How To Get Short-Term Disability If You Have Surgery

Surgery is a difficult experience, but you might be qualified for short-term disability benefits that will help with your living costs until you’re able to resume your normal activities. It’s crucial to evaluate your disability benefits before having surgery to make sure you have insurance coverage for the accompanying medical costs.

Surgery-related short-term incapacity may help you financially while you’re recovering. However, some workers may be covered by their employers. Others may be required to purchase their private disability insurance. Find out how short-term disability can assist you in paying for your recovery from surgery expenses.

What Is a Short-Term Disability Plan?

Employer-sponsored short-term disability (SDI) is an optional financial benefit. After the first week of your inability to work, pays you a portion of your full-time wage for a certain period. The duration of SDI protection can often range between three and six months. However, the advantages can change based on the insurance plan. Additionally, SDI only pays a specific portion of your salary, so even if you’re recovering, you won’t be getting paid in full.

The summary of benefits for the plan should address most of your queries and offer a wealth of information. Similar advantages are offered by private disability programs.

You should typically use your paid time off (PTO) first, according to most employers. If you are enrolled, short-term disability will start soon after, paying you a weekly check that is a percentage of your regular income. Only a few businesses provide the option of short-term disability insurance, which can help pay for medical bills if you run out of paid time off (PTO).

Be sure to check with your employer’s human resources (HR) department to confirm the coverage guidelines as some policies don’t begin until 14 days after the event.

How To Get Short-Term Disability for a Surgery

Enroll Early

Since it can be challenging to estimate when an accident. If or ailment will need treatment, enrolling in a short-term disability plan may be a good idea before thinking about getting surgery.

Ask your HR department whether there is an opportunity to enroll. If you are already employed. If the chance has already passed, you might think about hiring a private insurance company.

Make careful to find out about short-term disability enrollment if you are starting new employment. Private coverage can be your only choice if it’s not an option.

After Confirming Your Coverage

Notify your employer as soon as you can after confirming your short-term disability coverage and scheduling your operation. This enables them to make plans for personnel during your anticipated absence. Send a doctor’s note outlining the anticipated time frame for your rehabilitation to the HR department.

Work with your manager to plan any post-surgery accommodations you might require. And to ensure that your leave goes well. Find out if your company anticipates you working remotely while you are healing.

Have a close friend or relative update your HR department on your condition during the procedure. This will inform them of any further tasks they would need to complete (in case there are complications stemming from your surgery).

Your short-term disability period should begin when your paid time off expires, according to the HR benefits administrator. They need to be able to inform you of the conclusion of the coverage term as well. The HR team might not be able to supply you with a precise figure for each check. But your disability benefits provider most likely can.

Managing Your Finances During Recovery

Always notify your employer right away if you learn that you will need to take time off work for an extended period owing to health issues or doctor’s orders.

Your SDI benefits might not begin right away. Some plans defer income payments until after an elimination period, which is a predetermined amount of time. One to two weeks can pass during the elimination phase. Additionally, you’ll only get some of your pre-surgery salaries. For instance, throughout your rehabilitation, you can receive 40% to 60% of your wage. To ensure that you will have enough income each month to pay your living expenditures, it is crucial to budget your finances.

The Family and Medical Leave Act may entitle your spouse. Or partner to financial support (FMLA). Make sure they inform their employer of your surgery as well. This might ease the financial load if your loved one takes time off work to care for you while you heal.

If you have to rely on your savings to pay bills during this time, let your creditors and energy companies know and request that they lower or delay your monthly payments for a few months.

Keeping your attention on your health and recuperation so that you can resume employment is the most crucial aspect of this journey. Once you start working again, the short-term disability payments will stop, although they can be a good source of income and allow for peace of mind during your recovery time.

Short-Term Disability vs. Long-Term Disability

Income is provided while recovering from surgery or a temporary disability thanks to short-term disability insurance (SDI). But SDI only reimburses a certain portion of your pre-disability income. The benefit period also has a deadline for termination, which is ordinarily no more than six months. Employees should, however, review the benefits package of the plan because the compensation and duration of coverage are subject to change.

In contrast, long-term disability insurance often offers financial support for a longer time following a severe illness or accident. Depending on the disability and the insurance policy, the coverage may last a few years. Or the rest of your life. Additionally, long-term disability insurance doesn’t begin until a predetermined period such as 90 days, has passed.

But before your long-term disability benefits start, your short-term disability policy could be able to fill the gap. Long-term disability typically carries higher premiums than SDI.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Is surgery considered a disability?

Yes. Surgery is seen as a handicap, and if a medical professional determines that the person is no longer able to perform their job. They may be eligible for short-term disability benefits.

What is the shortest amount of short-term disability?

Short-term disability (SDI) insurance typically covers a period of up to three to six months. Though benefits may differ based on the insurance plan. Additionally, SDI pays a predetermined portion of your income, say 60% of it.

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