Best Short-Term Disability Insurance Companies

We chose Mutual of Omaha as the best short-term disability insurance company

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Many people don’t think they’ll ever need short-term disability insurance. However, the Social Security Administration reports that one in four adults will become disabled at some point in their lives. What’s more, over half the adults in the U.S. cannot afford an emergency expense that costs $1,000—that’s where short-term disability insurance comes in.

Short-term disability insurance is a commonly misunderstood type of coverage. It’s unique because it can protect you if you’re injured, have a long-term illness, or if you need more support during parental leave. In other words, if you temporarily have to take time off work due to a disability or chronic condition, short-term disability insurance plans can help you stay financially afloat even when you’re not clocking regular work hours. 

As you research short-term disability insurance, you will learn that there is a wide variety of plans. Some cover you for 30 days, while other plans cover you for three years or even longer. Your employer may allow you to opt into short-term disability insurance and have the bills come out of your paycheck automatically. However, people who are self-employed or who work part-time can also enroll in individual policies. Either way, the monthly premium for a short-term disability insurance plan should cost around 1 to 3% of your income.

With all of these potential choices, you may feel unsure about how to select the plan that works best for your health and your finances. To help you make an informed decision, we've done a deep dive into various well-rated short-term disability insurance plans and ranked our top choices.

Best Short-Term Disability Insurance Companies of 2022

Best Overall : Mutual of Omaha


Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: From one to 24 months 
  • Coverage Limit: $20,000 a month
  • Price: Average premiums range from $10 to $60

Why We Chose It 

Mutual of Omaha offers a range of affordable policies and high coverage limits to customers throughout most of the United States. You can also get add-on coverage for mental or nervous system disorders and catastrophic disabilities, which many other companies consider excluding conditions. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Benefit periods extend up to 10 years

  • Opt-in survivor benefits

  • Opt-in rehabilitation coverage

Cons
  • Need to contact an agent to sign up

  • Need to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify for a plan

  • Not much transparency on how much an average plan might cost

Operating for over 100 years, Mutual of Omaha is a mainstay in the insurance marketplace. With an AM Best rating of A+ (superior), it remains a secure and popular insurance company and wins our vote for best overall short-term disability insurance due to its accessibility. The policy-dependent benefits range from $300-$20,000 a month, and it’s easy for a customer to find a plan that works for their budget. 

We have mixed feelings about needing an agent to sign up for a plan though. Comparing insurance plans can be stressful all on its own, without adding in the extra time needed to speak to an agent on the phone. However, the agents can help you assess your options and educate you about different add-on benefits. Plus, after you sign up, you can use the company’s mobile app to monitor your policy and benefits.

Mutual of Omaha’s benefits set it apart from the competition. Some benefits are free, like an Automatic Increase Benefit that raises your monthly benefits by 4% each year. Other add-on options include a Social Security Supplement and coverage protection for people who live with substance abuse, mental and nervous disorders, or severe cognitive impairments.

And, if you’re self-employed, Mutual of Omaha will give you a 15% discount on services. This discount is renewable throughout the duration of your policy, however, there are some limitations. You have to own at least 20% of your company, and you need to have been self-employed (with a minimum net income of $32,000) for at least two years. 

You can stack this 15% discount for being self-employed on top of other discounts, like having multiple people in the same household who are customers of Mutual of Omaha. But be aware that these stacking discounts do max out at 30%.

Best for High-Limit Policies : Assurity


Assurity Life Insurance

Assurity Life Insurance

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: Range from 30-90 days with 90 days being the minimum period for many plans
  • Coverage Limit: $20,000 a month
  • Price: Average premiums range from $30-$70

Why We Chose It 

Assurity touts a high coverage rate of around 60 to 70% of a person’s normal income. While it has a range of different plans, customers can opt for up to $20,000 of coverage. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Can get partial benefits if you return to work part-time

  • Flexible coverage periods that start at 30 days

  • Very easy to get a quote from their website

Cons
  • Website not transparent about exclusions and limitations in each policy

  • Have to contact an agent to learn about eligibility for plans shorter than five years

Assurity specializes in several types of insurance: life, critical illness, accident, and disability income. Unlike some other insurance companies that also offer home, rental, car, and health insurance, Assurity is focused on protecting customers’ income in an emergency situation. Assurity customers can choose between a wide range of plans with different coverage limits. However, Assurity stands out because even its more popular plans deliver a strong return on your premium. 

