Colorado short-term disability insurance fills an important hole for growing families in the Centennial State. Lost income does not have to happen.

Women tend to use the programs more often than men do. Time spent recovering from childbirth is often unpaid by most employers.

Learn how short term disability insurance works in Colorado. Get the cash you need to pay your ongoing bills when you need it most.

  • Benefits forms, applications, qualifications, and rules
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Colorado laws regarding disabilities

Colorado Short Term Disability Benefits

Short-term disability benefits in Colorado operate by replacing a portion of income when a policyholder is unable to work due to a covered medical event. Unable to work means that the policyholder’s medical condition prevents him or her from performing the duties of his full-time occupation.

The state does not have a mandatory program covering temporary medical conditions. Do not assume that the state will replace your income while you are unable to work. You must purchase a private policy prior to becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant.

Benefits Claim Form

Because Colorado does not provide a mandatory program addressing temporary medical needs, you must have a private policy in force prior to becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant in order to file a claim for benefits.

Debt relief application if you already owe more than $10,000 in unsecured obligations. Your loss of income due to disability means that you are suffering a hardship. This could qualify you to participate in a settlement program.

Apply for a short-term loan to get the funding you need to pay your regular bills while not working, if you do not have a private policy already in force. Repay the note with convenient monthly payments.

Apply for short-term disability benefits by filing a claim form, if you do have a private policy in force in advance of your need. Filing your claims form requires precision. Outside companies audit claims personnel closely to avoid fraudulent payments. Most companies provide online forms and instructions. Follow the instructions closely.

Policy Application Form

You must complete a policy application form prior to becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant in order to qualify to purchase a policy and file a claim for benefits. Begin the process by requesting a quote. An agent may contact you.

Request an online disability insurance quote if you do not have a preexisting health condition and your employer does not offer a voluntary option. If you are planning a pregnancy, please follow the link in the maternity leave section, as special considerations apply.

Employers often complete a new account application with the carrier before offering voluntary options to employees. The application states that the employee will withhold premium for employee checks, and promptly forward withheld premiums.


The qualifications criteria for claims review fall into three categories: illnesses, accidents, and mental illnesses.

A qualifying accident or illness is any condition that was not pre-existing at the time of application. Injuries that are self-inflicted, or that occur while intoxicated or while committing a crime do not qualify.

Individual policies sold directly often exclude normal childbirth as a qualifying condition. Most mental illnesses do not qualify as a valid claims reason. Policy language typically excludes these losses.


The most important Colorado short-term disability rule to follow is to purchase your policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant. Many people overlook this simple rule and suffer the consequences.

Most policies employ a preexisting health condition exclusion. Policies do not cover losses caused by preexisting conditions during the first twelve months after the effective date.

Carrier underwriting rules also make it difficult to purchase coverage after your health deteriorates.

Colorado Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave

Short-term disability for maternity leave may be the best deal in Colorado! The cash payments during maternity leave are often quite a bit more than what is paid in premiums prior to delivery: the benefits averages about three times the annual premium.

Short-term disability covering normal childbirth follows strict rules. You must enroll prior to conception. Policies purchase through employer groups offer better benefits than those you can buy directly online through a local agent.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

Pregnancy complications are quite common. Twenty-five percent of women experience one or more problems: Rh-negative disease, spotting, diabetes, and many other conditions can and do occur.

Gynecologists often prescribe bed rest to stabilize a mother’s condition. Sometimes it lasts a week, other times it lasts a month, and other times it lasts a trimester – or two.

A policy allows mom to get the rest she needs without feeling pressure to continue working or put her health in jeopardy.

Labor and Delivery

If you are trying to conceive, you are working towards a disruption in earnings during mom’s recovery from labor and delivery. Normal childbirth is a covered benefit when your policy begins nine months before delivery.

There is a six or eight-week benefit depending upon the type of delivery. The policy makes cash payments directly to the policyholder to support income during the period she is medically unable to work.

Colorado Short-Term Disability Laws

Colorado does not have any specific short-term disability laws. Several federal regulations provide job protections while employees are unable to work or require accommodations.

State Program

Colorado does not have state short-term disability insurance. There is no state rule mandating that employers offer the option, or for employees to purchase the policies.

Most workers must purchase a private policy.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers are free to offer short-term disability to employees through a payroll deduction. Employer responsibilities would include three main requirements:

  • Allow agents to educate employees and capture elections
  • Support a payroll deduction and promptly forward premiums withheld
  • Verify that employees are no longer earning an income in the event of a claim


Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) membership includes state government and municipal employees, public school teachers, university and college employees, state troopers and others.

PERA provides short-term disability coverage for members with five years or more of earned service. Members with less than five years of service need to purchase a policy through their employer if offered.

State Employees

State workers are entitled to 520 hours of time off for the birth of a child, placement of an adopted or foster care child, or the serious health condition of the employee or caregiver for a family member. This law provides an additional week of leave.