In Washington State, short-term disability provides income replacement in the event the policyholder is unable to perform the primary duties of his or her full-time job.

Most employers do not provide paid leave. The state does not have a mandatory program covering temporary medical conditions. Worker’s compensation addresses on the job accidents only.

Follow a simple outline for how short-term disability insurance works in Washington State:

  1. Application and claims forms
  2. Benefit amounts for pregnancy leave
  3. Washington State laws

WA Short-Term Disability Benefits

Make sure you can afford to pay your bills should you need to take an extended leave from work by purchasing short-term disability insurance in Washington State before becoming sick, hurt, or pregnant. In order to file a claim, you must have a policy in force first.

Claims Forms

WA State does not offer state mandated temporary disability benefits, and you must purchase private coverage before the need arises in order to file a claim. If you are currently disabled or expecting, it may be too late to purchase a policy.

Debt relief application. If you already owe more than $10,000 in unsecured debt (credit cards, personal loans, medical bills) you may fall hopelessly behind without an income, and extra medical bills coming in. A settlement program could be your best option for financial assistance.

Request a short-term loan to gain the temporary funding needed to pay your bills while not working, if you are currently disabled or pregnant, and you did not purchase private coverage in time.

Apply for benefits with your carrier if you already have a plan in place. Most companies make it easy to find and download a claim form from their website. Your doctor and employer both need to sign the claims form. Complete medical information may be required.

Policy Application Forms

Complete the policy application at the time of purchase. A licensed agent will help you fill out the application, and answer any questions before making your purchase. Begin the process by requesting a quote. A new policy will not cover pre-existing health conditions!

Begin by requesting an online quote to estimate the monthly premiums for a sample policy configuration. An agent will take your new policy application over the phone, and submit it to the carrier for underwriting review.

Men (and women past childbearing age) do not need to involve their employer in the process. Ladies hoping to have children in the future find that purchasing at work is the ideal approach – if her employer offers a voluntary option. If not, an individual policy is the next best option.

Benefit Amounts

A private short-term disability policy in Washington State provides income replacement benefits to policyholders. Covered medical conditions include accidental injury and illnesses that were not preexisting conditions. Payments for preexisting conditions begin after the policy has been in effect for twelve months.

Benefit amounts range as high as $6,500 per month or two-thirds of monthly income – whichever is less. The policy begins payments after first meeting an elimination period. Payments may last as long as twenty-four months. The monthly amount, elimination period, and payment duration are all policy options chosen at time of application.

WA State Short-Term Disability Pregnancy

In Washington State, short-term disability insurance for pregnancy comes in two distinct forms. You can obtain a policy privately that covers accident, illnesses (including complications of pregnancy), but not normal childbirth. You must purchase plans generating maternity leave income through your employer.

Pregnancy Complications

In Washington State, you can use short-term disability for pregnancy complications. Many doctors order bed rest weeks or months prior to delivery. That can be a long time to go without an income. A policy will replace income provided your doctor certifies a medical reason for the needed pregnancy leave. Bed rest by itself is not a qualifying medical condition.

You can purchase individual policies privately if your primary concern is protecting your income from a high-risk pregnancy.

Maternity Leave

Short-term disability for maternity leave covers your normal childbirth when delivery occurs nine months after the policy effective date. The standard benefit for C-section delivery is eight weeks, and it is six weeks for a vaginal delivery.

You must purchase this more highly coveted program through your employer. What you lose in convenience, you gain back in extra value.

Washington State Short-Term Disability Laws

Washington State does not have a mandated temporary disability requirement. The state disability insurance consists solely of Federal entitlement programs addressing permanent medical conditions. Family leave laws help many workers.

The WA State department of licensing manages the issuance of temporary disability parking permits.

Social Security

The Washington State DDS has three branch offices located in Olympia, Seattle, and Spokane. These offices process disability claims for state residents. To qualify for benefits you must be unable to perform any job for at least 12 months. The program does not cover temporary disabilities.

Family Leave Laws

Washington State has three specific laws designed to protect your job during pregnancy, childbirth, and parental leave. These regulations provide job protection rights for eligible employees. This is unpaid leave.

Three Washington State maternity leave laws are Family Leave Act, the Pregnancy Disability Leave Act, and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Each provides for job protection, but not paid leave.

The one and the only way to turn this into paid leave is to purchase short-term disability prior to conception. Do not wait until you need the coverage. It will be too late.