Florida short-term disability insurance is valuable for prospective parents, and any worker concerned about lost income due to accidents and illnesses.

A policy helps to support a portion of your income in the event you are unable to work because of unforeseen medical events, and one you may plan: normal pregnancy and childbirth.

Do not assume that the state offers a program. You must purchase a private policy before the need arises.

  • Steps to complete application forms
  • Maternity leave and pregnancy bed rest
  • Florida laws and important requirements

Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits in FL

Many site visitors seek information about applying for short-term disability benefits in Florida. We become acutely aware of the need to replace income when we have a pending medical issue. Scroll down below to find the set of circumstances that best describe your situation, and follow the links for resources to address your needs.

Claims Application Form

Many site visitors hope or assume that the state of Florida provides a state-mandated temporary disability program, or that you can purchase private coverage while pregnant or with an existing medical condition. Neither is true. The company will deny any claims for pre-existing conditions until at least 12 months after the effective date.

You Did Not Purchase a Policy

If you are already pregnant, currently disabled, or you have an existing medical condition, and you did not purchase a private program in advance, you cannot file a claim for benefits. You must find alternatives to reduce expenses or to obtain emergency funding.

Debt relief application. A settlement program may be your best option if you already owe more than $10,000 in unsecured obligations (credit cards, personal loan, or unpaid medical bills). If you are unable to work, the combination of lost income and extra medical expenses will make it very hard to stay current on these existing payments.

Complete a short-term loan application form instead of filing a claim for coverage you do not have, and cannot buy. The state will not replace your lost income due to temporary medical conditions.

You Already Own a Private Policy

Applying for short-term disability benefits in Florida requires that you file a claim form with the company who issued the policy. Download the claims form from the carrier’s website, and follow the written instructions carefully.

Policy Application Form

You must complete a policy application form in order to purchase coverage. You can apply for a short-term disability policy in Florida privately, or through your employer. Each channel has unique advantages and disadvantages. Start with a quote to understand premium costs.

Request an online quote for disability insurance if you do not have a preexisting health condition, and your employer does not offer a voluntary option. It is often much better to purchase a policy at work, particularly for women who are planning a pregnancy. See the section below on maternity leave coverage for more information.

An agent will provide you with an estimated monthly premium cost for a configuration that meets your needs. He or she can help you complete the policy application form and submit it to the carrier for underwriting review.

Benefit Amounts

A Florida short-term disability insurance policy may reimburse you up to 2/3 of your regular earnings up to a limit of $6,500 per month. You choose the monthly benefit amount at the time of application.

Claims payments begin after you satisfy the elimination period. The elimination period is the length of time before payments begin. You choose the elimination period at the time of application.

Payments continue until reach the payment duration limit. Choose between durations of 3, 6, 12, or 24 months at the time of application.

FL Short-Term Disability Maternity Benefits

Florida short-term disability maternity benefits are very popular with women. Childbirth is a frequent and planned medical event. Certain policies replace income while mom recovers from labor and delivery.

Choose between two policy types: those covering only pregnancy bed rest, and those covering maternity leave as well.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

Most Florida short-term disability policy types cover pregnancy bed rest, provided you begin the coverage prior to conception.

Many families find themselves in a financial bind when pregnancy complications crop up, and mom needs to leave work months in advance of her delivery. Most often, the family loses at least mom’s income. Dad may also need to stop working to provide care at home.

Individual policies purchased online provide this valued income security.

Maternity Leave

Paid maternity benefits are very rare, extremely important to have, yet easily found for many. Most employers choose not to provide this entitlement because the costs are prohibitive. Paying workers to stay at home does not make business sense in the minds of many employers. However, employers who offer voluntary employee benefits give their workers a valuable option.

Maternity leave short-term disability in Florida makes benefit payments when normal childbirth occurs more than nine months after the policy effective date.

  • Vaginal delivery qualifies for a six-week payment.
  • C-section deliveries allow for an additional two weeks during recovery.

There are two very important requirements. The same rules apply in other states as well, but bear repeating here.

  1. The most important requirement is to have your employer offer a voluntary option for women needing maternity leave income. The policies are employee paid so this requirement hurdle is very low.
  2. The second requirement is that coverage must begin before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant. There is a 12-month exclusion for preexisting conditions.

Florida Short-Term Disability Laws

Florida short-term disability laws provide modest protections for employees unable to work. The state program covers permanent medical condition only. Other laws regarding unemployment, family leave, and Medicaid provide limited assistance.

State Program

State mandated short-term disability insurance does not exist in Florida. There is no state law offering a program, or making it mandatory for employers to provide an option for workers. Employers are free to offer an option – or not.

The Florida State Department of Health Division of Disability Determination makes decisions regarding medical eligibility under the Social Security Income and Medically Needy program. Temporary medical conditions are not covered.


Florida law does not currently allow a disabled person to collect unemployment compensation. The same holds true when quitting work due to the health reasons of another family member. If you are unemployed, your policy gives you the right to receive a benefit provided you meet several qualifying criteria:

  • You are kept at home and are unable to perform two of six activities of daily living
  • You are under the regular and appropriate care of a doctor

Infertility Coverage

Florida does not currently have laws requiring health insurance to cover infertility treatments. However, regulations from other states may apply depending upon where your employer bases its headquarters.

Job Protections

Florida family leave laws consist primarily of federal regulations (FMLA). State employees enjoy added job security rights. The Human Rights Act prevents discrimination.


Medicaid does not provide income protection, although eligibility is means tested by income. Many people qualify for this program once they lose income.

This government program is also a primary option for health insurance covering maternity.