When looking for a short-term disability plan, some of the terms mentioned may be confusing and seem contradictory. One of the terms that may confuse people is total disability, and it may seem hard to distinguish from what a partial disability is when that term is also mentioned. While we’ve already covered what a partial disability is in another post, here we will explore what is meant by the term total disability.
In law, the term total disability means that a disability is severe enough to prevent a person from engaging in “gainful” work. Where as a partial disability means that a disability hinders a person from performing some of the duties of a job, total disability prevents a person from doing enough duties that they would not be able to be or stay employed.
Total disabilities are separated into two types: permanent and temporary.
What is a Permanent Total Disability?
A permanent total disability is any disability that is indefinite and affecting a person enough that the condition prevents the insured person from returning to “gainful” employment. These types of disabilities will not heal over time and will be chronic. When a person is eligible for permanent total disability benefits, they may be able to receive these for the rest of their life.
What is a Temporary Total Disability?
An insured person may seek temporary total disability benefits when they are only unable to return to work for a short period of time. The disability is still enough to prevent the insured from returning to their job, but it will not last permanently. Examples of this might be muscle sprains or broken bones that will heal over time. Once the insured is physically recovered, the benefits will usually cease.
Disclaimer: This information does not constitute financial advice. For specific information for short-term disability policy plans and features, consult your local insurance agent.