Many employees choose to purchase a short-term disability policy in the event that they experience a medical crisis requiring them to be absent from work for anywhere from several days to several weeks
Short-term disability policies are available through private insurance companies and are sometimes provided by an employer as part of a comprehensive benefits package. Short-term disability policies are helpful in the event that your health requires you to miss more work than your company allots for in the form of paid sick or personal days. The short-term disability policy carrier will require medical documentation evidencing your inability to work and will then pay you a portion of your usual salary.
Unfortunately there is no guarantee that your health will improve by the end of your short-term disability policy. For many people who find themselves in the position of being unable to return to work, the best option is to file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Both programs do have a requirement that your impairment must either last or be expected to last for a period of 12 months or longer.
Receiving short-term disability payments from your private insurance carrier will have no impact on your eligibility for SSDI.
This is not the case with SSI, as SSI is an income-based program. Any income that you receive will affect your eligibility for SSI. However, it is possible that you could still be eligible for SSI depending on the amount of your short-term disability payments. You can contact a disability expert for more information on your SSI eligibility.
If you do meet the technical, non-medical criteria for SSDI and/or SSI, then the medical documentation that you acquired during the course of your short-term disability claim will likely be helpful in order to prove your disability to the Social Security Administration.