Virginia short-term disability insurance is an important program for growing families.

Most employers may not provide paid leave. The state does not offer a program for temporary medical conditions.

How can you continue paying regular bills without an income, when added medical expenses enter the mix?

Preserving your income with private coverage is a great way to answer this question.

  • Application and claims forms
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Virginia laws related to disability

Virginia Short-Term Disability Application

You may need to complete three different Virginia short-term disability application forms. Each form serves a different purpose. You must complete the forms in a defined sequence, otherwise, you will not qualify for benefits.

  1. Gain access where you work
  2. Purchase a policy
  3. File a claim

Filing a Claim

You may have missed the opportunity to follow the right sequence, as many do. The state does not offer a program. You must purchase a policy before the need arises in order to file a claim for benefits. If you are already sick, hurt, or pregnant you do not qualify to file a claim.

Debt Relief Application. Apply if you did not purchase a private policy in advance of your need and you owe more than $10,000 in unsecured obligations (credit cards or personal loan). Residents often fall into a debt trap when new medical bills pile up while they are unable to work because of an injury or illness. A settlement program is often the only avenue for financial assistance.

Apply for short-term disability benefits if you already have a policy in force before suffering a covered accident or illness. Download the claims form from the issuing company’s website, and follow instructions carefully.

Applying for a Policy

Complete a policy application form to purchase coverage. You choose the features at the time of application. A licensed agent will record answers to questions about income, and medical history, and submit the application for coverage to the issuing company. A new policy will not cover preexisting conditions!

Begin by requesting an online quote to estimate the monthly premiums for a sample configuration. Most people can easily purchase a private policy without involving your employer in the process. Women seeking coverage for normal childbirth need to purchase their policy at work. The employer needs to complete a new account form with the issuing carrier.

Account Application Form

The best place to purchase short-term disability in Virginia is at work. Your employer provides your income, and it is the ideal place to buy protection for it. Many carriers offer individual policies, which employees can pay via payroll deduction.

Ask your employer to complete an account application form if they do not already offer a voluntary option.

Virginia Short-Term Disability Benefits

Virginia short-term disability benefits provide coverage for accidents and illnesses subject to limitations and exclusions. The policies provide income replacement rather than reimburse expenses for hospital, surgical, or medical expenses.

Benefit Amounts

Policies will pay total disability benefits if you are physically unable to work for longer than the elimination period, and the coverage remains in force when the medical event occurs.

If you are unemployed, the policy will make payments provided you are kept at home and cannot perform two or more activities of daily living.

How much do you get, and how long does it last? That answer depends on three feature variations you select at time of policy application.

  1. The monthly income replacement amount can reach as high as 66% of gross monthly income, subject to a limitation of $6,500.
  2. The elimination period means the period during which no claims are payable.
  3. The payment duration means the length of time that payments last while continuously unable to work.


Virginia short-term disability requirements spell out what is and is not covered by your policy. The list below is not exhaustive but addresses the most common questions people ask.

Accidents that occur after the effective date are generally covered. There are exclusions for acts of war, intentional injuries, accidents that occur while intoxicated, or while committing a crime.

Most biologically based illnesses are covered as well. The primary exception is illnesses that are a preexisting condition at the time of application. Preexisting conditions will not be covered unless the claim begins more than twelve months after the coverage effective date.

Virginia Short-Term Disability Pregnancy

Short-term disability for pregnancy in Virginia provides valuable income replacement for a common medical condition. Pregnancy-related medical conditions are covered by most policies.

However, women who are already expecting make up a large portion of site visitors. Coverage must begin prior to conception.

Bed Rest

A normal pregnancy is not considered a qualifying medical condition. However, 25% of pregnancies may encounter one or more pregnancy-related medical conditions that may prevent mom from performing the duties of her primary occupation.

It is common for doctors to order bed rest prior to delivery. In fact, complications of pregnancy are the third most common claims reason.

Get the rest you need without worrying about money.

Maternity Leave

Certain short-term disability policies cover maternity leave. While a normal pregnancy is not considered a qualifying medical condition, recovery from normal childbirth is a qualifying medical condition with certain policies. Some do cover normal childbirth, and some do not.

Policies covering childbirth make a 6-week payment for vaginal delivery and an 8-week payment for cesarean delivery. These payments may greatly exceed premium costs.

The only policies that cover childbirth are available as employee paid benefits programs.


Most policies will cover biologically based illnesses only.

Mental health disorders are rarely covered such as postpartum depression, memory loss, anxiety, stress, affective disorders, and adjustment reactions.

Alzheimer’s disease and other organic senile dementias may be covered.

Virginia Short-Term Disability Laws

Virginia short-term disability laws are sparse. Several federal regulations provide job security for employees unable to work.

State Disability Program

Virginia does not have any laws requiring state short-term disability. The commonwealth does not offer or mandate a program. Private coverage is the lone option for people concerned about the effect of any temporary medical conditions.

Social Security

Social Security Disability provides income security for permanent medical conditions only. Temporary benefits are not available. If you are medically unemployed, you should contact the Virginia Disability Determinations Office. This department will be able to assist you in filing your claim and determining your eligibility.

Job Protections

Virginia family medical leave laws offer unpaid job protection. Many workers facing a period of disability runs the risk of losing his or her job and/or access to the group healthcare plan. Eligible family members can stay at home for up to 12 weeks in a year.

The nationwide FMLA and the state-based Human Rights Act both apply to parents who must stop working or face limitations. Each law has qualifying criteria. Not every person in the state enjoys the same rights.


State employees also have access to income protection benefits via the Virginia Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM). State employees have income security when they cannot work because of a partial or total disability.