Can a Person Receive Short Term Social Security Disability?

Injured workers can apply for short-term disability benefits from sources other than Social Security.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) sponsors a disability program that provides income payments to applicants who cannot work due to illnesses or injuries. However, the SSA does not cover short-term disabilities, which are medical conditions that generally keep individuals out of work for couple of weeks to several months. Private and other public sources are available to workers with short-term disabilities who need to replace their lost incomes on a temporary basis.

Information About Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability program is funded by the taxpayers of the United States. All U.S. citizens who have paid into Social Security during their working years and have met the program's definitions of being disabled are eligible to apply. Besides not covering short-term disabilities, the SSA doesn't cover partial disabilities as well. Medical conditions that qualify are illnesses and injuries that are scheduled to last longer than one year and prevent applicants from doing their regular jobs or adjusting to other types of employment. Those who are accepted by the SSA must wait five full months before receiving disability benefits.

Sources of Short-Term Disability Incomes

Other short-term disability income sources are available for workers suffering from temporary injuries and illnesses. They can purchase private disability plans directly from insurance companies or obtain coverages through their employers if they sponsor group plans. Some states sponsor temporary disability plans for their workers as well. Five states — California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Hawaii — pay workers percentages of their salaries while they are out of work for several months up to a year.


Although the SSA doesn't cover short-term disabilities, the federal agency allows beneficiaries to continue receiving their disability benefits and payments from short-term disability plans at the same time. Beneficiaries are able to receive incomes from public sources such as the state's temporary disability plans and workers' compensation. However, the SSA decreases the disability income amounts it pays if the beneficiaries' combined benefits exceed 80 percent of their pre-disability salaries.

Facts About Short-Term Disability

Short-term disabilities are medical conditions that keep workers from earning incomes for temporary periods of time. The SSA reports that three in 10 workers 20 years of age or older will suffer disabilities at some point during their working careers. Some of the most common types of disabilities that lead to STD claims include diabetes, arthritis and back injuries. Pregnancies are also considered qualifying short-term disabilities.

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