Short-Term Disability Insurance in Florida | How to Apply

Short-term disability insurance in Florida protects your income if you cannot work because an off-the-job (non-occupational) medical condition prevents you from working temporarily.

The state does not have a mandatory program as it does for occupational (Workers Compensation) and permanent (Social Security) medical conditions.

Therefore, you must complete a new policy application before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant so that you can file a claim for benefits should the need arise in the future.

Learn how short-term disability works in Florida and avoid the nasty surprises that often come when you assume that the state will take care of every need.

Applying for Short-Term Disability in FL

How do you apply for short-term disability insurance in Florida? Your choice of words is crucial in this area, as is your timing. Many people conflate buying a new policy and filing a claim under the application umbrella and suffer dire consequences for this mistake.

Filing a Claim

Applying for short-term disability in Florida can mean filing a claim for benefits, which you cannot do unless you have coverage already in force for the type of medical condition you have.

Remember, the state does not have a mandatory program covering off-the-job accidents and illnesses.

  • File a claim for Social Security disability benefits if your doctor expects your non-occupational injury or illness to last more than twelve months. However, Social Security does not honor claims for temporary medical conditions.
  • File a claim for temporary losses caused by off-the-job (non-occupational) accidents and illnesses by completing the claim form published by the private insurance company that issued your policy.
  • Apply for temporary disability benefits for on-the-Job (occupational) losses by completing the claim form published by the private insurance company chosen by your employer that provides Workers Compensation.

New Policy

Applying for short-term disability in Florida can also mean buying a new insurance policy. Many people need to take this step before becoming ill, suffering an injury, or becoming pregnant. The state does not have a mandatory program covering off-the-job accidents and sicknesses.

Request a quote for an individual policy before you have a preexisting condition. An agent licensed in Florida may contact you to present costs for a variety of configurations. These features determine premium rates.

  • Elimination period
  • Monthly amount
  • Benefit period

Once you arrive at a comfortable price point and feature combination, the agent can help you complete a new policy application. The agent will then submit the paperwork to the insurance company for underwriting review.

Short-Term Disability Insurance FL

Short-term disability insurance in Florida is the ideal way to protect your income when off-the-job medical conditions prevent you from working temporarily. As noted above, you must buy a policy from a private company before getting sick, injured, or pregnant.


Short-term disability for pregnancy in Florida is an excellent insurance program for families planning to have children. However, most women miss the opportunity to apply for benefits because they must purchase an individual policy before conception.

Women aware of this requirement may still encounter challenges finding the ideal coverage because of a seemingly minor distinction based on where they buy the policy.

  • Personal worksite policies cover all maternity leave scenarios
    • Pregnancy complications before birth
    • Recovery from normal labor and delivery
      • Vaginal birth: 6 weeks
      • C-Section: 8 weeks
    • Postpartum medical issues that delay return to work
  • Private plans (outside of an employer) do not cover normal childbirth


The COVID-19 pandemic provides the opportunity to illustrate how several short-term disability features work. Keep these lessons in mind if the Coronavirus causes a loss of income.

  • Florida Workers Compensation may cover first responders, healthcare workers, and others that contract COVID-19 due to work-related exposure.
  • Short-term disability (if in force before infection) may cover other workers exposed to COVID-19 at home or in the community subject to these restrictions.
    • After satisfying the elimination period
    • While under the care of a doctor
    • Not the care of sick family members with symptoms
    • Not during a quarantine after exposure
    • Not to supervise children during school lockdowns

Mental Health

In Florida, the type of insurance policy you have in force determines whether short-term disability will cover mental health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety, addictions, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

You could have three distinct types of coverage.

CategoryMental Health Coverage
Individual plans bought outside of employersNo
Personal plans bought at the worksite paid by employeesRarely
Group plans where employers pay premiumsOften


Apply these lessons covered above and read through the frequently asked questions addressed below before hiring a Florida short-term disability lawyer. An attorney cannot offer legal help in filing claims for coverage you do not have.

Remember these critical facts before contacting a lawyer.

  • The state does not have a mandatory program for temporary non-occupational medical conditions
  • You must buy an insurance policy from a private company before you have a preexisting health condition

FAQ About Short-Term Disability in FL

Scan this list of frequently asked questions about short-term disability insurance in Florida. In general, the answers refute assumptions that many people make to their detriment.

You need to take proactive steps to protect your lifestyle rather than rely on a government program to bail you out.