Many companies offer long-term disability or short-term disability to their employees. These types of policies allow an employee to still draw a check even if they are off from work due to an illness or injury that did not occur at the workplace. Normally, a monthly premium is paid to have these policies so that they are already active should the employee need to use them in the future. However, there are some differences in short-term disability and long-term disability. These are some ways these can vary.

Time Frames

Short-term disability commonly goes into effect more quickly than long-term disability. This is because the illness or injury that causes a short-term disability is usually not as serious as that of a long-term disability. With long-term disability, the employee may be unable to work for several years. Therefore, more medical records will be needed to confirm that the employee truly cannot return to work for the amount of time that is being claimed. 

There is also a difference in the amount of time that one can draw short-term disability and long-term disability. Short-term disability covers a time span that is usually a few weeks up to one year. However,long-term disability may last for many years depending on what policy the employer offers.


The cost of short-term disability and long-term disability may also vary somewhat. It is not uncommon for short-term disability to be less expensive than long-term disability simply because it will be provided for a shorter time period than long-term disability. Regardless of the cost, both of these types of insurance can usually be automatically deducted from the employee's paycheck to ensure premiums are paid on time.

What is Covered

With both short-term and long-term disability insurance plans, there are specific types of illnesses or injuries that are covered. For instance, a short-term disability plan may cover having time off if you suffer a broken leg, the birth of a new child or an illness that only lasts a few weeks. 

However, long-term disability tends to cover more severe conditions such as cancer, mental illness or certain heart conditions. These types of conditions may require that a person be off work for longer periods of time before recovering and being able to return to work.

Not all employers offer short-term or long-term disability. Fortunately, this coverage can be purchased from private providers who are not affiliated with your employer. If you are considering purchasing this type of insurance, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in short-term and long-term disability to know what options are best for you.

For more information, contact a company like Longo Laywers.