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Does Social Security Provide Temporary Disability Benefits?

Sometimes a minor injury or illness can leave a person unable to work. Most times, a temporary disability can leave you with no income to cover your expenses. Persons with no paid sick leave at their jobs and no private short-term or long-term disability insurance may be left holding the bag when it comes to covering their everyday living expenses. Disability benefits from the Social Security Administration will not cover short term disabilities. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must have a condition that results in permanent or long-term issues that make it impossible for them to work. In most cases it is left up to the employee to obtain coverage for a temporary disability. However, temporary disability benefits are available in five states, the territory of Puerto Rico and for railroad industry workers nationwide. Rhode Island, California, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii are the only states in the country to offer a temporary disability benefit. The administration of the benefits varies by state, but most of the programs are run through the states unemployment offices. The railroad workers plan is managed by the federal government. The benefits provide coverage for persons with a minimum amount of work history who are temporarily unable to work as a result of an illness or injury that was not the result of a job-related cause that would qualify them for workers' compensation. Benefits are based on the claimant's past earnings history. The longest a person can collect the temporary disability payments varies from 26 to 52 weeks.