Disability insurance is a policy that provides financial support if you’re unable to work due to illness, injury or a medical condition. It helps replace part of your income, easing financial stress.
There are 2 main types of disability insurance:
- Short-term disability insurance (STD). Offers part of your salary for a few weeks to months for temporary problems like accidents or surgeries.
- Long-term disability insurance (LTD). Provides support for longer, sometimes until retirement, for severe or lasting disabilities.
This article covers Georgia’s short-term disability insurance.
What injured workers need to know about Georgia’s
short-term disability insurance
From Atlanta to Savannah, Georgia, workers can find themselves needing short-term disability benefits. This insurance usually covers 50-70% of your regular salary for a few weeks to several months if you can’t work due to non-work-related issues.
Georgia employees can enroll in short- and/or long-term disability coverage through Standard Insurance Company (The Standard).
With the Standard Insurance Plan, short-term disability coverage replaces 60% of your Benefit Salary up to $1,000 per week.
Available options include the following:
- Seven (7) day benefit waiting period
- Thirty (30) day benefit waiting period
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Georgia had approximately 78,500 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019.
Who’s Standard Insurance?
Standard Insurance Company is part of StanCorp Financial Group. Based in Portland, Oregon, they offer various financial products, including disability and life insurance.
Types of injuries that qualify for short-term disability
Georgia’s short-term disability covers various injuries, including:
- Back and spinal injuries. Common in physical labor roles, these injuries can be debilitating and often require extensive rehabilitation.
- Broken bones and fractures. Caused by a fall or accident at work, these painful breaks may take time to heal and affect daily life.
- Head and brain injuries. Ranging from mild concussions to severe trauma, often caused by falls or objects striking the head.
- Repetitive stress injuries. Tasks involving repetitive motions can lead to strains and discomfort over time.
- Severe burns. These can occur in kitchens or industrial settings and require immediate and ongoing medical attention.
Different types of workers can benefit from short-term disability when injured
Short-term disability insurance provides a crucial financial cushion for workers who are temporarily unable to perform their job duties due to illness or injury. From health care professionals to retail staff, short-term disability benefits offer support during recovery, allowing individuals to focus on healing without the added stress of financial uncertainty.
The following list highlights different types of workers who may particularly benefit from this essential coverage:
- Construction workers. Working in high-risk environments with heavy machinery and physical labor puts these workers at a high risk of experiencing an accident.
- Health care professionals. Frequent lifting, patient handling, and long hours can lead to various injuries.
- Manufacturing employees. Exposure to machinery and repetitive tasks can contribute to a higher injury rate in the manufacturing field.
- Office workers. Repetitive strain and ergonomic issues can lead to discomfort and chronic injuries in an office setting.
- Retail staff. Whether working on the sales floor, at the checkout counter, or in the aisles of a grocery store, employees often face long hours standing, lifting, and stocking merchandise, leaving them prone to physical injuries.
Situations where Georgia short-term disability benefits won’t be provided
Generally speaking, there are several situations in which you might not be eligible for short-term disability benefits in Georgia or may be disqualified from receiving them. Some common circumstances include:
- You’re not under the care of a specialist doctor who is treating your specific condition, as approved by The Standard.
- You’re not sincerely following a medical treatment, job training, or education program approved by Standard Insurance (unless your disability prevents participation).
- You’re in jail or a correctional facility for any reason.
- You can work and earn at least 20% of what you made before becoming disabled, but you choose not to work.
Additionally, if you’re an eligible employee (excluding members of the General Assembly, Constitutional Officers, and employees of an appropriate Judicial Branch), no STD benefits will be paid for any period when you are receiving sick leave, donated leave, special injury leave, or any other continuation of salary (except vacation pay) from your employer.
Contact an experienced Georgia work injury attorney
While this article has focused on short-term disability benefits, we understand that navigating the complex world of workers’ compensation can be equally challenging. Injuries and illnesses can be overwhelming, and the legal landscape is often difficult to understand.
We focus exclusively on Georgia workers’ comp at Gerber & Holder Workers’ Compensation Attorneys. Whether you’ve experienced a workplace injury or need guidance on how workers’ compensation interacts with other benefits like short-term disability, our dedicated team of experts is here to support you.
We are committed to ensuring you understand your rights and receive the benefits you deserve. If you’re facing challenges related to workplace injuries or workers’ compensation benefits or simply have questions about your options, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Disability Insurance. (n.d.). Georgia Department of Public Safety. Retrieved August 29, 2023, from https://dps.georgia.gov/disability-insurance
Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2023, from https://doas.ga.gov/assets/Human%20Resources%20Administration/Claim%20Forms/Disability%20Claim%20Form.pdf