Short Term Disability: What Is a Partial Disability?


When looking through a short-term disability policy, it is important to note key differences in meanings between certain aspects. One of those aspects to consider is the difference between partial disability and total disability. We’ll look at what is meant by partial disability here, and save total disability for another post.

What is a Partial Disability?

A partial disability is the inability of the insured to perform at the maximum of their ability pre-disability. Partial disabilities can be caused by either injury or sickness and a partial disability is generally assessed when a person can complete some of the duties of their occupation but they are not able to complete all of the duties.

How Much Does a Partial Disability Benefit Pay?

Because the insured is still able to work, the benefit amount is usually less– sometimes considerably– than the benefit would be for a total disability. The ability to work helps offset the loss of income from the insured potentially either working less hours or having a different, possibly lower paying, occupation if they cannot perform enough of the duties of their prior occupation.

How Long Does the Partial Disability Benefit Pay?

Because the insured is still generally able to work a job during a partial disability, the benefit period is usually less than the total disability benefit period would be, perhaps lasting for around 3 months.

Rider or Policy Provision?

While total disability benefits may be a given for a short-term disability policy, partial disability benefits may either be part of the policy provisions or they may be offered as a rider. Be careful to look through the policy and ask your insurance agent questions on the difference and what the price difference would be to add a partial disability rider if it is not offered as a policy provision.


Disclaimer: This information does not constitute financial advice. For specific information for short-term disability policy plans and features, consult your local insurance agent.

By Foxx Financial

We are focused on financial literacy and a want to help others grow assets, reduce and remove debt, or just understand financial concepts better.

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