Home » My Disability Tactics » Applying for Short/Long Term Disability? Don’t quit or resign. Here’s Why!

forest short/long term disability. dont quit or resign-the right time to file

Applying for Short/Long Term Disability? Don’t quit or resign. Here’s Why!

Most people looking to file for Short/Long term disability are worried about the right time to file and the right time to stop working.

Should you apply first and quit? Should you apply and still work? What if you can’t work but the employer is demanding you come back to work or else you will lose your job?

What to do?

Once you establish that you are disabled and unable to work anymore, the first and most important thing you need to do is NOT QUIT your job.

This is big!

If you quit or resign you WILL lose all your Short/Long term benefits. Even if you are disabled. Even if you paid for it for years. It doesn’t matter: If you quit or resign, your benefits are GONE and so are thousands of dollars with it.

So When Should You Apply If you Can’t Work Anymore?

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NOW! Apply immediately once you have made the decision that you cannot work anymore because of your disability. And DO NOT QUIT! (I know I sound like a broken record). If you can’t go to work and your employer is nagging you to come back to work or else they will fire you: LET THEM.

Getting fired after applying for disability happens and here’s why:

Employers can’t really fire people due to an illness (this may vary by jurisdiction). But eventually. a medical separation is required because you cannot perform your job anymore. It’s not their fault and it’s not your fault but that’s what insurance is for. It ensures the employer won’t get stuck paying for someone who can’t work anymore, and it ensures you are not on your own without some financial assurance. Nice, huh? (at least in theory. More on that in a future post).

There are certain steps to make sure you get benefits. But there are also things you have to make sure don’t happen that can hurt your ability to get those benefits. For example:

Do not sign anything that your employer wants you to sign without having an attorney look at the document. Even if it’s a medical separation or a generous severance. Most attorneys won’t even charge to look at them and if they do it’s worth every penny!

Either way, it’s a few hundred dollars cost to protect thousands of dollars that you could lose if you sign something you were not supposed to. There is nothing anyone can do to fix that once you signed that termination document. NOTHING!

LTD don't quit or resign

What you want to make sure of is that your employer didn’t insert any sneaky language stating that you are voluntarily resigning and that all your rights to any claims (including LTD claims) are waived.


Sometimes employers don’t even do it out of evil or that they are out there to “get you”. In most cases, these are cookie cutter forms from someone else and they use these forms without even reading them.

File Your Claim ASAP

File your claim as soon as you can. Or you risk being fired FOR CAUSE. Causes to be fired can be “under-performance”, “being late for work”, “lack of compliance”, among other examples.

Getting fired “for cause” will also sever your rights to benefits. It is a battle trying to fight an “improper termination”. You don’t need the extra work along with fighting for disability. File right away!

What If I Applied While Working?

You are trying to demonstrate that you absolutely cannot work. Your insurance company will not be convinced that you are disabled if you file while still working. They may think you are only looking to get some time off at their expense. I know, it’s strange.

It just makes no sense to apply and still work while waiting to get approved.

To Recap:

Whatever you do, don’t quit or resign. Don’t sign anything you don’t understand.  File right away as soon as you decide you can’t work anymore.

That way you will ensure that you’ve covered all the bases. It also makes the process a little smoother. If by any chance you don’t get awarded benefits for some lame reason and you need to appeal the denial, at least you know you did everything right.

If you do get denied call an attorney right away. DO NOT APPEAL AN INSURANCE CLAIM YOURSELF!!! 

You should consult an attorney about this subject matter in your jurisdiction.

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  1. Brian says:

    I’m currently on Short Term disability & FMLA that expires the first week in January 2021, when is the best time to file for Long Term disability as I have early onset Parkinson’s and don’t see it getting any better?

    Also, since I’m on Short Term Disability, does that increase my chances for qualifying for Long Term Disability, both STD & LTD are with the same Insurance company.

