Short-Term and Temporary Disability Insurance

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Short-term disability insurance (SDI) and temporary disability insurance (TDI) are programs that give employees some compensation when they have to take time off work for injuries, illnesses, or disabilities (including pregnancy). The federal government does not provide any type of short-term disability coverage through Social Security, though under federal law, most employers are required to provide unpaid leave to most workers.

An employee who suffers an injury on the job is likely covered by workers' compensation; for injuries that aren't work-related, however, employees will have to look to these other insurance programs for coverage. There are several ways an employee might be entitled to SDI or TDI coverage:

  • A handful of states -- California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island -- require this type of insurance, either through a state fund or through an employer-provided policy. 
  • Many employers voluntarily provide their employees with short-term disability insurance as a job benefit. 
  • Some employees purchase their own short-term disability insurance policies, separate from their job. 

No matter how SDI or TDI is provided, the terms of the policy will determine what disabilities are covered, how much the employee will receive, and for how long. 

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