Short Term Disability vs Workers Comp: What Are the Differences?

Injured patient showing doctor broken wrist and arm with bandage in hospital office or emergency room. Sprain, stress fracture or repetitive strain injury in hand. Nurse helping customer. First aid.

Have you experienced a disabling injury at work, but you need income to support yourself or a family?

You need to know what is short-term disability plan and how it will help. While this benefit is offered by many employers, many workers aren’t aware of it. Often, disability payments are handled by workers comp.

But what are the actual differences? Read on for a closer look at the key differences between short term disability vs workers comp and what they mean for you.

Benefits Amounts

STD benefits are provided by employers, while WC benefits are state-regulated and may vary by state. STD benefits are usually a percentage of an employee’s salary. WC benefits are based on an employee’s actual lost wages. STD benefits are paid for a set of time, while WC benefits may be paid for as long as the employee is not able to work.

Finally, STD benefits are often taxable, while WC benefits are not. You can click this link to know more about short-term disability and workers comp benefits.

Eligibility Requirements

There are a few key differences between short-term disability (STD) and workers’ compensation (WC) eligibility requirements. For STD, an employee must have a medical condition that prevents them from performing the essential duties of their job for a short period. WC eligibility is based on an employee sustaining a work-related injury or illness.

Another key difference is that STD is employer-sponsored and paid for by employees through payroll deductions, while WC is a state-mandated program that is paid for by employers.


STD benefits are paid for a set period, often ranging from 22 to 24 weeks. WC benefits are paid until the injured worker is able to return to work or reach the greatest medical improvement.

WC benefits may be paid for a lifetime. However, there are no such requirements for WC benefits.

Which is Right for You?

So, which is right for you? If you are injured at work or become ill due to work-related activities, you will need to file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. If you are dealing with a non-work-related injury or illness, you want to consider short-term disability insurance.

STD is provided by an employer, while WC is regulated by state law. STD covers a set period, STD covers lost wages and some medical expenses, while WC covers only lost wages.

Comparing Short Term Disability vs Workers Comp

If you’re not sure whether you should file for short term disability vs workers comp. There are some key differences to consider, like eligibility requirements, benefit amounts, and duration. STD provides wage replacement and medical benefits for a temporary disability. WC provides medical benefits and wage replacement for a work-related injury or illness.

Are you looking for more information about short term disability guide? Check out the rest of our blog for more information!