What is short-term disability insurance?
Accidents and illnesses happen. Unfortunately, they’re just part of life.
Most of them aren’t really a big deal — maybe it’s a bruised arm or a cold that knocks your employee out for a few days, a week, or maybe not even at all.
But what happens when something a bit more serious comes up? What if they break a leg in their weekend softball league or suffer a concussion from slipping on the stairs?
Short-term disability insurance covers your employees in the event of unexpected (and, in some cases, expected) events, illnesses, injuries, and/or recoveries. It can cover everything from mental health issues to recovery from surgery — as long as the health need occurred outside of work. (Injuries and illness caused at work are typically covered by workers’ comp.) New parents also often claim short-term disability insurance during their parental leave.
For many, this employer-sponsored support can be the safety net they need to prevent a short-term medical issue from causing long-term financial damage. The unfortunate reality is that 40% of Americans are just one paycheck away from falling below the poverty line, and 44.3% of people who file for bankruptcy point to extended medical costs as a contributing factor.
How do employees use short-term disability benefits?
Let’s say your Technical Engineer is training for a half marathon. Well, he was training – but during a weekend run, he slipped on a patch of mud and fell, breaking his leg. When he visits the doctor, he gets some frustrating news: he’ll have to get used to being in a cast for a couple weeks.
Not great news for his job, since his day-to-day to-dos are quite physically involved, and he has some important on-site visits lined up. He can’t do his job in a cast — but he’s got bills to pay.
Through short-term disability insurance, he’s able to take the time he needs to recover, while still being paid 50% of his usual income. Hey, it’ll keep the lights on and food on the table, so he can rest easy and return when he’s ready.
How does short-term disability insurance impact employees?
Too many Americans don’t have a financial foundation strong enough to withstand unexpected time off from work. But the world is full of uncertainty, and we never know what could happen. Millions of workers live with the stress of this knowledge everyday.
These worries can take a huge mental toll on your employees. But short-term disability insurance can play a big role in alleviating those concerns, so they can focus on the here and now.
Short-term disability insurance is also often used for parental leave. Many employers offer parents 12 weeks of unpaid leave — but few folks can afford even just 2 weeks without pay, let alone 12 (especially while budgeting for a new baby). While plans differ in how much coverage they offer, short-term disability can give your employees the precious time they need to recover and bond with their child.
Why should employers offer short-term disability insurance?
Losing an employee for weeks at a time — well, it isn’t an ideal situation. But with short-term disability insurance, your employee’s payment is handled by an insurance company, which means you can save a portion of the money that would normally go towards their paycheck.
25% of workers currently aged 20 will deal with some form of disabling condition that will last about a year by the time they reach retirement. At that rate, it’s not a matter of if, but when you’ll need to support one of your employees through a short-term disability.
The price of not having short-term disability could be more trouble than it’s worth. In some cases, it can cause employees to return to work before they’re fully prepared and recovered, which could lead to long-term health impacts, more missed time from work, and higher costs.
Sure, accidents happen — but they shouldn’t alter your life. Protecting your employees with short-term disability insurance shows your employees that even if something happens to them outside of work, you’ve got their back.
What are the best short-term disability insurance providers?
We got you. Using the Nava Benefits Search Engine, you can explore a range of short-term disability insurance providers — as well as 600+ vendors across 28 benefits categories — and get a quote for free.