What Are The Two Types Of Disability Insurance?

When a person becomes disabled and is unable to work, this can be a financially devastating situation. However, if you are covered by disability insurance, this can help with paying your regular household expenses and make your time off from work less stressful.

Many employers offer disability insurance to their employees or you can purchase it directly from companies that sell it. There are two different types of disability insurance and these are the ways they can be beneficial. 

Short Term Disability Insurance 

Short term disability is designed for those who are unable to work and earn a regular income for a short period of time. Depending on the company the policy is through, short term disability normally covers a person being off sick from work for up to a year. However, the person may be required to be unable to work for a minimum number of weeks as well. 

Short term disability covers a variety of different illnesses or injuries. The person must be unable to work at their normal place of employment as they did before the illness or injury occurred. While not really considered an illness or injury, time off due to pregnancy is also a covered condition by some short term disability providers.

Long Term Disability Insurance 

If a person is still unable to return to work after the short term disability time frame has ended, he may be able to begin receiving long term disability benefits. Long term disability insurance normally covers the same illnesses and injuries as short term disability. However, long term disability insurance provides payments for longer periods of time.

The length of time a person can receive long term disability depends on the company that the policy is with. Some long term disability insurance companies provide payments for a certain number of years, until the person reaches a certain age or even for a lifetime if they are permanently disabled.

Short term and long term disability insurance does not usually pay the full amount of what one would earn if they were able to work at their job. While the amounts can vary with each disability insurance company, short term and long term disability commonly pays 60-80% of the person’s regular earned income.

The payments may be disbursed on the schedule that the person received their paychecks or on a different schedule according to the terms set by the company providing the coverage.

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HIV/AIDS And Collecting Social Security Disability

If have been diagnosed with AIDS/HIV and are no longer able to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. Your physical, sensory and mental conditions will be evaluated using the Residual Functioning Capacity (RFC) assessment. The approval process for benefits depends on how the RFC assessment evaluates your ability to do your job, so read on to learn more about it.

Early HIV Symptoms

Even the initial onset symptoms of HIV can affect your ability to do your job. Fever, shortness of breath, weight loss, and diarrhea are just some of the effects of the disease that could make working near impossible. Tingling in the extremities can make it difficult to do most jobs. These symptoms will only worsen in time and become more severe and debilitating.


If your HIV progresses to AIDS, you may notice the above symptoms increase in severity and the additional issue of an increase in all type of infections. Minor infections, which those with a healthy immune system are able to fight off, can cause life-threatening illnesses if you have AIDS. Everyday brings more and better medications to fight AIDS, but they often come with side effects that can interfere with the ability to work. At some point, most everyone with this disease will eventually become unable to work at all.

Residual Functioning Capacity (RFC)

The SSA will conduct an assessment of your condition utilizing a team consisting of a claims examiner and a medical consultant. The team will be examining your medical records to evaluate how your disease has affected your ability to do your job. The evaluation will assign a level of disability for your claim.

Three Main RFC Categories

  1. Physical: Those with HIV/AIDS often suffer from pain, weakness and constant and overwhelming fatigue. Additionally, the side effects of the drugs needed to keep the disease in check are often severe themselves.
  2. Mental: Commonly, those with this disease suffer from depression, anxiety, confusion and issues with concentration, all of which will greatly impact one’s ability to work. Other areas of evaluation include cognitive skills, memory and problem solving.
  3. Sensory: Each of the five senses are evaluated: speech, vision, hearing, touch and smell. Certain HIV/AIDS medications can cause photo-sensitivity, which will impact those who must work outdoors.

Applying for Social Security Disability can be a frustrating and time-consuming endeavor, and may be more so for those suffering from this disease. Make sure that you get the support and expert legal guidance from a Social Security attorney to help you get through this process and to get you the benefits that you have worked for, and that you now need. Click this link for more information.

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