Short-Term Disability Pay Calculator | How Much You Get

How much does short-term disability insurance pay in the event of a valid claim? The answer is different for every person and policy.

Some people miss only two weeks of work while others are out for two years or longer. Others earned more money while working and have a higher payout. 

Plus, every plan has a least three features that factor into the equation that decides the weekly check amount. Learn how they work and what they mean.

Play around with our short-term disability payout calculator to get a quick estimate of the amount of money you might receive each week and overall.  

Disclaimer: only your insurance provider can determine claim amounts.

Forecasting Short-Term Disability Payments

Three variables go into the calculation of short-term disability payment amounts. Each person will get a different answer to how much money they might get because everyone has unique inputs going into the equation.

Have a copy of your policy at your side or research online to find the correct inputs for each of these critical elements.

Elimination Period

The policy elimination (waiting) period is the first variable in your short-term disability pay calculation. The length of time before benefits start impacts how much cash you might receive in total.

The waiting period dictates how long you must be out of work before the policy begins to support claims. For example, this chart depicts the number of weeks a plan may support claims for a person unable to work for four weeks.

Elimination PeriodClaims Supported
7 day3 weeks
14 day2 weeks
30 day0 weeks
60 day0 weeks

Benefit Period

The policy benefit period is the second variable in your short-term disability pay calculation. The length of time the policy supports claims while you are unable to work due to a covered medical condition also determines how much money you could receive in total.

This factor comes into play if your disability lasts longer than the benefit period. For example, this chart depicts the number of months a policy may support claims for a person unable to work for 12 months after satisfying the waiting period.

Benefit PeriodMonths Supported
3 Months3
6 Months6
12 Months12
24 Months12

Pay Percentage

The short-term disability pay percentage is the most confusing variable in the calculation. Your policy will have two components defining the size of each check you get each week – while the money comes in.

  1. A percentage ceiling ranging from 50% to 90% of income
  2. A hard dollar limit ranging from $170 to $1,500 per week

For example, suppose you earn $52,000 annually or $1,000 per week and work in a state with a mandated program. The percent of the pre-disability earnings you might receive could vary widely, as each program has unique rules.

StateMax%Weekly Limit*Actual %
New Jersey85%$88185%
New York50%$17017%
Rhode Island60%$88760%
*The weekly limit uses figures from 2021, which may increase in later years.

Short-Term Disability Pay FAQ

Scan through this list of frequently asked questions about short-term disability payout calculations. Gain a better understanding of the formulas that determine how much money you might get while you are unable to work – provided that you have coverage in force.

How Long Does it Take to Kick In?

The elimination or waiting period stated in your policy dictate how long it takes short-term disability benefits to kick in. You do not get paid during the waiting period, ranging from 7 days to 60 days.

Do You Get Full Pay While Out of Work?

No, short-term disability does not pay 100% of your income. Each policy has different parameters for the percentage of pay and the maximum monthly benefit.

For example, the New York State plan covers 50% of earnings and tops out at $150 per week, while the California program replaces up to 70% and maxes at approximately $1,357 weekly.

How Long do the Benefits Last?

The benefit period outlined in your policy influences how long short-term disability payments last while you cannot work because of a covered medical condition.

For example, the Washington State plan continues for 12 weeks, while New Jersey lasts for 6 months, and California persists for 12 months.

Do the Checks Arrive Weekly?

Most short-term disability companies will pay claims weekly rather than in a lump sum. Weekly checks get the funds into the hands of policyholders more quickly when they need it most. They also enable the insurer to reverify your medical condition periodically.