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Work-related injuries may qualify for short-term and long-term disability benefits

Injuries that occur on the job may be compensated through a workers' compensation claim. However, injuries that result in a prolonged absence or even permanent disability may qualify the employee for benefits under their employer's short-term disability and/or long-term disability plans.

The thought of not being able to work but still having financial obligations can be frightening and overwhelming. Workers' compensation only goes so far. Understanding the benefits and rights provided under a short-term disability and/or long-term disability policy may provide the insured with the means to cover their expenses while unable to work.

Applying and filing a disability claim

To understand the coverage provided under an employer's disability plan(s) and whether work-related injuries are exempt from coverage, an injured employee needs to obtain a copy of all disability plans from their employer. Employees can normally complete this via a request to the Human Resources Department. Once coverage for a work-related injury is confirmed, then the employee should request and complete an application for short-term disability benefits.

While the application questions often appear simple and leave little room for a response, it is imperative that the injured employee take the time and space necessary to fully and completely provide a detailed response. Failure to provide the carrier with an understanding of the injury, how it prevents the employee from performing the job, sufficient medical proof and physician support, can result in a prolonged claim delay or the denial of a claim. These forms are not designed for the benefit of the insured; the questions can be vague, tricky and biased.

After an injury on the job, you may want to understand what disability coverage you have from your employer, your rights under the employer's short-term and long-term disability policies and what information you must provide to secure the benefits you need and deserve under these policies. Please contact the attorneys at DI Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your options.

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