Some other brands on our list cap out with monthly limits of $2,000 or $3,000 dollars. With Assurity, a person who earns $60,000 a year can receive $3,400 a month over two years with a $50 monthly premium, although the highest-paying plans have a coverage limit of $20,000 a month. 

While Assurity may not be as mainstream as companies like Aflac or State Farm, it holds its own. The company has an AM Best rating of A- (excellent), a long-established history, and close to national coverage. It was founded in 1890 and now offers life and income protection plans in 49 states.

Best for Policy Add-Ons : Ameritas


Ameritas Life Insurance

Ameritas Life Insurance

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: Range of one to 24 months 
  • Coverage Limit: $100,000 or around $3,000 per injury, depending on the policy you choose
  • Price: Varies depending on your plan, but the average cost might range from $10-$30 a month

Why We Chose It 

Ameritas is different from many other short-term disability insurance plans because it allows customers to choose between monthly payments or a single lump sum. The company also provides add-on options like COBRA reimbursement, a cost of living adjustment, and enhanced protection for people with disabilities. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Ability to receive payouts either monthly or in one lump sum

  • Excellent customization options

  • Previous good health can reduce your elimination period

  • Presumptive total disability can waive your elimination period

Cons
  • Prices not transparent on website

  • Customers need to message an agent to receive a quote

  • In most instances, the plans do not cover vision or dental

  • Provides coverage to only 42 states

Ameritas automatically includes certain benefits that would be premium add-ons at many other insurance companies. The company is especially popular for its Business Overhead Expense Insurance, which can help entrepreneurs keep their businesses running even if they have to take time off work. Ameritas also has an AM Best rating of A (excellent). 

Customers will find two main options for disability insurance with Ameritas: DInamic Foundation and DInamic Fundamental. Of the two plans, the DInamic Fundamental series provides the most flexibility with add-on features. Several of these built-in perks impressed us. A non-disabling injury policy will reimburse some medical expenses for people who have an accident that does not cause a long-term disability. Customers who have a record of good health have shortened elimination periods so they can receive their benefit payments quicker. And, Ameritas waives its elimination periods for some customers who are coping with a total disability.

If a person becomes totally disabled, the symptoms from their illness or injury may prevent them from working at all. In some cases, total disabilities can be permanent. Ameritas will match COBRA premiums if you lose health insurance because of your disability. And, it extends protection to people who become disabled through complications of donating an organ.

Finally, Ameritas will support some customers who become disabled or injured after having cosmetic surgery, which is a surprising benefit since many other companies refuse to include cosmetic surgery in their coverage.

While these automatic benefits stand out, there are additional add-ons that customers can purchase. The Residual Disability policy allows a customer to continue receiving some benefits even after they’ve returned to part-time work. And, the Cost of Living Adjustment and Future Increase Option both allow customers to get the most bang for their buck by increasing monthly benefits to account for rising inflation costs or for a promotion at work. 

These add-ons give customers the opportunity to craft a plan that works best for them. That said, these different add-ons may not be offered in all 42 states where Ameritas currently operates.

Best for Ease of Qualifications : Aflac


Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: Range from 14 to 30 days 
  • Coverage Limit: $6,000 a month
  • Price: Cheapest plans are $8

Why We Chose It 

Aflac’s short elimination periods, affordable rates, and limited medical questions make it easy for customers to qualify for coverage as long as their employer offers it.  

