There is no perfect answer as short-term disability benefits vary policy by policy. Short-term disability also varies product by product – i.e. group (employer) versus individual policy. It is very important that you review your particular policy’s summary and description because every benefit plan is unique, but typically, the maximum duration of short term disability benefits are chosen by the employer and are defined in the certificate of coverage as the “Maximum Benefit Period”.
Typically in Ontario short-term disability benefits are provided once you are considered totally disabled from your own occupation due to illness or injury. Your disability carrier will review your medical information that is provided to determine whether or not you meet the definition of disability as set out in your disability policy.
The medical information provided to your disability carrier will typically be an employee statement from you, the employer statement, a completed attending physician statement (APS) form and a signed medical authorization form by you, which will allow your insurance company to obtain your medical records from your family doctor.
Once and if your insurance company establishes that you meet the definition of total disability, then, to be eligible for short-term disability benefits, you must continue to meet the definition of disability during the elimination period. The elimination period is sometimes known as a qualifying period, which is the time between the onset of your disability and the date in which benefits are paid. With short-term disability, the elimination period can typically be several weeks.
Once the elimination period is satisfied, and you continue to meet the definition of short-term disability in your policy, then your short-term disability benefits can extend through the maximum benefit period (or the maximum length that you can receive short term disability benefits for). Broadly speaking, disability benefits are typically paid for a minimum of three months to a maximum of six months. Updated medical information will be required by the insurance company periodically to determine your continued eligibility for benefits.
After the short-term disability benefit term is completed, and you continue to meet the definition of total disability, you would then apply for long term disability benefits.
If you or your loved one has been denied disability benefits in Ontario please feel free to contact us at 905-333-8888 or by filling in a contact form for more information today. Our Hamilton disability lawyers serve claimants all over Ontario, and we would be more than happy to answer your questions.
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