit amount is available up to 66% of monthly gross earning, up to a limit of $6,500. The elimination period means the period of time when no benefits are payable. The payment duration defines how long payments are made when continuously disabled.
The monthly benefit amount, elimination period, and payment duration are determined at time of application. Each element impacts the monthly premium for the policy. Higher benefits amounts, shorter elimination periods, and longer payment durations increase premium costs.
Get a short term disability quote to see what a policy might cost. Compare the monthly premiums to the anticipated income replacement payments during a disability.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Pregnancy disability leave is quite common. Twenty five percent of pregnancies result in complications. Many times, a doctor will order you to take bed rest prior to your delivery. The bed rest might last a week, a month, a trimester, or two trimesters. One never knows. But you can be prepared.
Your policy may support your earnings during the time you are unable to work while on bed rest. Your gynecologist would need to provide documentation for the medical reasons behind the bed rest prescription.
Short term disability for maternity leave is vital coverage for any growing family in Utah. Maternity health plans leave gaping holes for any couple buying coverage as an individual. This leaves many with Bryce Canyon sized chasms to fill – before losing mom’s income while she recovers from childbirth.
This one-two punch does not have to happen. Couples should be able to enjoy bringing a new child into the world without rushing back to work just to stay current on the mortgage and car payment. A temporary policy will make cash payment of six weeks for a vaginal birth, and eight weeks for a c-section delivery when normal childbirth occurs nine months or more after the policy start date.
This means you can time the start date of your policy in advance of conception. Many couples are trying to conceive and may be able to predict this date with some accuracy. The cash payment for normal delivery is several multiples of a year’s premiums, so the contract works to the advantage of couples with foresight.
Short Term Disability Forms
In Utah there are three important short term disability forms that may need to be completed. Sometimes they have to be completed in sequence: account forms, application forms, and claims forms.
Account forms are sometimes needed when coverage for normal childbirth is desired. This type of policy is most in demand, as it makes payments for a medical event many people plan well in advance. These policies are only available as work site employee paid benefit programs. If an employer does not already offer the option, this is step one.
Application forms are required to put a policy into effect. A licensed agent will record answers to medical questions and submit the application form to the company for underwriting review.
Applying for disability benefits requires the filing of a claims form. Download the form from the issuing company’s website. Follow instructions carefully.
Related Utah Laws
Utah does not have any laws requiring state short term disability benefits. People concerned about temporary disabilities should purchase a private policy. Utah does not have any state specific laws providing job protections beyond the federal regulations pertaining to employees across the country.
If you are permanently impaired you should contact the Disability Determination Department which administers Social Security. The office contact information is below:
P.O. Box 144032
Salt Lake City, UT 84111-4032
Professional Relations Officer
Unemployment compensation can be used for income replacement during a period of disability only under very narrow sets of circumstances. Sometimes the very laws that protect your job prevent you from collecting these benefits.
If you become disabled during a period of unemployment, short term disability in Utah will make payments if you are confined at home, you are unable to perform two or more activities of daily living, and are under the regular care of a doctor.
State employees in Utah have several options. Sick leave is earned at the rate of four hours per pay period and can accumulate without limit. Sick pay can be used for maternity, and disability of the employee, a spouse, and a child. This means that both maternal and paternal paid leave is possible.
Utah state workers may be granted up to six months of unpaid leave for their own impairment – unless your condition is deemed permanent. Employees are responsible for paying 102% of the health insurance premiums during the leave. It may also be possible to negotiate a leave of absence without pay. This leave may last up to six months.