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Affordable plans

  • A short elimination period

  • No medical questions or medical underwriting for some plans

Cons
  • Can only enroll through your employer

  • Different states have different limitations and exclusions

  • Monthly benefit is lower than what some other companies offer

It’s easy to qualify for short-term disability insurance through Aflac because customers can sign up for some products without underwriting. That means Aflac guarantees coverage to clients for certain plans, even if those clients choose to opt out of answering medical questions or taking a medical exam.

When you sign up for short-term disability insurance, however, you might be asked to provide medical records or your medical history to insurance agents. Depending on this medical screening, you may be denied coverage, be forced to accept longer elimination periods, or be charged higher premiums for your insurance. These medical questions can make it difficult to qualify for a plan you want at a price you can afford. 

To get a quote for your short-term disability plan, you’ll need to contact your employer who will let you know if they have Aflac plans and which options you can select for coverage. When you opt for this insurance through your employer, you’ll likely be able to have your bills automatically deducted from your paycheck. 

Aflac’s website is clean, easy to navigate, and informative. It clearly describes who does and does not qualify for short-term disability. We thought that it was especially helpful to be able to scroll down Aflac’s short-term disability webpage and read the different limitations and excluding criteria for certain states like Arizona, Idaho, New Jersey, and Virginia. While you can only receive a quote and sign up through your employer, Aflac’s website provides transparent information about its coverage and benefits.

Aflac also offers a range of plans at reasonable prices. The brand claims that its cheapest short-term disability insurance policies have weekly premiums that cost less than a movie ticket, which Aflac says is around $8.

Best for Affordability : State Farm


State Farm

 State Farm

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: Range from 30 to 90 days
  • Coverage Limit: $3,000 a month
  • Price: Prices differ, but average plans range from $10–$40 a month 

Why We Chose It 

Out of all the companies on this list, State Farm provides some of the most affordable quotes for short-term disability insurance. State Farm also gives you the option to pay insurance bills monthly or annually. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Can opt to be billed monthly or annually

  • Coverage up to 3 years

  • Affordable policies for a variety of budgets

Cons
  • Need to contact an agent to sign up

  • Benefit limit of $3,000 a month is lower than what some other companies offer

  • May not provide adequate support for people with longer-term illnesses and injuries

With an A++ (superior) AM Best rating and service in 47 different states (excluding Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island), State Farm is one of the most popular insurance brands on the market. However, many of its existing customers don't know about its short-term disability coverage or how affordable it is. 

In general, State Farm offers $300-$3,000 a month in short-term disability insurance, and the benefit period lasts up to three years. The website does not provide specific information about premiums and plan benefits, but State Farm is transparent about which pre-existing conditions it will not cover which include addiction, cosmetic surgery, and mental and nervous disorders. 

If you want to get a quote from State Farm and/or sign up for a plan, you’ll need to speak with a local agent. An agent can discuss your elimination period timeline and advise you about add-on benefits. After you've registered with a State Farm agent, however, you can simply log in to the State Farm website to manage your account info, pay your bills, or update your contact info, 

Your plan will vary depending on your income and location. As an example, a 28-year-old Floridian woman who earns $24,000 and doesn’t have any preexisting health conditions can expect to pay $13 a month. She would receive around $600 a month in disability benefits.

Best for Coverage Options : The Hartford


Hartford Life Insurance

Hartford Life Insurance

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: Range from one to 30 days
  • Coverage Limit: $8,000 a month
  • Price: Average premiums range from $10 to $50 depending on the plan that the employer has selected 

Why We Chose It 

The Hartford automatically includes some powerful benefits in your existing premium without extra add-on charges, like a caregiver bonus and premium waivers. These perks enhance your coverage while saving you money. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Free “return to work” coordinators

  • Free family benefit of up to $2,500 a year for caregivers

  • Don’t have to pay your premium while you’re receiving your disability benefits

  • Short elimination periods mean that you can receive your benefits faster

Cons
  • Does not offer insurance for individuals; you have to sign up through your employer

