Ohio does not offer short-term disability insurance covering off-the-job accidents and illnesses for people working in private industry.

Therefore, most residents concerned about replacing income while they are temporarily unable to work should purchase a policy before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant. You need to have coverage in force to file a claim for temporary benefits.

People dealing with permanent and or occupational income losses have a better chance of success: the government requires coverage.

Social Security disability does not pay much, but at least most people have the benefit and can file online. Meanwhile, Workers Compensation is more generous but only applies to occupational incidents.

Temporary Disability in Ohio

Short-term disability insurance in Ohio replaces a portion of income when a covered medical condition caused by a non-occupational incident prevents you from working.

Ohio does not have a program addressing temporary disabilities for people working in the private sector. Only state employees enjoy this benefit. The taxpayers who fund the premiums are on their own.

Therefore, each individual must take steps to buy a private policy before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant. Otherwise, you do not qualify to apply for benefits.


Applying for short-term disability in Ohio requires a two-step process. You must complete an application for new coverage before you have a pre-existing condition to be eligible to file a claim for benefits.

New Policy

Request a short-term disability quote to begin the purchase process. An agent licensed in Ohio may contact you to outline premium estimates for individuals.

The agent can help you complete a new policy application after you arrive at a comfortable configuration for price and policy features: monthly amount, benefit period, and elimination period. You must show evidence of good health to qualify.

Benefit Claim

File a temporary disability claim by contacting the insurance company issuing the policy. Download the form from the company website. Follow the instructions on the paperwork carefully, and include three signatures before submitting the document for review.

  1. An insured signature verifying ownership
  2. Doctor signature stating the medical reason
  3. Employer signature indicating a loss of income


Short-term disability for pregnancy is very popular with Ohio mothers. Unfortunately, few women act in time to take advantage of this valuable resource.

Coverage must begin before conception.

When purchased before you become pregnant, a private policy could replace a portion of income during some of these temporary maternity-related work absences.

  • Pregnancy disability leave before birth due to medical complications
  • Maternity leave while recovering from normal labor and delivery
    • Vaginal birth: 6 weeks
    • Cesarean Section: 8 weeks
  • Postpartum health disorders that delay your return to the job


Filing an unemployment claim is a poor substitute for people who do not have short-term disability coverage. State law makes it impossible to collect while you are unable to work because of a temporary medical condition. You must meet three universal criteria first.

  1. Physically able to work
  2. Available for employment
  3. Actively seeking a new job

Also, once you recover and meet the first criteria, Ohio unemployment law is not as precise and relevant as other states in its “just cause” definition for voluntarily leaving. The legal language is vague as it relates to this scenario.[1]

“The action taken was one that would be taken by an ordinarily prudent person under similar circumstances.”


There is no single correct answer to how long short-term disability lasts in Ohio. Two factors combine to determine the duration of interim claim checks, which are unique to each individual and situation.

  • Checks continue during the time you are unable to perform your regular work duties due to a covered accident or sickness and under the care of a licensed physician.
  • The benefit period stated in the outline of coverage determines the maximum length of claim payments while you remain continuously disabled, and varies for each policy.
    • Three months
    • Six months
    • One year
    • Two years

Permanent Disability in Ohio

Applying for permanent and or occupational disability benefits in Ohio often proves more fruitful because people frequently have coverage already in force. Federal and state laws mandate employers to automatically cover and fund portions of the premiums on behalf of employees.

Social Security

Most Ohio residents can apply for Social Security disability benefits if they suffer a permanent (more than one year) medical condition caused by a non-occupational (off-the-job) accident or illness.

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) covers workers who paid into the system via FICA taxes payroll deducted by employers
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) addresses the needs of adults and children who have limited earnings and resources

Filing Claim

File a Social Security disability claim in one of three ways.

  1. Find information online at www.ssa.gov
  2. By telephone at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778)
  3. In person at a local SSA office

Once complete, the system will forward your application to the Ohio Division of Disability Determinations (ODDD) for processing. ODDD will decide your eligibility for benefits.

People waiting for approval can sometimes get help with emergency funding, expedited determinations, and other welfare programs.

List of Impairments

The list of qualifying impairments for Social Security disability is the same as across the country. While state offices adjudicate claims for Ohio residents, they must follow the federal eligibility rules.

People diagnosed by a licensed physician with specific impairments have a higher chance of having their application approved. Follow the list published at SSA.gov for exact details.[2]

GenitourinaryImmune SystemDigestive
NeurologicalSenses SpeechCancer

Workers Compensation

Worker’s compensation provides both temporary and permanent disability benefits for employees in Ohio who suffer an occupational (on-the-job) injury or illness. State law requires employers to purchase and fund the premiums to protect their employees.

Therefore, you do not have to sign up in advance to qualify. File a claim by completing the online “First Report of an Injury, Occupational Disease or Death” form. [3]

You could be eligible for many of these partial income replacements and medical care benefits.

  • Permanent partial
  • Permanent total
  • Temporary total
  • Change of occupation
  • Facial disfigurement
  • Premature death

Footnoted Sources:

[1] Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services

[2] SSA Impairment Listings

[3] Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation