Disability Lawyer Explains The Difference Between Short Term Disability Benefits and Long Term Disability Benefits

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Aaron Waxman and Associates answers common questions about short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits

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In the initial period, a person first has to meet the own occupation test, where he or she has demonstrated the inability to perform the essential duties of his or her own occupation.

Some employers offer both short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits under their group insurance policies. Employees who have become disabled as a result of an injury or psychological or physical illness have the option of applying for both types of benefits if they are available to them.

Both benefits provide income replacement to employees who are unable to work as a result of a condition that renders them unable to perform the essential duties of their occupation.

Aaron Waxman, founder of Aaron Waxman and Associates explains that, “There are differences between short-term and long-term disability benefits, and it is important to know how each type of disability benefit works”.

Short- term disability benefits are meant to provide income support for a specified period of time. These benefits can start as soon as a week after the onset of disability and continue up to 26 weeks, sometimes even 52 weeks. The policy terms are agreed upon between the employer and the insurance company.

If an employer provides an employee with access to several sick days, these days must first be exhausted before short-term disability benefits can begin.

Long-term disability benefits are subject to a longer waiting period. Sometimes long-term disability benefits can commence at the end of short-term disability benefits, if the length of time short-term disability benefits are paid is equivalent to the waiting period. If a person does not have access to short-term disability benefits, he or she can apply for EI Sick Benefits, which are only paid for a maximum of 15 weeks.

Short-term disability benefits are paid based on a percentage of weekly salary. Some plans may pay varying amounts throughout the course of the benefit period, for example, 100% for the first 4 weeks, 80% for the next 4 weeks and 60% for the next 18 weeks. Short-term disabled benefits are only paid until the maximum benefit period ends.

Long-term disability benefits are based on a set percentage of monthly salary, and these percentages can range from 50% to 85% and the benefit amounts can also be capped. These amounts are agreed upon when the employer purchases the insurance policy.
Both types of disability benefits require proof that a person is unable to perform the duties of his or her occupation as a result of illness or injury, and medical evidence of same.

Long-term disability benefits could be paid until age 65.

Long-term disability benefits are subject to a definition change after a set period of time, usually 2 years. In the initial period, a person first has to meet the own occupation test, where he or she has demonstrated the inability to perform the essential duties of his or her own occupation. At the change of definition, a person has to demonstrate the inability to work at any occupation for which he or she is reasonably suited by education, training or experience.

With both types of benefits, if a denial of benefits or termination of benefits occurs, an insured person has the option of appealing the decision or starting a court action against the insurance company.

If you or someone you know has applied for short-term disability benefits or long-term disability benefits and your application was denied at the outset, or your benefits have been terminated, consult an experienced disability lawyer as soon as possible.

About us:

Aaron Waxman and Associates is a Toronto law firm whose practice is focused on long- term disability claims, short term disability claims, psychological illness claims, critical illness claims, life insurance claims, slip & fall claims, occupier’s liability claims, automobile accident claims, traumatic brain injury claims, and other types of personal injury claims.

We only help injured persons; we do not work for insurance companies.

We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation.

We can help you get your life back on track.

Contact us:


t: 416 661-4878
tf: 1-888-955-5342
e: awaxman@awaxmanlaw.ca

Twitter: @InjuryLegalFirm
Facebook: Facebook.com/TorontoDisabilityFirm or Facebook.com/DisabilityLegalFirm

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Melanie Luxenberg
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