Short-term disability insurance

What it does
Provides a weekly payment, equal to a portion of your salary, that you can use however you choose. Check with your benefits representative for your company’s specific plan details.
How it works
You'll receive regular payments for a specific period of time once your case has been approved. We’ll just need to receive notice that you are unable to perform your occupation and the supporting medical documents to help prove that. Payments will begin once you’ve been out of work for a set number of days, referred to as your elimination period.
What it doesn't do
Provide payments for as long as you are disabled and doesn’t provide job protection. This coverage typically provides benefit payments for the first 13 or 26 weeks only, depending on the plan.

Protection by your side while you recover

Short Term Disability

Only 40% of U.S. households have enough in liquid savings to cover at least 3 months of their recurring expenses.1


Q & A

  • What is short-term disability insurance and why is it important?
    Short-term disability insurance can help provide peace of mind, because it provides you with replacement of a portion of your income if you become disabled due to an illness, injury, accident or have a baby.
  • How does short-term disability insurance work?
    If you have short-term disability insurance and you are disabled under the terms of the contract, you typically start receiving benefit payments after a short elimination period. Those benefits vary based on your disability and can last from several days or weeks up to a maximum period of 26 weeks, depending on the language in your policy. Your benefits generally equal a percentage of your earnings and can be used to pay for any expenses you might have.
  • When am I eligible for short-term disability insurance?
    You become eligible for coverage when you’ve worked for your employer for a certain amount of time – typically 30 days to six months.
  • Do I pay for short-term disability insurance or does my employer?
    Your employer may typically either pay all or a portion of the premium for your short-term disability coverage.
  • What type of disability qualifies under my short-term disability policy?
    To qualify, you must be unable to work due to an illness, injury or accident that is not related to work.
  • How long can I receive short-term disability benefit payments?
    Depending on your policy, you may be eligible to receive benefit payments for up to 26 weeks if deemed to be disabled. Anything longer than that would be paid by a long-term disability insurance policy. Long-term disability payments typically start after short-term disability payments end, and can last for as long as you are disabled up to your normal retirement age (according to
  • If I return to work after receiving short-term disability benefits, then go out again for the same diagnosis, do I have to wait for benefits to begin again or will my benefits start right way?
    If the same disability recurs within a certain amount of time, you don’t have to satisfy the elimination period again, so your benefits would begin right away if you are determined to be disabled under the terms and provisions of the policy. If a new disability occurs, you will need to satisfy the elimination period before you can receive benefit payments if you are determined to be disabled under the terms and provisions of the policy.
  • What is an elimination period?
    It’s a waiting period between the time when your disability begins and the time when you begin receiving benefit payments during which time you must remain disabled. This timeframe is typically 7 or 14 days.
  • How much disability insurance do I need?
    That depends on your needs and what percentage of your salary you think you would need if you were unable to work.
  • How do I purchase disability insurance?
    Typically, you would get it through your employer, though you can purchase it on your own. It tends to be more expensive if you purchase it on your own.
  • What does it mean to be disabled?
    This is determined under the terms and provisions of the policy. Check with your benefits representative for your company’s specific plan details.
  • What can I use disability benefits payments for?
    You can use the payments for anything you see fit. They can help cover any medical expenses, you can use them to pay day-to-day expenses, or anything else you want.
  • Are there disabilities that aren't covered by the insurance?
    Every policy is different, but typically short- and long-term disability insurance will not cover things like intentionally self-inflicted injuries, loss of professional or occupational license or certificate, or injuries that happened while committing a crime or during war or an act of war, whether its declared or undeclared. It also may not cover pre-existing conditions, like a disability you were treated for in a specific period of time before you signed up for the policy.
  • Can I keep my coverage if I leave my job or my employment is terminated?
    Coverage typically ends when employment is terminated. Check with your benefits representative for your company’s specific plan details.
  • Will my disability benefit payments be taxed?
    They can be. Please seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
  • Does workers' compensation or other government benefits affect my disability benefits?
    If you are receiving income from another insurance policy, retirement benefits or a government program, such as workers’ compensation, you may not be eligible, or your disability benefits may be reduced.
  • How much will I receive for disability benefits?
    The amount you receive depends on your pre-disability earnings and the benefit percentage in your policy.
  • When should I file a claim?
    As soon as possible after you’ve been disabled. If you have short- or long-term disability insurance from Equitable, you can obtain a claim form from your employer. If your disability is scheduled, such as surgery or child birth, you can file a claim prior to the event to help speed up the process.
  • What information do I need to file a claim?
    You’ll need your personal contact information, work schedule, reason for not being able to work, last day worked, first day of missed work, information about your condition and the contact information for your treating physician.
  • How do I file a claim?

    This varies by carrier. If you have short-term disability from Equitable, you can either use our telephonic claim filing process by calling (866) 274-9887 or complete the paper form and mail it to us. 

  • Once I've filed a claim, how long does it take to get a decision?
    This varies by carrier. If you have Short- or Long-Term Disability from Equitable, you’ll typically have a short-term disability claim decision within 10 business days and a long-term disability claim decision within 30 business days from when we received the appropriate completed claim form. If it looks like it will take longer than that, we will let you know as soon as possible and explain why it’s taking longer than expected.
  • What do I do when I'm ready to go back to work after a disability leave?
    Your claim analyst will work with you throughout the process and can help you design an appropriate return-to-work schedule when you are no longer disabled. Please notify them when you know your return-to-work date.

Equitable's full suite of insurance products

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Short-Term Disability
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Long-Term Disability
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Critical Illness
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Hospital Indemnity

NEW MEXICO BROKER, EMPLOYERS, AND RESIDENTS: Please be advised that this Suite of Insurance Products section of our website is not currently directed to, applicable to, or intended for any person residing in the state of New Mexico.

This policy provides disability income insurance only. It does NOT provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance, and does not satisfy the requirement for minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. THIS POLICY IS NOT A MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PLAN. The certificate has exclusions and limitations for certain conditions that may affect any benefits payable. For costs and complete details of the coverage, please see the actual policy or contact your benefits representative. Benefits payable are subject to all terms and conditions of the certificate. Policy form/contract #s: AXEBP15DI, MOEBP15DI and state variations. Availability is subject to state approvals.

State of New York: This policy provides disability income insurance only. It does NOT provide basic hospital, basic medical or major medical insurance as defined by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The expected benefit ratio for this policy is 67.1%. This ratio is the portion of future premiums that the company expects to return as benefits, when averaged over all people with this policy.

All group insurance products are issued either by Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company or Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America, which have sole responsibility for their insurance and claims-paying obligations. Some products are not available in all states.

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GE-3118449.2 (01/2023) (Exp. 01/2025)