More Short-Term Disability Plans Carry Waiting Period

May 17, 2010 ( – More employers have instituted a waiting period of at least seven days before short-term disability (STD) coverage is effective, according to a new human resources poll.

The latest BLR Employee Fringe Benefit Survey found that 77% of respondents report their organization requires a waiting period of at least seven days up from 65% in late 2006. Generally, the BLR poll found, seventy-seven percent said their companies offer short-term disability, and 82% offer long-term disability.

In the most recent survey, most respondents said they pay a short-term benefit of 60% to 69% of weekly pay for 13 weeks or less, funded primarily by conventional insurance. 

The trend toward longer waiting periods was also found for long-term disability insurance, with 94% of respondents requiring a delay of three months or more, compared to 80% of respondents in the previous survey.

More than 400 readers participated in the survey that was conducted in March and April 2010. Most (86%) were HR directors, managers, or staff. Forty-four percent of respondents had 1-99 employees; 34% had 100-499 employees; 9% had 500-999 employees; and 13% had 1,000 or more employees.

More survey results are here.