Applying for disability benefits in Louisiana requires a roadmap and sometimes planning and action. Fast processing of your claim can make a big difference for people unable to work.
Therefore, it pays to know the requirements.
Residents with temporary medical conditions (lasting less than one year) can file a claim with a private insurance company – if they purchased coverage in advance. Buy a new policy today to avoid problems in the future.
Workers with long-term conditions (lasting more than one year) can turn to Social Security Disability since the government requires participation. Complete an online application to start the process.
In Louisiana, workers may have to complete two short-term disability applications in a specific sequence. You must buy coverage before qualifying to file a claim, as the state does not have a mandatory program covering temporary illnesses and injuries (lasting less than one year).
Filing a Claim
How do you file for short-term disability benefits in Louisiana? Your answer depends on whether you bought private coverage beforehand, how long your condition will last, and whether you suffered an occupational or non-occupational loss.
- If you purchased a supplemental policy before suffering an off-the-job accident or illness, file your application for benefits with the private insurance company. Download the claim form and follow the instructions carefully to avoid unnecessary delays.
- Apply for temporary disability benefits through Social Security if your medical condition will last at least twelve months and prevent you from performing any work. Most individuals have this coverage because the government forces us to pay into the system via payroll taxes (FICA).
- After suffering an on-the-job accident or illness, file a claim for temporary disability benefits with the Worker’s Compensation insurance company. Most people have this coverage because the state requires employers to buy the insurance for their employees.
Buying a Policy
How do you apply for short-term disability in Louisiana? If you want comprehensive income replacement benefits, you must purchase a private insurance policy because the state does not have a mandatory program.
Request a short-term disability quote to get the process started. An agent licensed in Louisiana may contact you to review policy configurations and their impact on premium rates.
- Monthly benefit: the amount the policy pays
- Elimination period: how quickly claim payments begin
- Benefit period: how long claim payments last
Buying this extra coverage fills the enormous holes in the government-mandated programs, provided you act before suffering an accident or illness that prevents you from working.
- Social Security (SSDI) does not cover temporary disabilities lasting less than one year (12 months) and limits benefits to a meager average of only $1,500 per month
- Worker’s Compensation does not cover off-the-job accidents and illnesses, which occur far more frequently than occupational incidents
The most critical short-term disability requirement in Louisiana is purchasing a policy from a private insurance company before suffering an off-the-job accident or illness that will prevent you from working for less than twelve months.
The insurance company might deny coverage and benefits when you have a pre-existing health condition. Therefore, it pays to be proactive.
The short-term disability requirements become too real for many women during pregnancy because Louisiana maternity leave laws do not address paid time off.
Getting short-term disability approved while pregnant is possible, but the pre-existing condition clause will apply. In other words, you can qualify for a new policy but will be ineligible for maternity benefits for the first twelve months.
Therefore, buying coverage before conception is critical.
- Social Security Disability does not cover pregnancy because your condition does not prevent you from working twelve months or longer
- Workers Compensation does not cover maternity leave because pregnancy and childbirth are not occupational illnesses
- The Louisiana Pregnancy Disability Leave Law allows up to four months of unpaid time off for women with “seriously disabling” complications working at employers with more than twenty-five employees
Louisiana does not require automatic enrollment in a short-term disability insurance program, as do seven other states. Therefore, the state government does not directly assist workers with temporary losses (lasting less than twelve months) from off-the-job accidents or illnesses.
Free grant money for bills and personal use becomes more available through the state for people coping with temporary disabilities. In this case, lost income works in your favor.
The eligibility rules for many government benefits hinge on your projected income when you file your taxes in the following April, not your previous salary. For instance, a six-month work absence could open the door to significant savings on home repairs and bills for utilities, groceries, medical care, water usage, and more.