Short-term disability benefits in Indiana consists primarily of taxpayer-funded plans for state employees, voluntary programs offered to private workers, and individual coverage people can purchase directly.

Each type works differently. Hoosiers can find answers to tricky questions about the different kinds of policies available to protect income.

This article addresses several common questions about Indiana short-term disability insurance.

  • How do I apply for a coverage, and file a claim?
  • Does it cover my pregnancy or maternity leave?
  • What laws and rules protect my job and help with wage replacement?

Filing for Short-Term Disability Benefits in Indiana

Filing for short-term disability benefits in Indiana rarely helps people dealing with non-occupational losses. The state does not provide a program addressing this need for workers in private industry.

Applying for coverage once you already have a need does not work. Consider several alternatives for financial help. Buy a new plan for future losses.

 New plans exclude payments for any preexisting condition for at least 12 months. 

Temporary Financial Assistance

An online loan approval may offer temporary help during a brief absence from work. If approved, the lender will deposit money directly into your checking account. Use the funding to stay current on existing bills while you recover.

Be careful about borrowing money while incapacitated. Make sure that you will recover quickly. Verify that your employer will hold your job open until you can return. You must repay the lender in monthly installments, which requires earnings.

Filing Claim Form

Complete a claim form published by the issuing insurance company when filing for short-term disability non-occupational benefits in Indiana. You must purchase private coverage before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant in order to file a claim after an off-the-job loss.

Have your doctor indicate the medical reason why you are unable to work. Your employer must also sign the form in the appropriate section, indicating that you are no longer earning an income. Sign the form where indicated, and submit the paperwork to the issuing company for claims processing.

New Policy Application

Request a monthly premium quote before completing an application for a new short-term disability policy. An agent licensed in Indiana may contact you to present estimates for a variety of feature choices.

  • Elimination period defines how quickly claim payments begin after a loss
  • Benefit period determines how long the payments could last
  • Monthly amount of up to 2/3 of gross income subject to a maximum

The agent can assist in the completion of the application for coverage. After you sign the document, the agent will then submit the paperwork to the insurance company for underwriting review.

Indiana Short-Term Disability for Pregnancy

Short-term disability insurance in Indiana covers pregnancy-related conditions with unique requirements. Women seeking maternity leave pay should pay careful attention to several key wrinkles.

  • Begin three months prior to conception
  • Purchase at work if you can
    • Individual plans bought outside employers do not cover normal childbirth
    • Plans obtained at the worksite pay for recovery from labor and delivery

Bed Rest Complications

All short-term disability policy types in Indiana pay for pregnancy complications caused by a covered condition. Twenty-five percent of expectant women must stop working before delivery when ordered by their doctor. A period of bed rest beginning in the second trimester can result in 6 months of lost income.

Individual policies bought outside of employers are often the only option. Many employers do not offer a voluntary program. This more convenient and accessible alternative makes a great deal of sense given the risks and probability of a claim.

Maternity Leave

Only worksite-sourced short-term disability in Indiana creates maternity leave pay. Both personal and group plans pay for mom’s recovery from normal labor and delivery.

  • Vaginal birth pays for 6 weeks less the elimination period
  • Caesarean delivery pays for 8 weeks minus the waiting period

Employers can provide paid maternity leave to their female employees without adding to direct costs. Workers pay for voluntary personal policies themselves via payroll deduction. Women should ask their employer to make the option available!

Indiana Short-Term Disability Rules & Laws

The Indiana short-term disability rules and laws touch on a wide variety of issues. Residents who are unable to work because of a medical condition should review these regulations.

Follow the citation links at the bottom of the page for more information about how these statutes may work. Find out how to protect your job rights, and find the programs that do provide income replacement.

Short-Term Health Insurance

The rules regarding short-term health insurance in Indiana rely on federal laws. Ongoing access to affordable medical care is vital when a physical condition makes it impossible to work.

FMLA requires employers to continue health benefits as if the affected person was still working. However, these protections expire after 12 weeks, and many people do not qualify. For example, small business personnel and part-timers are ineligible.

People have several temporary health insurance options when they lose coverage while unable to work.

  • COBRA allows ex-workers to continue in a group plan while paying 100% of the premiums
  • Individual marketplace plans provide premium subsidies based on income. Loss of insurance is a qualifying life event, which enables you to enroll any time of year
  • Short-term health insurance covers people during gaps in employment
  • Medicaid provides health care for low-income households

State Disability Insurance

Indiana does not offer state short-term disability insurance covering temporary non-occupational injuries and illnesses. Residents must purchase a private plan before the need arises in order to meet the requirements to file a claim.

However, the government does mandate a plan for occupational incidents. In addition, it administers the federal program providing compensation for permanent off-the-job conditions.

Workers Compensation

Worker’s Compensation operates as Indiana’s state temporary disability program for on-the-job injuries and sickness. The Worker’s Compensation Act (Code 22-3-1-1 through 22-3-12-5) requires three types of remunerations.1

  1. Wage replacement not to exceed $780 weekly
    1. Temporary partial
    2. Temporary total
    3. Permanent partial
    4. Permanent total
  2. Medical care to restore function
  3. Monetary redress if the care cannot return you to pre-injury health status

Social Security

The Indiana Disability Determination Bureau (FSSA) administers claims for the state permanent disability program for non-occupational accidents and illnesses. Social Security defines the covered conditions as follows.2

“The inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

People waiting for approval on a Social Security claim often need financial assistance. Hiring an attorney often speeds up the process. These lawyers frequently will defer legal fees and take a percentage of the monthly amount for a specified period.

Medical Leave of Absence

The Family Medical Leave Act is the primary law in Indiana offering job and health benefit protections during a temporary disability. The legal safeguards last for 12 weeks during a medical leave of absence.

Other nationwide regulations provide additional rights for disabled people in the workplace. For example, employers cannot discriminate against impaired workers in hiring and assignments. They must make reasonable accommodations when applicable.

State Employees

Indiana state employees with continuous service on a permanent full-time basis for a period of 6 months are eligible for short-term and long-term disability. Both programs cover non-occupational injuries and accidents.3

    • Short-term: begins after a 30-day waiting period, last for up to 6 months, and replace up to 60% of income.
  • Long-term: begins after the initial 6-month period ends and the person applies for Social Security and appeals any denial.
    • Year one 50% maximum
    • Year two and beyond 40%

State employees can use accrued leave pay to supplement these amounts.


  1. Worker’s Compensation Board
  2. Family and Social Services Administration
  3. State Employees