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What Do I Need to Know About Applying for Short-Term Disability Insurance? 

Disability Insurance

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4 min Category: Disability Insurance

What is Short-Term Disability Insurance? 

Short-term disability insurance is coverage designed to replace a portion of your income if you are temporarily unable to work due to a covered injury or illness.

A short-term disability benefit provides paycheck protection while you recover, providing a safety net for you and your loved ones.

As a Federal employee, your benefits don’t include short-term disability insurance, and so you would need to look elsewhere to find this protection. Here are the typical steps you would to take to apply for private short-term disability insurance.

Determine Your Coverage Needs 

Your coverage needs are unique to your situation. Consider factors such as fixed costs, savings, and household income to ensure adequate protection. 

However, it is important to consider having this safety net as your chances of sustaining a temporary disability are higher than you might think. Statistics show that one in four of today’s 20-year-old works will experience a disability within their career.1 

To dive into your specific coverage needs, use WAEPA’s short-term disability coverage calculator. 

Related Resource: Disability Insurance for Young Professionals >   

Woman paying bills on computer

Research Short-Term Disability Providers and Get Quotes

You’ve calculated your coverage needs and now you’re ready to find a provider that can fill your needs. 

A quick search on your favorite search engine will deliver many results for short-term disability insurance from major companies such as Aflac, State Farm, and Met Life. 

WAEPA also offers Group Short-Term Disability Insurance, exclusively for current and former Civilian Federal Employees. Feds can receive up to $6,500 per month in paycheck protection, for up to six months.   

With a few providers on your radar, you can use online tools to get quotes from each company to ensure that you’re getting coverage at a price point that fits your needs. 

Use WAEPA’s Short-Term Disability Insurance premium calculator for an instant-rate quote > 

Complete An Application

With your coverage needs determined and your provider selected, it’s time to check short-term disability insurance off your to-do list and apply for a policy. 

Current and former Civilian Federal Employees can apply for WAEPA’s Group Short-Term Disability Insurance through our online application. The application process takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.  

During WAEPAs application process, you’ll select your monthly benefit amount – up to 60% of your average monthly income – and your waiting period. WAEPA policyholders can choose between a 14- and 30-day option. This waiting period refers to the number of consecutive days you must be totally disabled by a covered injury or illness before your benefits start. Selecting a longer waiting period can reduce how much your coverage will cost. 

Consider Combining Your Coverage 

WAEPA offers new applicants the opportunity to combine their Group Short-Term Disability Insurance application with a Group Term Life Insurance. It’s an easy way to bundle your coverage together, saving you time and ensuring you have a full suite of protection. 

Undergo Medical Underwriting

Underwriting is the process by which insurers determine your level of risk. Factors including your personal and family health history, as well as possible medical exams play into whether you are approved for coverage, and the cost of your coverage. 

WAEPA is proud to offer QuickDecision underwriting for eligible applicants. With this process, applicants under 50 can receive a decision regarding their coverage in minutes and may not need further medical exams or lab work.  

Pay Your Premiums to Ensure Your Coverage Doesn’t Lapse

If you are approved for coverage, you can rest easy, knowing that you’ve put a safety net into place for you and your family. Be sure to keep up with your premium payments so this valuable protection doesn’t lapse, and to maintain records of your policy should you need to file a claim. 

In uncertain times, it’s important to have a plan for whatever life may bring. Securing short-term disability insurance is one way to help ensure that your family is protected against life’s storms.  


  1. Fact Sheet: Social Security, Social Security Administration, February 8, 2023. 

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