New York State short-term disability benefits cover off-the-job accidents and illnesses for most workers in private industry.

While good to have, the program has holes. You will find that the payment amounts are rather small, and do not last terribly long. Supplemental policies and settlement programs can help you avoid financial hardship.

Find answers to three categories of common questions about the NYS short-term disability insurance program.

  1. Where to file a claim form and check the status
  2. Covering pregnancy bed rest and maternity leave
  3. State laws regarding eligibility – maximum amounts and more

NYS Short-Term Disability Claim Forms & Status

Completing the New York State short-term disability claim form, following up to determine its status, and filing an appeal can be a confusing process. The reason for the confusion is simple. The state mandates the entitlement program but does not administer it.

Many different insurance companies provide state-compliant policies for employers to purchase on behalf of employees. At each step of the application process, you need to communicate with the correct private insurance company.

Claim Forms

The NYS short-term disability claim form entitles qualifying workers to a weekly benefit of up to $170. Because of the very small amount, you should consider completing both of the following application forms.

  1. Debt relief application. Complete this online form if you already owe $10,000 or more on your credit cards and other forms of unsecured obligations. A settlement program could help you through this period of financial hardship. It is easy to fall hopelessly behind on your expenses with only $170 per week coming in. Your medical condition may result in additional doctor and hospital bills, making the situation worse.
  2. Claim form DB-450 is a universal form all applicants must use when applying for benefits. When filing a claim you must remember that the law requires that your employer purchases coverage. Your employer is required to buy a plan through an authorized carrier or to self-insure if approved by the worker’s compensation board.

Claim Status

Checking on your NYS short-term disability claims status means contacting the responsible insurance company processing the claim. While there is a single benefit application form that all workers must use, you must submit the form itself to the specific insurer contracted by your employer. Only your employer knows which carrier they selected.

Remember that the state does not adjudicate claims or communicate about their status. You must contact the correct insurance company to determine the standing of your claims check.

Contact Numbers

The first NYS short-term disability contact phone number to call belongs to your employer’s human resource department. Your employer determines which insurance company provides the coverage. They should be able to direct you about where to file your claim and follow up on its status.

The second contact phone number belongs to the New York Worker’s Compensation Board. Call (877) 632-4996 for assistance in identifying the issuing insurance company.

Find the customer service phone numbers for the most widely used insurance companies.

Insurance Company Contact Phone Number
Guardian (800) 268-2525
New York State Insurance Fund (888) 875-5790
Shelter Point Life (800) 365-4999
The Standard LIC of NY (800) 426-4332

NYS Short-Term Disability Maternity Benefits

New York State short-term disability maternity benefits come in handy when mom is expecting a baby. Apply for maternity leave benefits after your doctor determines you can no longer perform the duties of your full-time occupation. Both your doctor and employer must fill out the claims form.

Mom may miss work during her pregnancy for bed rest. All mothers want to spend time at home bonding with her baby while on maternity leave – even after normal childbirth. Some new mothers experience postpartum disorders and must extend her time at home.

Private short-term disability insurance increases the level of income replacement for this often-planned medical event. Purchase supplemental plans at work prior to conception to take full advantage.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

NYS short-term disability benefits certainly help if mom misses work prior to delivery in order to take pregnancy bed rest because of a medical complication. Your doctor or certified midwife must submit medical reports with your maternity claim form if you stop working more than four weeks prior to delivery.

Twenty-five percent of pregnancies will experience one of more complications, so chances are quite high that you might need to stop working much earlier than planned: perhaps months ahead of schedule.

Couples undergoing IVF treatment in order to conceive frequently experience high-risk pregnancies. The chance of carrying twins or triplets is much higher. It is advisable for these couples to purchase a supplemental policy. They have the clearest need.

Maternity Leave

NYS short-term disability benefits continue during maternity leave after normal childbirth. The program makes a six-week payment for normal vaginal delivery – minus a one-week elimination period.

Your insurance company may extend the maternity leave benefits after a normal C-section delivery. The claims underwriters often require more detailed information on your maternity claim form in order to determine how long to extend payments.

The same process holds when mom experiences postpartum complications such as hemorrhaging. Postpartum depression is probably not a valid claims reason.

New York State Short-Term Disability Laws

The New York State short-term disability insurance laws are codified under the worker’s compensation laws: Article 9. Sections 200 to 211 make up the bulk of regulations that apply directly to employees seeking entitlements.

The law mandates income coverage for specified workers. New York State has updated the law in decades. Incomes have increased over the years making the program payments nearly irrelevant.

Maximum Benefits

The NYS temporary disability maximum benefits calculations depend on three important variables codified in the law: the amount, the length, and the waiting period. Add these components together to yield a maximum amount totaling $4,420.

  1. The maximum benefit amount is 50% of income or $170 per week, whichever is less. Your last eight weeks of employment determine your income.
  2. The benefit payments last for up to 26 weeks. Your doctor will need to provide evidence of a medical reason why you are temporarily unable to work.
  3. The waiting period is 7 days. Payment rights begin on the eighth consecutive day you are unable to work.

Benefit Taxation

A portion of NYS short-term disability benefits may be taxable. By law, your employer can charge you up to 60 cents per week to the cost of coverage. If you pay your portion of the premium cost using pre-tax contributions, then your entire claim amount is subject to taxation.

Your employer must also contribute to making up the balance. Check your pay stubs to determine tax consequences.

Employment Termination

NYS short-term disability does not provide job protection. Several federal regulations provide job protection rights for employees while they are not working. Unemployment compensation pays more, but disabled people rarely qualify.

Job Protection Laws

New York family leave laws do little to extend federal protections. Several federal rules often apply to many workers that do provide job protection rights. These laws include the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Unemployment Compensation

You cannot collect NYS short-term disability and unemployment compensation at the same time. The unemployment programs pay up to $405 per week, which provides a substantial boost in the level of income replacement.

New York State law allows employees to collect unemployment if they voluntarily terminate employment for “compelling family reasons.” However, an employee’s own disability does not meet the standard.

Collecting unemployment due to a health reason may be applicable. A spouse might need to quit work to care a seriously ill family member on disability. Every penny counts.

Employee Eligibility

NYS short-term disability eligibility hinges upon who pays into the system. Workers who commute from New Jersey or Connecticut are qualified under the plan, as they must contribute automatically.

Any covered employer must provide the entitlement to all eligible workers, which includes full-time as well as part-time employees.

Many employee classes and organizations are exempt from the statutory contribution requirement and could not be eligible. Keep in mind that your employer can elect to participate on a voluntary basis. Check with your employer to verify eligibility. Some of the groups that may not be eligible include:

  • Employer type
    • Government (Federal, State, & Local)
    • Railroad
    • Maritime
    • Religious organizations
    • Public & private schools
  • Employee classes
    • Independent contractors
    • Domestic workers
    • Farm laborers
    • Sole proprietors
    • Business partners

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