Maryland short-term disability insurance is an important benefit for growing families. Do not assume the state offers a program covering temporary medical conditions.
Expenses often pile up very quickly when a family encounters any medical event, and a loss of income comes at the most inconvenient time.
Lost income can put a big dent in any family’s finances and make it difficult to stay current on regular bills. Learn how short-term disability works in Maryland.
- Claim and new policy application forms
- Benefits for pregnancy and maternity leave
- Applicable laws and regulations
Maryland Short-Term Disability Application Forms
There are three important short-term disability application forms in Maryland: claims forms, account forms, and policy application forms. The state does not have a program covering temporary medical conditions. You must purchase a private policy in advance of your need.
Benefits Application Forms
Because the state of Maryland does not offer a program covering temporary disabilities, you must have a personal policy before getting sick, hurt, or pregnant in order to file a claim form for benefits. New policies contain a twelve-month exclusion for preexisting conditions.
Debt relief application. A settlement program is one alternative for residents who do not have a private policy already in force, and who owe more than $10,000 in unsecured obligations (medical bills, credit cards). You may quickly fall behind on payments without an income.
Apply for short-term disability benefits by filing a claim form if you do have a private policy in force that began before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant. Your doctor must sign the form certifying the medical reason for why you are unable to work. Employer signatures verify that the employee is not working or earning an income.
New Policy Application Forms
You must complete a policy application form in order to purchase a policy. An agent will record answers to income and medical questions, and submit the signed application form to the issuing company for approval. Begin by requesting a quote. An agent may contact you.
Request a pregnancy disability quote to determine benefits and costs for future pregnancies. Choose between two options, one offering convenience and the other greater value.
Request an accident/illness only quote if you do not need coverage for pregnancy. Men and women past childbearing age can conveniently purchase a private policy.
Women seeking to purchase policies covering normal childbirth often need to complete an account form. These policies are only available as an employee benefits program. Your employer must make an employee paid option available to all employees. The carrier requires an account application form to establish a business relationship between the employer and the issuing company.
Maryland Short-Term Disability Benefits
MD does not offer state temporary benefits. Personal short-term disability policies in Maryland provide income replacement in the event of a covered accident or illness. Break that statement down into parts for a clearer explanation of how the policies work: income replacement benefits, and covered medical conditions.
Income Replacement Totals
The income replacement totals for short-term disability in MD are calculated by three factors: monthly amount, elimination period, and payment duration. Each of these policy features is determined when the policy is first purchased.
The monthly income replacement amount is expressed in two ways: a percentage of income, and a hard dollar cap. The percent of gross income replacement can reach as high as 70% for some policies. The hard cap never exceeds $6,500 per month. The smaller of the two amounts is used.
The elimination period describes how quickly income replacement payments begin after the initial period of disability. Elimination periods begin at zero days for accidents, and can be as long as 90 days.
The payment duration is defined as the length of time income replacement payments are made when continuously disabled. Payment duration can last as long as 24 months.
Maryland short-term disability insurance qualifying conditions include accidents and illnesses.
Accidental injuries that occur after the policy effective date are covered. Accidents that are intentional, incurred while committing a crime or while intoxicated are not covered. Biologic illnesses that are not considered preexisting conditions are qualifying medical conditions. Find more below on mental disorders and pre-existing conditions.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Pregnancy bed rest is a common claims reason for short-term disability. Twenty-five percent of pregnancies experience medical complications or are considered high-risk. Complications of pregnancy that are medically based are covered illnesses.
Short-term disability for pregnancy is a great way to get the rest needed to protect the health of mom and her baby without the financial worry.
The number one reason why people are denied claims is waiting until after conception to purchase a policy. You must purchase your policy prior to conception to qualify for bed rest benefits. Pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.
Short-term disability covers maternity leave in Maryland. Policies that cover mom’s recovery from normal childbirth help create maternity leave income. This is a great opportunity to buy a policy that supports income when things go according to plan. Your maternity leave benefit may be much larger than what you pay in premium prior to giving birth.
Postpartum disorders may delay mom’s return to work. Medically based postpartum problems such as hemorrhaging, or infections are often qualifying conditions. Postpartum depression is often not covered as it is considered a mental illness.
Maryland Short-Term Disability Laws
There is no law mandating Maryland state short-term disability insurance. Employers are not required to offer the program to employees. Everything is voluntary. Employers choose whether to offer an option, and employees choose whether to purchase a policy.
The MD Division of Rehabilitation Services helps people with disabilities to go to work and stay independent. Maryland’s Disability Determination staff determines the eligibility of MD applicants for Social Security Benefits. The office contact information is:
PO Box 6338
Timonium, MD 21094-6338
Group Disability Law
Maryland insurance laws mandate that any group disability plan that covers temporary disability must offer the option to cover any work disruptions brought on by pregnancy and/or recovery from childbirth. Most policies do this anyway in other states, but having the law on the books ensures that all plans provide this critically important feature.
Disability Leave Laws
Any employer that provides paid leave for the birth of a child, then it must provide the same benefit for the adoption of a child. This, of course, assumes that employers provide paid leave, which many do not.
The Maryland Flexible Leave Act requires that employers, who provide sick leave pay under a collective bargaining agreement, must allow the sick time to be used to care for a family member with a medical condition. The stipulation applies to employers with fifteen or more employees.
The Maryland Temporary Cash Assistance program provides cash resources to needy families with dependent children.
The Maryland IVF mandate provides couples with needed assistance, but also a wake-up call. The short-term disability must be purchased prior to conception. Couples undergoing assisted reproductive therapies should act accordingly.
- Social Security – MD Disability Determination
- Sick leave – Business and Legal Resources MD
- Disability coverage for pregnancy – MD Insurance Mandates
- MD temporary cash assistance
- Image credit: kbuntu / 123RF Stock Photo