Understanding Short-Term Disability Laws In Nevada
If you have contracted an illness, are coping with a medical condition, or experienced an injury, you have a lot on your plate. But you may face an uphill battle if you cannot return to work. But you’re not alone. Each year, at least 5% of Americans face a disabling condition that requires them to apply for temporary social security disability insurance.
With the physical or mental injury comes thousands of dollars in medical bills, financial difficulties, and career pauses—not to mention the damage to your overall well-being. You may feel unsure of how you will make ends meet, especially if your impairment isn’t permanent.
The good news is that the state of Nevada has laws to ensure that workers receive fair short-term disability or temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits if they are injured and cannot return to work. The Nevada Department Of Health And Human Services helps people like you obtain monthly benefits that can help ease the burden of dealing with your medical conditions or injuries.
Through Nevada’s worker’s compensation and disability laws, claimants can receive financial compensation for their injuries, whether the injury or illness is temporary or permanent. And with these monthly benefits, you can take steps to ensure you make it back to work as soon as you can.
In this article, we will go over short-term disability and temporary partial disability benefits in Nevada, how to determine your eligibility, and how you can receive fair compensation if you have been injured to the point that you cannot work.
What Are Short-Term Disability Benefits?
Residents of the state of Nevada have two disability insurance options: long-term and short-term disability.
Long-term disability insurance generally begins about six months after the disability and can go on for a few years or even until retirement. Before you get to that point, you may qualify for short-term disability.
Short-term disability exists to assist workers if they become injured to the point where they can no longer work for a specified amount of time.
Short-term disability benefits make up for wages that the claimant may lose if they can no longer perform their work duties. Worker’s compensation laws may cover medical bills, but you’ll have other expenses during the time you cannot work, such as:
- Utility Bills
- Child Care
Applying for short-term disability will help you make ends meet as you recover from your illness or injury. It can also help bridge the gap until your long-term social security disability benefits come through if you are severely ill or injured.
You can also opt to obtain private short term disability from your insurance company, which can come in handy when you find yourself temporarily unable to work.
How Do I File For Short-Term Disability?
If you or one of your family members were injured to the point where you can no longer work, you must file for short-term disability benefits as soon as possible so that you can receive benefits right when you need them.
You can file online at ssa.gov, call their toll free phone number, or visit the social security field office, DDS or ODAR local offices near you.
In order to file, you’ll need the following documentation:
- Proof Of Citizenship: You’ll need to prove your identity and citizenship with a birth certificate or immigration documentation.
- Proof Of Employment: This includes W-2 forms or self-employment tax returns for the past year
- Medical Evidence: You’ll need to file proof of your medical history, including doctors’ reports, recent test results, and specific medical records outlining your health before and after the illness or injury.
- An Adult Disability Report: This document provides crucial details on your physical condition, mental state, and work history.
Once the disability application is completed and filed, injured workers usually receive benefits in one to 14 days. Injured workers may need to use paid time off or sick days until these benefits kick in.
You must file your claim as quickly as possible. You will not be able to receive retroactive benefits unless you are applying for the federal Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI.
If needed, your local offices can also help you obtain vocational training that will offer you a new career path if your current job is no longer an option.
How Are My Short-Term Disability Benefits Calculated?
Depending on your work history, your short-term disability benefits may be more than you expect.
To calculate your short-term disability benefits, you must determine the difference between your post-injury wages and short-term disability benefits.
In the state of Nevada, short-term disability benefits are generally 67 percent of the worker’s lost wages. You can receive benefits for 24 months at most. The social security administration will consider the amount you’ve earned over a specific period of time in your adult life. So if you’ve recently switched jobs, your old income may come into play.
For example, a worker who typically earns $1,800 per month but is currently working at a light-duty job following an injury earning $1,000 each week will receive a temporary total disability rate of $1,200, or two-thirds of $1,800. They would then receive the difference between $1,200 and $1,000, or $200 per month.
The state of Nevada will also take inflation into account, so you may see an increase that’s meant to help offset higher cost of living.
When Am I Eligible for Short-Term Disability?
Workers are eligible for short-term disability if they have contracted an injury or illness that will prevent them from performing their regular work duties before the injury or illness occurs.
In some cases, pregnant mothers will also file for short-term disability to cover them after they give birth. Laws generally allow six to eight weeks of short-term disability benefits in this situation, depending on the birth type and complications.
You may also be eligible for short-term disability benefits under the following circumstances:
- You can work but earn significantly less than you did before due to your injury.
You work a temporary, light-duty job at a lower wage because your duties are different after your injury, or you make the same amount, but your hours have been reduced.
- You have a permanent job within the restrictions of your injury but at a different rate of compensation. You hope to reach your previous level of compensation within the next two years.
- You work multiple jobs, but your injury prevents you from returning to all of your places of employment.
You will continue to receive TPD payments until you can return to work on a full-time basis or until you receive medical disability.
Suppose your doctor determines that you can return to work with some limitations about your injury, and your employer can provide you with part- or full-time work under these new limitations. In that case, you will not be eligible for TPD.
What If I Am Denied Short-Term Disability Benefits?
If your initial application for short-term disability is denied, you can file an appeal for reconsideration of your claim.
This usually takes about 30 days and is completed by an administrative law judge who did not take part in the first disability adjudication, so you’ll essentially be getting a second opinion.
If you’ve been denied, you’ll need someone on your side to ensure the reconsideration goes your way. You can partner with a social security disability attorney who can work with disability determination services to get you approved for the short-term disability benefits you deserve.
What If I Need Permanent Social Security Disability?
If you obtain short-term disability but find yourself unable to return to work due to your illness and injury for a year or more, there are federal programs you can apply for.
The application process is a little more extensive, and you must have a medical condition that makes it impossible to work even the simplest job.
But there are several reasons why you should file for long-term disability:
- You’ll automatically receive Medicaid to help cover medical visits and treatment.
- You’ll receive backpay from your filing date to your approval date.
- You’ll receive benefits for specific family members, such as caretakers and dependents.
- You may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) based on financial need.
Of course, the downside to applying for permanent social security disability is that it can take over a year to be approved. This means you need to be proactive and know when exactly you should contact a professional to aid you.
When to Hire a Short-Term Disability Lawyer
Navigating the world of short-term disability benefits can be very confusing—and if you have contracted an illness or injury, time is of the essence. You need to focus on getting better rather than the piles of paperwork needed to get approved for short-term disability.
Short-term disability lawyers are well-versed in the highly specialized area of worker’s compensation and disability benefits. They have worked through the system countless times and can advise you on what’s necessary to get your case approved the first time.
A short-term disability lawyer will ensure you receive the proper compensation and benefits you are entitled to under Nevada law.
With 85 years of combined legal experience, the personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone can help you file or appeal your short-term disability claim. We will fight for maximum compensation that will get you back on the road to recovery.
Whether you live in Carson City, Henderson, or Reno, NV, the highly-qualified disability attorneys at Shook & Shake can get you the results you deserve.
Contact us today for a free consultation to preview your eligibility and get you on the path to receiving short-term disability benefits or call (702) 570-0000.
Chances Of Disability . (2021, September 30). In Council For Disability Awareness . Retrieved from https://disabilitycanhappen.org/disability-statistic/
Disability Insurance . (2021). In Nevada Division Of Insurance . Retrieved from https://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Disability-Insurance/