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LA County Short Term Disability Plan


When dealing with a disability, people often think only of permanent and total disability or long-term disability.

Usually, employee’s time off have three levels, namely:

  • sick leave for the person needing a few days off

  • short term disability (STD) for brief periods of disability for one or more weeks

  • long-term disability (LTD) for extended periods of disability

The County of Los Angeles provides STD Plan that offers income replacement to ill, injured or pregnant County employees. In case a dispute ensues under the plan, Short Term disability lawyers must be consulted.

According to the latest US Census, about 12% of the working age population of Los Angeles had some type of disability. Approximately 42% of those reporting disabilities are employed compared to 74% of those without a disability.

Short Term Disability Defined

Disability, under STD, means that the condition prevents an individual to perform regular and customary job duties, or modified job duties, as a County employee. This definition considers the following factors:

  1. The severity of medical condition
  2. The kind of work performed
  3. The duration of disability
  4. The type of work capable of performing

Short Term Disability Benefits

Employers pay a portion of their employees’ salary between the time sick leave is exhausted and long-term disability starts.

The typical benefit is between 50% and 75% of salary. Some larger employers will pay 100% of the salary based on length of service before reducing the benefit to a lesser percentage.

The payment is usually a percentage of gross weekly salary without bonuses, commissions or overtime that will be specified in the plan document.

How to Receive STD Benefits

To reap the benefits under the STD Plan, one must be enrolled to it. During enrollment, the prospective employees must choose between the two benefits, namely:

  • Core benefit which is a 14-day waiting period followed by 70% income replacement; or

  • Additional benefit which is a 7-day waiting period followed by 100% income replacement for 21 days, then 80% income replacement for the remainder of the approved STD period.

If you select the STD additional benefit, the 100% - 80% STD income replacement is not payable under California workers’ compensation laws.

In case of an industrial injury or illness, a maximum of 70% STD income replacement will be due to an individual. The STD waiting period will stay equal to the amount of waiting period days you elected in either the core or additional benefit.

Waiting Period Defined

Most Short Term Disability plans do not start paying until the employee has been absent for one week or until the sick leave has expired – whichever comes first.

The waiting period begins on the “first day of disability, as certified by your health care practitioner, and ends the date you are entitled to receive STD payments”.

A “day” for purposes of the waiting period, is considered a “calendar day”. This includes weekends, holidays, and any other regular day off.

You are not entitled to STD payments during the waiting period.

Duration of Benefits

If approved by the Third Party Administrator (TPA), STD benefits may carry on for up to 182 calendar days from the first day of disability without any work pay.

The duration of a disability depends on the circumstances as determined by the TPA, based on medical information received from your health care practitioner.

STD Payments in Los Angeles County

STD payments are paid by the County of Los Angeles, not the TPA.

Under the Plan, STD benefits are never paid for the following:

  • Injuries sustained upon commission of a felony;

  • War Injuries;

  • Injuries inflicted upon oneself; or

  • When a disability is not acceptable by prevailing medical facts and medication, as determined by the TPA

Residents of LA County may now enjoy benefits whenever a short-term injury occurs. Just consult your short-term disability lawyer for guidance and you are ready to file your claim.


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