  • Difficult to estimate your personal premium until you contact your employer

  • Website not transparent about which preexisting conditions or exclusions would prevent you from receiving coverage

Founded in 1810 as a fire insurance company, The Hartford is one of the oldest insurance companies in the United States and has an A- (Excellent) AM Best rating. The company has a reputation for being an “all-American insurer” since it has provided coverage for national sites like the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the St. Louis Seaway. The Hartford helps cover important elements of your recovery, like supporting your return to the workplace and connecting you with mental health professionals. With these extra benefits, The Hartford provides an impressively holistic approach to short-term disability coverage. 

While best known for its home and auto policies, The Hartford also has a solid short-term disability plan for employers. There is a catch, though. To qualify for short-term insurance, your employer needs to have a team of at least 10 part-time or full-time employees. Temporary, seasonal, or self-employed workers cannot opt for short-term disability insurance with The Hartford.

If you meet these employment requirements, you can reap some impressive disability benefits. Depending on the plan that your employer selects, you can expect your policy to protect 50% to 60% of your usual income, and receive a maximum of $2,000 in benefits per week. One major perk is that employers can opt for plans that do not penalize you based on your preexisting health conditions. 

The Ability Advantage portal lets customers manage their claims and monitor their account from their own computer. Where The Hartford really shines though is with its built-in features. While many companies provide you the option to select add-ons like premium waivers or financial advising, The Hartford offers these benefits for free. 

We were most impressed by the Ability Assist EAP Counseling Services. Being injured or sick can be difficult to cope with, physically and mentally. A 2017 study in the medical journal PLOS One found that people who are physically disabled report higher rates of depression, isolation, stress, and anxiety. The Hartford connects clients with trained mental health professionals who can provide counseling for customers who are struggling with familial conflict, depression, or other stressful situations.

Best for Self-Employed : Breeze


Breeze

 Breeze

Key Specs

  • Elimination Periods: One to 30 days
  • Coverage Limit: From $200–$2000 depending on your plan
  • Price: Average premiums range from $7 a month (for a monthly benefit of $200) to $30 a month (for a monthly benefit of around $500)

Why We Chose It 


Breeze provides separate, affordable plans that are specifically for self-employed individuals. Breeze makes signing up for individual coverage easy with its online 30-second quote estimate. 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Three to six months of coverage

  • Shorter elimination periods mean that you can access your benefits sooner during an emergency

  • Easy to get a quote online

  • Can opt for accident-only coverage or accident and sickness coverage

  • Most applicants do not need to submit a medical exam to be approved

Cons
  • Fewer opportunities to meet with an expert or agent if you want to discuss different options or ask questions

  • Have to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify

  • Limited weekly benefits for people with mental disorders

If you’re self-employed, you might be very busy managing your own deadlines and keeping track of your business records. Breeze provides quick and easy quote estimates and sign-up application forms on its website and has its own policies for self-employed individuals. While Breeze was only founded in 2019, it already has an AM Best rating of A- (excellent). 

You can customize your plan based on your income, the type of work you do, and if you want minimal coverage (for example, only in the case of accidents) or more inclusive coverage (such as in the case of accidents and sickness).  You can receive a custom estimate for your premium in 30 seconds and apply for a plan in minutes. 

One additional advantage of choosing Breeze is that it is one of the most internet-friendly insurance providers and the first online multi-carrier disability insurance company. You don’t need to visit a physical office, schedule a consultation over the phone with an agent, or worry about filing a claim during standard business hours. No matter where you are or what time it is, you can manage your account from Breeze’s website.

Final Verdict

There are lots of options for short-term disability insurance. Some companies, like Aflac and The Hartford, provide inexpensive plans that have more lenient barriers for preexisting conditions. However, these companies require you to sign up through your employer. Other companies, like Breeze and Assurity, are ideal for self-employed people who prefer to sign-up online. We found the best short-term disability insurance provider overall to be Mutual of Omaha. 

