Short-Term & Temporary Disability In Maryland: Applying

Maryland short-term disability laws do not require coverage for off-the-job (non-occupational) losses lasting less than one year.

Therefore, you must proactively purchase a policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant to apply for benefits by filing a claim.

On the other hand, Maryland temporary disability laws require coverage for on-the-job (occupational) losses and non-occupational medical conditions lasting at least one year.

You can apply for benefits without taking proactive steps first.

Your health and ability to earn an income might be your greatest asset. Make sure to insure it before it’s too late!

Applying For Short-Term Disability in MD

Applying for short-term disability benefits in Maryland requires a two-step process because the state does not require coverage for off-the-job accidents and illnesses.

  1. Buy coverage before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant
  2. File a claim for benefits with the issuing insurance company

Other Benefits

Many Maryland workers ask about applying for short-term disability benefits, assuming that the state requires coverage. It does not. Therefore, you may need to find alternate support.

Free government money you never pay back is available through benefit programs for low-income families that lower everyday household expenses such as energy, food, repairs, childcare, and more.

The government uses your projected income (not what you earned before your disability) when qualifying families for these benefits.

Private Workers

Many employees at private companies in Maryland can purchase short-term disability insurance at work – if available. The state does not require employers to offer coverage, but many do anyway.

Short-term disability insurance, not through employers, is available to individuals without this option at work. Request a quote and complete a new policy application. You must provide evidence of good health to qualify for the coverage.

State Employees

The Maryland state government does not offer short-term disability insurance to its employees. They provide generous medical, dental, and FSA benefits but do not address income protection.

Request a short-term disability quote for an individual policy if you work in the state government. A licensed agent can provide an estimate of monthly premiums and take your new policy application.

Federal Workers

Being so close to Washington DC, many Maryland residents work for the federal government, which allows employees to purchase short-term disability through payroll allotment.

Buy short-term disability for federal employees by contacting agents specializing in this coverage option. Complete an application for coverage over the phone. Although not group coverage, the benefits are superior, and the underwriting requirements are more lenient compared to policies available to individuals.

How Short-Term Disability Works in MD

This rule sums up how short-term disability works in Maryland: you must buy a policy from a private insurance company before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant. The state does not require coverage for non-occupational losses lasting less than one year.

How Long

The individual determines how long short-term disability lasts in Maryland when enrolling in the coverage. The benefit period defines the maximum number of weeks the policy will honor claims for a covered loss.

Short-term disability insurance costs vary based on the person’s age and three policy variables selected by the applicant, which affect the monthly premiums when buying coverage.

  1. Benefit Period: more extended benefits cost more
  2. Elimination Period: longer periods cost less
  3. Monthly Amount: higher benefits cost more

How Much

The individual also determines how much you get for short-term disability in Maryland when enrolling. Higher benefit amounts translate into costlier monthly premiums, plus insurance companies limit what you can buy.

Calculating short-term disability pay is straightforward because the policy defines the monthly amount you purchased at enrollment. You can cover up to 66% of your income, subject to a monthly maximum of about $6,500 – if you can afford the monthly premium.

Maternity Leave

Short-term disability for maternity leave illustrates the most critical Maryland requirement. You must purchase a policy before conception to qualify for benefits.

You can buy short-term disability while pregnant, but a pre-existing health condition clause will exclude any maternity-related claims for twelve months.

However, women purchasing coverage before conception often enjoy critical maternity leave benefits, making it easier to afford to have a baby.

  1. Pregnancy disability leave before birth
  2. Recovery from labor and delivery
  3. Postpartum medical complications

Applying for Temporary Disability in MD

Workers in Maryland have a one-step process when applying for temporary disability benefits mandated by the state. You do not need to purchase coverage for two types of losses proactively.

  1. Occupational (on-the-job) incidents of any duration
  2. Non-occupational losses lasting at least twelve months


The Maryland Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP) helps a tiny subset of residents with nominal benefits. You must meet several strict criteria to qualify.

  • Unable to work for at least three months
  • Have no children under 18 living with you
  • Monthly countable household income of $185 or less
  • Resources must not exceed $1,500 in assets

Complete the Maryland TDAP application online at the MyMDTHINK website or contact your local Social Services office offline or in person. The meager $185 maximum monthly benefit does not go far, but every little bit helps.

Social Security

Social Security covers non-occupational temporary disabilities lasting twelve months or longer. The federal government requires all Maryland workers to contribute to the system via FICA payroll taxes.

Apply for temporary disability through Social Security online. Do not be fooled into thinking that your medical condition must be permanent or last until age 65. Trust the federal government’s definition.

“To meet our definition of disability, you must not be able to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) because of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) that is either:

  • Expected to result in death
  • Has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.”

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers temporary occupational disabilities. Maryland requires all employers to purchase a policy for their employees, so coverage should be automatic.

Apply for temporary disability benefits through Workers’ Compensation by reporting an injury to your supervisor immediately. Then, file a claim with the insurance company chosen by your employer. Your Human Resources manager should have this information.

You might be eligible for several types of benefits.

  • Medical treatment
  • Transportation expenses
  • Temporary wage replacement