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Does Short-Term Disability Cover Rehab? Understanding Coverage and Limitations

YES, short-term disability covers rehab.

There is much confusion regarding short-term disability. But the good news for you is rehab allows treatment for short time disability. In terms of short time disability, there may include Substance use disorder, addiction to marijuana, heroin, cocaine, OTC drugs, and cigarettes, and mental illness including, depression, anger, anxiety, and many more. 

The severity of the cause is a bit low and possible to overcome in a short period and sessions. Rehabilitation is needed here not only to overcome the fact but also to reduce the severity as well as eliminate the risks.

And the fact becomes easier for you by covering the cost with your insurance. Know more about the types, insurance policies, requirements, procedure of application, and related queries here.

What types of rehab are covered by short-term disability insurance?

Almost all the types of rehabilitation including inpatient, outpatient, residential, and pulmonary are covered by STD (Short Term Disability) insurance.

the examples of rehab types demonstrated that are covered by short-term disability

When you are in rehabilitation that may cost 40%-70% of your earnings. At the same time, you may not be able to go to work and be stuck with a financial burden.

But no need to worry, there is STD insurance that may help you out by covering 13-16 week treatment as well with other benefits till you start working. The insurance covers almost all types of short-term disability rehab, details about some of them are given below-

  • Inpatient rehab

For inpatient rehab, STD insurance covers the fee of maximum sessions, therapies, medicines, and others. Also, you may cover the additional rehab costs with the insurance. 

Here the insurance not only covers your rehabilitation expenses but also covers the cost of support groups, education, counseling, sober living homes, medications, and many more. The percentage of your covered cost may exceed 60-70%.

  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Tricare, Medicare, and Medicaid are covered by this insurance. Not only that but also other partial programs like extra therapies, and sessions are also covered with this insurance. 

  • Intensive outpatient program (IOP)

It mainly covers any behavioral issues or addictions including any kind of residential treatment plans. With the expenses of your treatment, this insurance covers some out pocket expenses too. The coverage of the insurance policy may vary with the type of your problem and the duration of the treatment.

Types of short-term disabilities that may be covered by rehabilitation

All disabilities aren’t always extreme or lengthy to overcome. As an experienced worker in a rehabilitation center for almost 10 years, I would say that rehab is a place that not only helps you overcome any kind of problem including addiction, bad habits, and disability but also gives you motivation and makes you able to lead a better life.

Here is a list of short-term disabilities that may be covered by rehab-

Physical Injuriescar accidents, sports injuries, or work-related injuries
Mental Health Conditionsdepression, anxiety, or addiction
Substance Abusealcohol, OTC drugs, tobacco, cocaine, marijuana, and heroin
Chronic Illnessesdiabetes, heart disease, or cancer
Individual IssuesOdd sleeping, lack of interest, eating less, financial problem
Medical ProblemsC-section, long covid, surgeries
Examples of short-term disabilities

How long does short-term disability insurance cover rehab?

3 months to 1-year short-term disability insurance covers rehab.

And sometimes it extends up to 24 months. One of my cousins had to extend his stay at rehab upto 24 months and he shared some of his insights with me. He describes that the stay depends on the condition of your health and the treatment process.

Sometimes they may consider the policy and extend the limit and include some out pocket costs too. Most of the policies cover 6-month expenses including any type of rehabilitation or session as well therapies for short-term disability for alcoholism.

Additionally, it may extend up to 12 months until you recover and go back to normal life as well as your work.

How much does short-term disability insurance cover for rehab?

Around 50%-70% of short-term disability insurance covers rehab. 

It typically depends on the policy, requirements, and criteria. Usually, STD policies cover your 12-week expenses and sometimes they may exceed depending on the condition and give coverage till you return to your work.

It’s noted that some policies only cover medical expenses, on the other hand, the rest may only cover rehabilitations that are specifically connected to your disability. You will need to carefully review your policy to see if your disability covers rehab and to determine the specific amount of benefits you will receive.

Suppose your core benefit amount is $2000 and with 60% replacement you may get $1200.

Requirements for qualifying for short-term disability benefits for rehabilitation

You must have to fulfill some requirements for qualifying for short-term disability benefits for rehabilitation. However, some of the general qualifications including:

  • You should be unable to work for your illness, which may be termed a disability.
  • Your disability needs to be expected to last a minimum number of periods.
  • The reasons for your disability must be non-occupational, that’s mean it would not be
  • initiated by your job.
  • You must have a medical certification that proves your claim.
  • You need to have minimum earnings.

Documentation that may be required to support a claim for short-term disability benefits for rehabilitation

You can’t get the benefits only by yourself, you just need to show authentic documents to prove your claim. That may include-

  • Medical diagnosis from a doctor or specialist including tests, x-rays and others.
  • A description letter or paper of your medical condition and its impact on your ability to work.
  • A proper treatment plan including goals and activities.
  • Medical records of previous treatment.
  • Letters from other healthcare providers who are going to deal with your needs.
  • Attendance records from your rehabilitation program.
  • Progress reports from your therapist or counselor.


Mary is an employee of a well-known organization and has been struggling with addiction for months. She tries to quit on her own, but she always relapses. She is wondering if she needs rehabilitation but is afraid of the expenses and losing her job. 

But with the help of one of her friends, she visits rehab and after some counseling, she starts group therapy, individual therapy, and addiction education classes too. She also starts attending 12-step meetings.

After some weeks some withdrawal symptoms were noticed in her. Then she applied for STD insurance with her medical documentation as well as proof of withdrawal processing. Also a letter from her doctor as well from her employer. 

And at the end, she manages the acceptance of STD benefits. The benefits not only help in rehabilitation but also help her to lead a sober life.

Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits for Rehab

Once you confirm that you are eligible for STD policies then you can easily apply for STD benefits too. You need to-

Contacting the insurance provider

Communicate with the insurance provider. Let them know what you need and what your condition is. Verify coverage specifics and requirements. Have confirmation too.

Completing the disability claim application

Fill up the form with authentic proof and requirements. Don’t attach any false information. Submit all the necessary files and if possible attach a recommendation letter from your doctor as well from your employer.

People Also Asked

Does short-term disability cover alcohol rehab?

Yes, short-term disability covers alcohol rehab.

If you can prove that your addiction is temporary and it covers the facts of short-term disability then of course it covers your disability. But don’t forget to provide the required documentation.

Will I lose my disability if I go to drug rehab?

Yes, you will lose your disability if you go to drug rehab.

Going to rehab may help you to get addiction disability benefits pointing out that at least you are taking steps for the betterment. But the Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn’t consider drug addiction as a disability drug addiction usually. But if you can fulfill the criteria of disability then there are chances of not losing it.

Does long-term disability cover rehab?

Yes, long-term disability covers rehab.

Check your LTD insurance and its policies before going to rehab for the things it listed to cover. You can’t use your STD policies here. As well, some LTD may not cover your rehabilitation. In this case, you can support the expense with governmental funding,  health insurance and some other assistance programs and scholarships.

How to get short-term disability?

By checking the requirement points and fulfilling the documentation.

You need to be under an STD policy, proof you are unable to work because of a non-work-related injury, and give medical documentation to ensure your claim. After that, contact your insurance company, confirm that you are unable to work, complete the required paperwork, and submit it.

There is a lot of confusion about short-term disability and rehabilitation. But by now you can easily know what type of disability and how rehab will cover it. Moreover, the qualifications, requirements, and procedures have been cleared to a large extent by now.

Figure out your disability as soon as possible and talk to the insurance company to confirm coverage.

Tony McKenzie

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