By: Kimball Law
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Short vs Long-Term Disability in Nova Scotia
In Nova Scotia, disability insurance is designed to provide partial income replacement to employees that are unable to work due to an injury or illness. Given that policies may have two main types of coverages, oftentimes people wonder what is the difference between short-term and long disability.
Short-term disability (“STD”) is a temporary benefit for injured or ill employees that are unable to work for a short period of time and benefits might last up to 180 days. Long-term disability (“LTD”) is a benefit for employees that are unable to return to work due to their disability.
Both short and long-term disability insurance are meant to protect Nova Scotians who rely on their jobs for income, but they offer different types of coverage. In this article, you will find more information about the differences between STD and LTD disability, as well as the benefits that you may be entitled to.
Difference Between Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
Short and long-term disability are a disability insurance that is meant to protect employees that are not able to perform the regular duties of their job due an illness or injury. Despite this similarity, there are some significant differences between short and long-term disability.
In the table below, you will find some of the main differences between short-term and long-term disability in Nova Scotia. These are meant to be a general example only -keep in mind that the benefits, the time that you receive them and the requirements to be eligible may vary depending on your disability policy and individual circumstances.
|Short-term disability||Long-term disability|
|Provides temporary income replacement for disabled employees that cannot work for a short period.||Provides income for employees who are no longer able to perform the duties of their own occupation due to a disability.|
|Employees without short-term disability benefits may be eligible for EI sickness benefits*.||Employees with LTD disability policies may be required to apply to CPP disability.|
|Up to 180 days.||Up to 2 years. After this period, people are evaluated to see if they can perform any other occupation.|
|Benefits can start in a few days.||People may be required to be off work for a couple of months before applying.|
|May require to have used sick leave.||May start after short-term disability.|
|Examples include: broken arms, broken legs, joint injuries, recovery after surgery, etc.||Examples include: coronary artery disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, mental disorders, musculoskeletal problems, etc.|
* Before applying to EI sickness benefits, you should check with your employer to see if they have a short disability plan in place. If they do, your claim must be made through this plan.
Short & Long-Term Disability Benefits in Nova Scotia
In Nova Scotia, short-term and long-term disability are benefits that eligible employees can request when an injury or a medical condition prevents them from working. Both of these benefits are designed to be a partial replacement of the employee’s salary or wages while they are unable to work.
Given that the benefits depend on both the employee’s pre-disability salary and the terms of their policy, the amount that people receive for LTD or STD varies from case to case. Each policy is different, but in general, you may be entitled to receive between 70% to 85% of the wages or salary that you had earned leading up to your disability.
If your short-term disability benefits are over but you are still suffering from disability, you will need to transition to long-term disability so you can start receiving these benefits. However, this does not mean that you can collect both STD and LTD benefits at the same time, but rather that, after a period of time, you need to be covered by your long-term disability plan.
How Do Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Work in Nova Scotia
As its name suggests, short-term disability replaces a portion of your salary while you have a disability that prevents you from working for a short-period of time. So this temporary benefit is intended to provide a portion of your salary while you recover from your injury or illness.
These benefits stop when you are able to go back to work or when the coverage period has ended. In Nova Scotia, this period might extend up to 180 days, but since each policy has its own terms and conditions, check your policy for this information.
If the disability extends beyond the coverage period established by your short-term disability plan, you will need to apply for long-term disability. People with a severe injury or illness that are unable to perform the regular duties of their job are covered for up to 2 years.
However, after this period, many policies have a change of definition. In other words, after the first 2 years, your insurance company will evaluate if you are able to perform “any occupation” that is suitable for your education and skills rather than your “own occupation” (your previous job). If they consider that you can have another type of job, your LTD benefits may stop.
If you have questions about the benefits that you are entitled to, you should consult a disability lawyer.
Contact a Halifax Disability Lawyer
If you are not able to work due to an injury or a medical condition, you may be entitled to receive short or long-term disability benefits in Nova Scotia. To know how your policy works or if you have questions about an appeal process, you may want to talk with a lawyer.
Kimball Law is a personal injury law firm in Nova Scotia that represents clients with insurance claims in Halifax, Bedford, Coldbrook, Wolfville, Kentville, Dartmouth, the Annapolis Valley and surrounding areas.
If you want to know if you have a short or long-term disability claim, you should seek legal advice. Book a consultation with our Halifax disability lawyers via contact form or call us at 1 (902) 422-8811.