Mutual of Omaha combines affordability, long coverage periods, high coverage limits, and some impressive benefits. It offers a 15% discount for self-employed customers, and also allows you to opt-in to rehabilitation coverage. Plus, there's an automatic increase of 4% each year, which can help you get the most out of your benefits despite the rising costs of living. While you need to contact an agent to sign up for a plan, you can use the online Mutual of Omaha portal to help manage your account and make payments once you’re registered. 

Compare the Best Short-Term Disability Insurance Providers

Company Elimination Periods Coverage Limit Price
Mutual of Omaha Best Overall 1–24 months $20,000 a month Average costs range from $10– $60 a month
Assurity  Best for High-Limit Policy 1–3 months $20,000 a month Average costs range from $30–$70 a month
Ameritas Best for Policy Add-Ons 1–24 months $100,000 or $3,000 per injury, depending on the policy Average costs range from $10–$40 a month
Aflac Best for Ease of Qualifications 14–30 days $6,000 a month Cheapest plans are $8
State Farm Best for Affordability 1–3 months $3,000 a month Average costs range from $10– $40 a month
The Hartford Best for Coverage Options 1, 8, 15, or 30 days $8,000 a month $10–$50 depending on the plan that the employer has selected
Breeze Best for Self-Employed 1, 7, 14, 30 days From $200–- $2,000 depending on your plan Average costs range from $7–$30 a month

Guide for Choosing the Best Short-Term Disability Insurance

What Terminology Should I Know? 

If you’re seeking short-term disability insurance, you may encounter some confusing terms:

An add-on is an additional, optional perk or benefit that can enhance or customize your coverage. These add-ons may or may not cost you extra on top of your existing, base-level insurance fee. However, many people find that add-ons are worth the expense since some add-ons can help raise your benefit amount to match your cost of living each year or help secure your benefits if you have an otherwise uncovered condition like a mental or nervous disorder. 

Coverage limits and benefit amounts both relate to the amount of money you can expect to receive from your insurance. The benefit amount is the payout that your insurance company will regularly (perhaps monthly or bimonthly) send to you to help you pay bills if an accident or illness prevents you from going to work. The coverage limit is the maximum amount of money you can expect your insurance company to provide to you. 

An elimination period is the amount of time you need to wait for your insurance to kick in after you have become injured or disabled. These elimination periods demonstrate to insurance companies that you have a more serious, longer-lasting health concern than a minor illness or injury. Elimination periods can vary depending on your accident or your symptoms, but seven to 90 days is a common range for many insurance companies.

Should I Get Short-Term Disability? 

Amber Benka, an insurance agent with California Commercial Insurance, encourages people to carefully consider the different types of plans they might need before they invest: “Policy types of this nature have good and bad qualities, like everything else in life,” she explains. “For example, a medical questionnaire may be required to gain approval before purchasing. And remember, this type of insurance will not cover some pre-existing conditions and has limited coverage. On the plus side, you have control over your deductible [or add-on benefits], so you can help even out the cost of having limited coverage.” 

Enrolling in short-term disability insurance is not an easy decision. As you consider whether or not this coverage is right for you, assess your budget. Do you have enough money in your emergency funds or savings account to pay your most important bills for at least two months? Short-term disability insurance provides a safety net if you were to lose your salary because of an accident or injury over a period of time like that. 

If you become sick or injured, you might feel like many things are uncertain. You might wonder how you’ll provide for your family, what recovery entails, and how long it will take. Unfortunately, many disabled people experience health and financial obstacles that they don’t expect. For example, a person who has an accident might realize that they need to go through physical therapy for longer than their doctors had first estimated. Someone who becomes sick might have a weakened immune system, and they might catch another illness while they are in the hospital. 

