If you are unable to work due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy, you may be eligible for short term disability benefits in Minnesota.
Short term disability benefits can provide you with a portion of your income while you recover from your condition. However, applying for these benefits can be a complex and confusing process.
In this article, I will explain how to apply for short term disability in Minnesota, what are the eligibility requirements, how much you can receive, and what are the steps involved in the disability determination process.
What is short term disability insurance?
Short-term disability insurance pays benefits to workers who are temporarily disabled and unable to perform their regular duties. Short term disability insurance is not a government program, but a private insurance that you can get through your employer, a union, or an individual policy.
Short term disability insurance is different from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which are federal programs that assist people who have a long-term or permanent disability.
READ MORE: DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SSDI AND SSI
How to apply for short term disability in Minnesota?
The first step to applying for short term disability in Minnesota is to check if you have a short term disability insurance policy. Ask your employer, your union, or your insurance agent if you have coverage under a short term disability plan.
If you are, you should review your policy to understand the terms and conditions, such as:
- the waiting period
- benefit amount
- benefit duration
- exclusions and limitations
Required Documents For The Application In MN
You should also find out how to file a claim and what documents you need to provide.
If you do not have a short term disability insurance policy, you may still be able to get some financial assistance from other sources, such as:
- workers’ compensation
- unemployment insurance
- state disability programs
- public assistance programs
However, these programs have different eligibility criteria and benefit levels, and they may not cover all of your expenses. You should contact the relevant agencies or organizations to learn more about these options.
To apply for short-term disability benefits, you will need to complete an application form and submit it to your insurance company, along with the required documents, such as medical records, proof of income, and proof of employment.
You may also need to provide a statement from your doctor that certifies your disability and estimates how long you will be unable to work. Depending on your policy, you may have to apply within a certain time frame after you become disabled, or you may lose your eligibility.
You should follow the instructions and deadlines given by your insurance company to avoid any delays or denials.
What are the eligibility requirements for short term disability in Minnesota?
The eligibility requirements for short term disability in Minnesota vary depending on your insurance policy, but generally, you must meet the following conditions:
- You must be employed by a covered employer or be a member of a covered union or group.
- You must have worked for a certain period or earned a certain amount of wages before you became disabled.
- A non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy that prevents you from performing your regular duties or any other suitable work disables you.
- You must be under the care of a licensed physician who certifies your disability and provides medical evidence.
- You must comply with the treatment plan prescribed by your physician and cooperate with the insurance company’s requests for information and examinations.
How much can you receive from short term disability in Minnesota?
The amount of benefits you can receive from short term disability in Minnesota depends on your insurance policy, but generally, you can expect to receive a percentage of your pre-disability income, up to a maximum limit. For example, your policy may pay you 60% of your weekly earnings, up to $1,000 per week. The benefit amount may also be reduced by any other income you receive from other sources, such as workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, or Social Security.
The duration of benefits you can receive from short-term disability in Minnesota also depends on your insurance policy, but generally, you can expect to receive benefits for a limited period, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. For example, your policy may pay you benefits for up to 26 weeks, or until you recover from your disability, whichever comes first.
The waiting period, which is the time you have to wait before you can start receiving benefits after you become disabled, may also impact the duration of benefits. For example, your policy may have a waiting period of 14 days, which means you will not receive any benefits for the first 14 days of your disability.
What are the steps involved in the disability determination process?
The disability determination process is the process by which your insurance company evaluates your claim and decides whether you are eligible for short-term disability benefits. The disability determination process may involve the following steps:
- You submit your application and documents to your insurance company.
- Your insurance company reviews your application and documents and verifies your eligibility.
- Your insurance company requests additional information or documents from you, your employer, or your doctor, if needed.
- Your insurance company may ask you to undergo a medical examination or a functional capacity evaluation by an independent physician or specialist, if needed.
- Your insurance company makes a decision on your claim and notifies you of the outcome.
If your claim is approved, you will receive a notice of approval that explains the amount and duration of your benefits, the payment schedule, and your rights and responsibilities. You will also receive your benefit payments according to the terms of your policy.
You may have to report any changes in your condition, income, or work status to your insurance company, and you may have to submit periodic proof of your continued disability.
If your claim is denied, you will receive a notice of denial that explains the reason for the denial, the evidence used, and your appeal rights. You have the right to appeal the decision within a certain time frame, usually 60 days, by submitting a written request and any additional evidence to support your claim.
Your insurance company will review your appeal and issue a final decision. You may choose to file a lawsuit in court.
Applying for short term disability in Minnesota can be a challenging and lengthy process, but it can also provide you with valuable financial assistance while you recover from your disability.
To enhance your chances of approval, you should understand the eligibility requirements, the benefit amount and duration, and the disability determination process of your insurance policy.
You should also prepare your application and documents carefully, follow the instructions and deadlines given by your insurance company, and cooperate with their requests for information and examinations.
If you need help with your application or appeal, you may consider hiring a disability lawyer or advocate who can guide you through the process and represent your interests.