Wisconsin short-term disability benefits can protect your finances in case an accident or illness stops you from earning money at your full time occupation. You rely on your income to pay your mortgage, car payments, etc. Will your bank excuse your debts just because you are no longer able to work?
If you were unable to work because of an illness, how long will your savings last? When sick or hurt, expenses usually rise. You may need a clear explanation of how short term disability insurance works in Wisconsin.
- Application and claims paperwork requirements
- Benefit totals for pregnancy bed rest and maternity leave
- Related Wisconsin Laws
Application requirements for short-term disability in Wisconsin fall into four categories: when to start, account application forms, policy application forms, and claim form to file for benefits.
The most important requirement is to start your policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant. Disabilities caused by preexisting conditions are not covered until 12 months after the policy effective date. If you are already pregnant you can still purchase a policy, but only future pregnancies will be covered.
Filing your Claim Form
Applying for benefits requires that you have a policy in force. Download the claims form from the issuing company’s website. Follow instructions carefully before filing your claim.
If your claim is denied, review the instructions again before contacting an attorney. Many attorneys specialize in helping people with long-term disability and Social Security Disability claims. Attorneys take a percentage of the benefit totals – which are typically much larger with these two policy types.
Account Application Requirement
The second most important requirement is to purchase your policy through the right channel. Policies covering normal childbirth are only available as employee-paid benefit programs. If your employer does not offer a voluntary option, then your benefits decision maker needs to complete an account application form to establish a business relationship with the issuing company.
Policy applications need to be completed in order to begin coverage. Each person must make this positive step. Without coverage in force before a disability begins, there is no opportunity to apply for benefits, or file a claim.
WI Short Term Disability Benefits
Wisconsin does not offer a state program. However, private short-term disability options are available to many employees. Many will ask how long the benefits last, how much do I get, and what is the total amount to expect. The answer depends upon the policy configuration, which is commonly determined at time of policy application.
Each policy feature illustrated below affect the total benefit amount to expect when disabled. Each policy configuration detail influences the monthly premium cost for the policies. Those with bigger benefit totals often have larger premium payments to make when healthy.
How Much Do You Get
Benefit totals are a function of the monthly benefit amount. Most policies allow a policyholder to purchase up to 2/3 of monthly gross income. A hard dollar cap often limits the monthly benefit amount to no more than $6,500. Each issuing company has different policies. The policyholder is eligible to purchase the maximum monthly benefit amount, or any level below.
The policy elimination period also determined how much you get. The elimination period describes the length of time the policyholder is disabled before benefits begin. Shorter elimination periods yield higher benefit totals when filing a claim, but also mean higher premium payments.
How Long Does it Last?
Benefit payments may last as long as 24 months if continuously disabled. As before, the payment duration is determined at time of policy application. A longer payment duration means a higher premium cost.
The taxation status also has an impact. Sometimes the claims money comes tax-free, and other times it is taxed. If you pay premiums using after tax dollars, the claim is paid tax-free. A tax-free benefit of 2/3 gross income could be equivalent to normal take-home-pay.
Quotes of Premium Costs
Get a short-term disability quote to explain how these four factors influences your total benefit amounts, and the affordability of the monthly premium costs.
Benefits for Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
Couples with growing families in The Badger State face multiple challenges when it comes to finances. Often it is too easy to spend more than you earn for infertility treatments, a bigger home, a new car, infant furniture, baby clothes, etc. What do you do if one or both parents stop working? Most women do during maternity leave.
Short-term disability for maternity leave in Wisconsin can help you provide paid leave for a perfectly healthy pregnancy and normal delivery. Your Wisconsin policy covers your recovery from normal childbirth. Enjoy cash payments to support your income for up to seven weeks.
Twenty five percent of women experience complications during pregnancy, which may require loss of income prior to delivery. Your policy may replace your income during this time so you can focus on your baby’s health.
Postpartum disorders may require you to miss more than the standard benefit period for normal delivery. Should this happen to you, your temporary policy may continue to replace a portion of your income.
Wisconsin Laws Relating to Disability
Wisconsin does not have any laws mandating state short term disability benefits. Workers can get coverage through employers via payroll deduction if the option is offered to employees.
Wisconsin income insurance consists of Social Security benefits. The Wisconsin Division of Health Care Access and Accountability, Disability Determination Bureau (DDB) makes decisions for Wisconsin residents. Applicants that meet the federal criteria may be eligible for monetary payments and healthcare coverage:
- SSDI – program for workers who paid FICA taxes
- SSI – monetary payments for adults and children who meet medical and resource criteria
- Medicaid – healthcare for people who meet resource requirements
The regulation requires that any employees with accrued sick pay can use it to care for an infant or adopted child. A husband can also use his sick pay to care for his wife if she experiences a pregnancy disability, or is recovering from childbirth. Sick pay is normally set aside to provide compensation for your own inability to work. Therefore, this expansion is quite helpful for growing families. This regulation covers employers with 50 or more workers.
State employees are allowed up to 26 weeks of unpaid parental leave.
Unemployment compensation may be available during maternity leave if your infant is considered seriously ill. Wisconsin law allows for benefits if an employee terminates his or her work due to the verifiable illness or disability of an immediate family member, and the leave needed to provide care exceed what the employer is willing to grant.
Benefits are not payable during the time the employee is disabled (recovering from childbirth, etc.).