These unexpected events can extend the time you need to take off work. If you have a short coverage period, you might not be able to receive all of the benefits that you need to manage your finances. A 2018 study with the American Journal of Public Health found that the majority of Americans who file for bankruptcy cite medical complications as the reason for their financial debt. As you are comparing plans, consider which companies allow you to extend your coverage period.

Comparing Short-Term Disability Insurance Companies 

The insurance business is huge, and you might not know where to begin comparing options from dozens of companies. Here are some of the most important factors to consider: 

  • Pricing: In general, expect to pay 1% to 3% of your usual income on short-term disability insurance. In return, expect your insurance plan to cover at least 60% of that income. 
  • Coverage limits: Plans with cheaper premiums tend to provide you with a lower coverage limit in return. However, a higher coverage limit will offer you more money (and more financial protection) if you are in an accident or become ill. 
  • Ease of application process: Some companies, like Aflac and Mutual of Omaha, require potential customers to call an agent to ask for a quote. These phone consultations can be more time-consuming than getting a quick estimate from an insurance company’s website.
  • Add-on benefits and discounts: Each company will have its own list of add-on features that can give you extra protection or can help adjust your monthly benefits to match your cost of living. 
  •  Individual vs. employer policies: Some companies do not allow individual customers to purchase short-term disability insurance. Before you consider signing up on your own, ask your employer if they already offer this coverage. 
  • Elimination periods: The shorter your elimination period is, the sooner you can receive your monthly benefits. Consider which elimination period timeline would be reasonable for you if you were to have to take time off work. Do you have paid time off or an emergency fund that you could use until your insurance kicks in? Or would you need a shorter elimination period so you could receive support as soon as possible? 
  • Pregnancy: Does your place of employment provide adequate parental leave? If not, could a short-term disability plan help support your family? Many insurance companies limit their coverage for parents who are pregnant or who have recently given birth. However, some short-term disability insurance policies cover pregnancy and postnatal recovery.

Applying for Short-Term Disability Insurance

When you select your insurance policy, you will either apply online via the company’s website, on the phone with an agent, or in person at a local branch. This process will differ depending on which brand you choose, and, in some cases, your preference. 

For most companies, you can expect to answer some questions about your medical background and your financial status. You’ll likely need to list your height, weight, nicotine use, pre-existing conditions, and other basic health information. You must also provide evidence of your income, such as a copy of your bank statement, a copy of a paycheck, or a statement from your boss confirming your employment. Based on this information about your health and your income, the company will provide you with a quote and suggest a plan that would work best. 

When you have an accident or have symptoms of a debilitating illness, consider contacting your insurance agent right away. Confirm your elimination period by asking them how long you need to wait before you can claim your monthly benefits. Make sure that you record the time and date of this first conversation so you can follow up toward the end of your elimination period to confirm the bank has scheduled your first benefit check or direct deposit. 

As you await your first payment, reconfirm when the insurance company will disperse your benefits. Will you receive your amount in one lump sum or monthly? Plan your bills around this payment schedule. In order to keep track of your budget with your new benefits, you might consider temporarily opting out of some services that automatically bill your bank account. 

Many insurance companies also provide an online customer portal or a mobile app which allows customers to easily monitor and manage their account.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Qualifies for Short-Term Disability Insurance?

The qualifications for short-term disability insurance vary across companies. Benka says that short-term disability insurance policies “are not your regular health care plans. For example, they are not always required to comply with ACA guidelines or include the minimal essential coverages.” 

Short-term disability plans can help support you with up to 66% of the salary you’d usually be earning from your job. Some people choose to purchase a basic short-term disability insurance plan just in case they experience an unexpected accident or hardship that would prevent them from working in the future.

Some common events people use short-term disability insurance for include:

  • C-section 
  • Accidents 
  • Parental (especially maternity) leave 
  • Surgery recovery 
  • Complications from Long COVID 
  • Back injuries

Some of the most common exceptions that often don’t qualify for short-term disability include: 

Make sure to closely read your policy to know what coverage you can expect.


