Work Benefits

Obtaining Short-Term Disability After Surgery

How To Get Short TermDisability If You Have Surgery

Undergoing surgery can be a stressful and challenging experience, both physically and mentally. While you focus on your recovery, it’s important to consider your financial stability and how you can obtain short-term disability benefits to help cover your expenses during this period. This article will guide you through the process of obtaining short-term disability after surgery, including the eligibility requirements, the application process, and the benefits you can expect to receive.

What is short-term disability?

Short-term disability is a type of insurance that provides temporary income replacement to employees who are unable to work due to a qualifying medical condition, including surgery. This benefit is typically offered through an employer-sponsored plan or can be purchased privately. Short-term disability benefits typically last between 9-52 weeks, depending on the policy and the individual’s medical condition.

Eligibility Requirements for Short-Term Disability

Before applying for short-term disability benefits, it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on the policy and the insurance provider, but generally include:

  • Being employed for a certain period of time, typically between 30-90 days before becoming disabled
  • Being unable to work due to a qualifying medical condition, such as surgery
  • Providing medical documentation of the disability from a licensed physician
  • Meeting the policy’s definition of “disability” and “unable to work”

Applying for Short-Term Disability

Once you’ve determined your eligibility for short-term disability, you can begin the application process. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Notify your employer of your medical condition and request the necessary paperwork to apply for short-term disability.
  2. Complete the application forms thoroughly and accurately, including information about your medical condition, the timing of your surgery, and your expected recovery period.
  3. Ask your physician to complete the medical documentation required by the insurance provider, including a diagnosis, treatment plan, and expected return-to-work date.
  4. Submit the completed application forms and medical documentation to the insurance provider as soon as possible, ideally before your surgery date.
  5. Follow up with the insurance provider to ensure that your application has been received and is being processed.
  6. Provide any additional information requested by the insurance provider, such as updates on your recovery progress.

Benefits of Short-Term Disability

Short-term disability benefits can provide financial support during a challenging time, giving you the peace of mind to focus on your recovery. Here are some of the benefits you can expect:

  • Partial income replacement, typically between 50-70% of your regular salary
  • Temporary relief from financial stress, allowing you to focus on your recovery
  • Continued healthcare coverage through your employer-sponsored plan
  • Protection against job loss or termination due to your medical condition


Q: How long does short-term disability last?

A: Short-term disability benefits typically last between 9-52 weeks, depending on the policy and the individual’s medical condition.

Q: Can I receive short-term disability benefits if I have a pre-existing condition?

A: It depends on the policy and the insurance provider. Some policies exclude pre-existing conditions, while others may cover them after a waiting period. Check with your insurance provider for specific details.

Q: Will I receive my full salary during my disability leave?

A: Short-term disability benefits typically provide partial income replacement, typically between 50-70% of your regular salary.

Q: How long does it take to receive short-term disability benefits?

A: The processing time for short-term disability benefits varies depending on the insurance provider and the individual’s medical condition. It’s important to submit your application and medical documentation as soon as possible to avoid delays.

Q: Can my employer terminate my employment while I’m on short-term disability?

A: Employers are prohibited from terminating employees due to their medical condition while they are on short-term disability leave. However, this protection may vary depending on the state and the circumstances of the termination. Check with your employer and state labor laws for specific details.

In conclusion,

Obtaining short-term disability after surgery can be a challenging process, but it’s an important step to ensure your financial stability during your recovery. By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, and benefits of short-term disability, you can make informed decisions and receive the support you need.

Emily Davis is an experienced workplace advocate and expert in succeeding at work. With a background in employment law and human resources, Emily brings a wealth of knowledge on topics such as salary negotiation, advancement strategies, and work benefits. She is passionate about promoting workplace fairness, inclusivity, and employee well-being. Emily's practical advice and tips empower individuals to thrive in their careers and create a positive work-life balance.

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