    • Tatiana says:

      The right time to file for LTD varies but most claimants can file within 30 days from the expiration of the STD. Also check with HR to see if they convert it themselves. Without looking at the plan it is a bit difficult to tell and they vary per insurance company too.

  2. Anthony ballard says:

    I quit my job due to a illness and surgery coming up. I never signed anything will I still get short-term disability

  3. My uncle is having a really hard time with his health especially as he was admitted to the hospital this week because of a leg injury and they don’t think he’ll be able to walk again. He would really like to get some help from a professional so that he can get better care for himself and he can pay for everything that he will need. I liked what you said about making sure that every document is looked over by an attorney before it is signed and he should make sure to not resign.

    • Tatiana says:

      You should try to find a local attorney in your area who specializes in Long Term Disability (Private insurance) before taking any action. It is worth the money for a consult to know everything you need to do to start on the right track. All the best to your uncle!

  4. Brian Malone says:

    A few follow up questions:
    1. I live in MN so do I file for FMLA -Minnesota Family Leave or Serious Health Condition with my Parkinson’s?
    2. when do I stop working after I file for FMLA or after I submit both FMLA and STD?

    Thank you for your support with these questions!

    • Tatiana says:

      Brian, I’m not licensed in MN so I cannot answer item 1. As to item 2 if there are other programs in MN before applying for STD I don’t know. You will need to consult with a local attorney to look at your case closely to make sure you take the right steps. This post is for awareness only but we attorneys can only go so far here and each case and each state can have local variations that could affect your rights.

  5. Brian Malone says:

    I have Parkinson’s and it is becoming difficult to do my job, should I file for FMLA and Short-term Disability or just Short-term Disability? Since my illness is chronic, I don’t plan to return to work. Do I need an attorney to file either FMLA or STD to increase my odds of being approved or only if I need to appeal a denial?

    • Tatiana says:

      You should file for both FMLA to protect you from being fired for cause and STD right away if you have that plan. Get an attorney if you get denied but it doesn’t hurt to consult an attorney before you file too

  6. David says:

    Can you recommend a lawyer to help with my claim? I quit my job because of the pain in my shoulder and have been denied short term sdi even thou I had to have surgery….

    Westminster, California 92693

    • Tatiana says:

      I don’t know any attorneys in CA but a good search online should yield some results. Be sure to look at the reviews very closely to make sure that clients say that the attorney calls and is good in communicating.

  7. Jennifer Webster says:

    I already quit, is it to late? My disability through work denied me and I stopped getting paid in Jan 2020. I resigned March 2020. My disability claim denial was in March too. Now, with Covid, I can’t find another job and they are currently protesting an unemployment claim I put in. Do I have any recourse?

    • Tatiana says:

      If u were already on benefits it shud be fine but it is best to consult an LTD atty to be sure. Plus it us best to have an atty to appeal that denial. Do not appeal yourself if u can help it

  8. Bonita says:

    Currently I’m receiving state disability benefits short term disability, what will happen if I resign from my job? Am I loosing my benefits?

    • Tatiana says:

      Look at the policy. It is difficult to give advice in your case without access to the policy. Best to consult an attorney in your state to make sure your rights are protected.

  9. Deniva says:

    If I accept an offer to settle a discrimination case while on long term disability, can my employer cut off my benefits while I am awaiting my decision from SSD?

    • Tatiana says:

      There are many issues that can come up with your facts. Without reading the plan it is impossible to tell from this information. my recommendation is to find an LTD attorney asap to get all the right information. it will be worth your time to consult with one. I’m sorry I can’t give you any more information but it is very risky to do so without more.

      • Deniva says:

        Can I make a counter offer if the insurance carrier offers me a lump sum settlement? Should I consult an Attorney first before replying to the offer?

        • Tatiana says:

          Definitely consult an attorney. If the attorney thinks it’s too low he or she may be able to negotiate a higher amount. Why settle for less. The Insurance company also suggests using an attorney to review the offer and will even pay the attorney of your choosing to review your settlement offer. Please refer to their letter to see if they will cover your attorney fee for the review.

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