Can I Be Denied Short-Term Disability Coverage?

Unfortunately, some people may be denied when they apply for short-term disability coverage. Some reasons why you may be denied include: 

  • You don’t work at least 20 hours a week. 
  • You have preexisting conditions that the insurance company does not cover. 
  • In your claim, you have not provided adequate evidence (like statements from your doctor) to support your medical and financial condition. 
  • Your insurer may not deem your disability to be "total" enough to prevent you from working. 

If one company rejects your initial application for short-term disability insurance, that doesn’t mean that all other companies will do the same. Some companies, like Aflac, are easier to qualify for because they can be more lenient about medical history.

Once you have an insurance plan, you can take a couple of steps to ensure that your claim is not rejected. Review your claim and correct any errors, miscalculations, or contradictory statements. Include any relevant statements from your doctor as evidence. Describe your work obligations and your work schedule clearly and accurately, with notes from your employer, if needed, to demonstrate how your illness or injury inhibits or prevents you from working.

What Is the Difference Between Short-Term Disability and FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides financial protection for workers who may need to temporarily leave their job due to medical issues or family-related reasons. Some common reasons a person may take leave through the FMLA include the birth of a child, adopting a child, or caring for an ill family member. According to the Department of Labor, under FMLA, a person can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave. However, this leave is unpaid.

Some people will utilize FMLA in addition to short-term disability. For example, after the birth of a child, a person who's given birth can take up to 12 weeks of time off under FMLA. People may wish to use their short-term disability to provide them with additional income while they are off work so they can pay their bills if their FMLA leave is unpaid. 

In short, FMLA protects your job status when you need to take time off work, but it will not pay you when you take time off voluntarily. Short-term disability policies cannot protect your job status when you cannot work, but they will pay you if you meet the criteria to take time off.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Short-Term Disability Insurance?

Several factors can influence the bottom line of your insurance bill: 

  • Your income: When you have a high salary, you’ll likely pay higher insurance premiums. 
  • Your add-ons: If you opt-in to additional benefits, you may have to pay extra. 
  • Your preexisting conditions: If you regularly smoke or drink alcohol, you might be more at risk for developing certain disabilities or illnesses. And, if you have preexisting conditions that might make you more prone to becoming injured or sick in the future, you may miss out on “good health” discounts or shortened elimination periods. 
  • Your line of work: Certain occupations are more dangerous than others. If you work at a construction site or on a fishing boat, for example, you are more likely to become injured than if you work at a quiet desk job. People with high-risk jobs like these may be charged higher premiums.

Methodology

To select our list of best short-term disability insurance companies, we reviewed companies based on factors like cost, elimination periods, and benefits payouts. After researching more than 15 companies, we further narrowed down the choices to individual policies (since some companies only offer these through employers). We then evaluated the remaining companies based on website navigation, length of elimination periods, application ease, AM Best ratings of at least an A (excellent), and price quotes that were about one to three percent of a person’s salary when available. We used this information to select the best companies across a variety of categories.

Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. MarketWatch. This is the surprising generation least likely to have even $1,000 in savings — and here’s what they need to do about it.

  3. Policy Genius. How much disability insurance do I need?

  4. National Library of Medicine - PLOS One. Incidence, risk, and associated factors of depression in adults with physical and sensory disabilities: A nationwide population-based study.

  5. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. Using Predictive Analytics for Early Identification of Short-Term Disability Claimants Who Exhaust Their Benefits.

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By Laken Brooks
Laken Brooks (she/hers) is a freelance writer with bylines in CNN, Inside Higher Ed, Good Housekeeping, and Refinery29. She writes about accessibility, folk medicine, and technology. 

Edited by
Ally Hirschlag
Allison "Ally" Hirschlag

Ally is a senior editor for Verywell, who covers topics in the health, wellness, and lifestyle spaces. She has written for The Washington Post, The Guardian, BBC Future, and more.

Learn about our editorial process