By: Kimball Law
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A Guide to Short-Term Disability in Nova Scotia
Disability benefits are meant to protect employees who suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from working. Although many people might be familiar with long-term disability benefits, many Nova Scotians might not know what short-term disability is.
Short-term disability in Nova Scotia is an insurance policy that provides partial income replacement to employees that are unable to work for a short-period of time due to an illness or injury. Although it varies by policy, many short-term disability policies provide coverage up to 6 months.
In the following sections, you will find more information about how short-term disability works in Nova Scotia. Since your coverage may vary depending on your insurer, make sure you read and understand your policy.
How Does Short-Term Disability Works
As its name suggests, short-term disability is a form of disability insurance that provides temporary income replacement for people that are unable to work because of an injury or medical condition.
In Nova Scotia, short-term disability benefits refer to a limited period of disability. When an injury or illness prevents employees from working, they could receive these benefits while recovering.
So, unlike long-term disability where the claimant is no longer able to perform the essential duties of their job, short-term disability provides coverage for employees that are temporarily disabled. Usually, these benefits start after an employee has used their sick leave period, but they still require more time to recover.
Examples of short-term disability include, but are not limited to:
- Broken arm
- Recovery from surgery or illness
- Illness that requires frequent treatment
- Mental health issues
However, it is always important to check with your policy provider, as policies can vary.
With some policies, pregnancy or maternity may not be eligible for short-term disability since they are not considered a disability. However, if complications arise from pregnancy or you develop a disability that prevents you from working, you might be eligible for short-term disability benefits.
Short-term disability in Nova Scotia can be provided by insurance plans that either you or your employer purchase. However, if you do not have this coverage, you might be able to apply for EI sickness benefits. If eligible for this program, you may receive up to 55% of your earnings up to a maximum of $638.00 per week.
As mentioned before, short-term disability is a temporary benefit that will stop either when you return to work or after the coverage period has expired. If, after this period of time, you are still unable to work due to your disability, you will need to transition to long-term disability.
How long are short-term disability benefits in Nova Scotia?
Although it depends on each insurer, in Nova Scotia, a policyholder will receive between 90 days to 6 months of short-term disability benefits. These benefits stop after this period of time or when employees are able to perform the essential duties of their job.
When it comes to disability insurance, you need to keep in mind that the definitions, requirements and coverage will vary depending on your policy. Overall, if you are eligible to receive short-term disability benefits, you may be entitled to receive between 70-85% of your pre-disability weekly salary. However, it is always important to check with your policy provider.
Are short-term disability benefits taxable?
Short-term disability benefits may be taxable depending on a complex interaction of factors such as the structure of the plan, whether you or your employer pay the premiums, and whether the premiums being paid are from pre-tax or post-tax dollars.
If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to check with your employer and/or policy holder.
How to Apply for Short-Term Disability in Nova Scotia?
If you are considering applying to short-term disability benefits, make sure you understand the requirements, application processes and the definitions of your policy.To file for short-term disability, you need to complete the forms provided by your insurer.
In addition to including your contact information, you might be required to explain the nature of your disability. At this point, it is important that you provide details of how this disability is preventing you from working.
You may also need to include your working history as well as your doctor’s contact details. In some cases, your doctor may need to fill a form or provide the medical records pertinent to support your claim.
Before you send your application, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and that you included all the information that your insurer needs to assess your claim.