Ultimate Guide to Short Term Disability in Washington State

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Discover this ultimate guide on Short Term Disability in Washington, discover benefits seamlessly. Learn the application process and access the support you need during challenging times.

About one out of every eight people in Washington, which is about 12.9% of the population, have disabilities. Disabilities can impact how people interact with others, move around, and get healthcare. 

Washington State Short-Term Disability is important because it provides money to help when you can’t work due to a disability. However, applying for these benefits can be confusing and hard, which can make it tough for you and your family when you need help the most.

This article is here to help you understand how to apply for disability benefits, so you can get the support you need.

Washington Disability Programs

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In Washington state, there isn’t a special disability program just for you. You can still qualify for disability benefits from the government and private companies. Here are some programs you might be able to get help from:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

This is a federal program for Americans with long work histories. The longer you’ve worked and paid family taxes, the more likely you are to qualify. 

Usually, if you’ve worked for at least five of the past 10 years, you’re eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. Having a longer work history also means you might receive larger benefit checks.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI is also a federal program, but it’s for those who don’t have a long work history or haven’t worked recently enough to qualify for SSDI. It’s based on financial need, so you must have a low income and few savings or assets to qualify. You can apply for both SSI and SSDI at the same time.

Veterans Disability Benefits

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers benefits to veterans like you who served in the military. These benefits are for those who got hurt while serving in the military. If your injury makes it hard for you to work, you can get these benefits. You can get VA benefits along with SSDI and SSI.

Long Term Disability Or Short-Term Private Disability Insurance

Private insurance plans are available through your employer or your insurer. If you cannot work due to a disability while you have a disability plan, you should file a claim with your insurer to receive benefits.

Short-Term Disability in Washington

  • Wage Replacement Rate:  60 to 75%
  • Maximum Weekly Benefit Amount:  $1,327  
  • Maximum Benefit Period:  12 Weeks
  • Employee Eligibility Requirements: If you earn less than $1,000 a month and don’t have much money saved up, like for retirement or personal savings, you might have less than $2,000 if you’re single or less than $3,000 if you’re married.

Short-term disability (STD) insurance in Washington State helps replace a part of your salary if you can’t work because you are sick or injured. You can use STD insurance along with your annual or sick leave.

The benefits start on the first day if you are injured or on the eighth day if you are sick, and they can last for up to 90 days. You don’t have to wait before you start receiving benefits for accidents or injuries.

5 Steps To Apply For Short-Term Disability In Washington

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Step 1: Begin the Application Process

To apply for benefits, you need to fill out the main disability application and any extra forms. Remember to list your past work experience in the work history report. Describe how your health conditions impact your daily activities in the function report.

Step 2: Prepare Your Application

The disability application is long, so it’s important to set aside enough time to complete it. Don’t forget about the supplements—the whole process might take longer than you think. 

Medical records and treatment forms are necessary. Education and bank account information is needed. Contact details for healthcare providers are essential.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

To apply, submit your application and all extra papers. Answer questions truthfully and be realistic about the pain or injuries from your condition. The SSA checks for differences, so try not to contradict yourself if you’re self-employed.

Be sure to follow up with the SSA right after you submit your application. Many people apply for disability every month, so it’s important to check if they received your application and are processing it.

If the SSA asks for more information, respond immediately. You have up to 10 days to reply, but it’s best to do it as soon as you can to avoid delays in processing.

Step 4: Ways to Submit Your Application

To apply for disability benefits, there are three ways you can file your application and forms:

  • Apply Online: Visit the SSA website to apply online.
  • Apply Over the Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213 or your local office to apply over the phone.
  • Apply In Person: Go to your local SSA office to apply in person.

If you decide not to work with a lawyer, applying in person can be helpful. The SSA staff can give you advice on how to answer the application questions accurately. 

Step 5: What Happens After You Apply

After applying for disability, the SSA will review if you meet the technical requirements. If you do, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) will check your family and medical leave eligibility. 

This usually involves a quick exam with an SSA doctor. After that, the SSA will decide if you qualify. Even though it might seem quick, this process often takes more than six months.

How to Qualify for Disability in Washington: Meeting the Criteria

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To qualify for SSI and SSDI, a person must meet strict medical and technical standards. While both programs have the same medical requirements, their technical criteria differ.

Medical Requirements for Disability Benefits

To qualify, you must have a disability or a medical condition that stops you from working. Your healthcare provider must think this condition will last for at least a year or the rest of your life. Terminal conditions also qualify.

If you’re under 50, you need to show that you can’t do any job because of your health. Once you’re over 50, it’s simpler—you just have to prove that you can’t keep doing your current job.

Technical SSDI Qualifications

To qualify for SSDI, a person must be 66 or younger and have paid enough taxes to the Social Security Administration. Generally, working five out of the past 10 years is sufficient.

Technical SSI Qualifications

To qualify for SSI, a person must earn less than $1,000 per month and have assets under $2,000 if single or $3,000 if married.

How much are disability benefits in Washington?

The amount of help you get because of your disability depends on your work and how much money you make. It also depends on whether you get SSDI or SSI. Sometimes, you can get help from both of these programs at once.

Average SSDI payments in Washington

Your monthly SSDI benefit in Washington is typically about $1,371.51, similar to the national average. However, your actual payment might vary because the maximum payment in 2024 is around $3,822.

Even though the amount you receive each month can vary from state to state, where you live doesn’t decide how much you’ll get. Instead, your income and work history are the two most important factors that determine the size of your disability check.

You can find out what your SSDI payment will be by checking your SSA.gov account:

  • Go to the SSA’s mySocialSecurity page.
  • Log in or create an account using your Social Security number (SSN).
  • Look for the section called “More Benefits.”

Average SSI payments in Washington

In Washington, you get about $638.93 every month from SSI, but in 2024, the most you can get is $943. How much you get each month depends on how much money you already have.

The SSA begins with $943 and then takes away any money you receive each month, such as SNAP benefits, part-time job pay, and stock profits. If you don’t have any income, you’ll get the full $943 per month from SSI.


Summing up, the Short-Term Disability program in Washington State gives important money help if you have a short-term disability. We talked about how to apply it, its requirements, what good things it does, and how it helps you feel better during hard times.

If you liked learning this, please think about telling others who could use it. Sharing this info might help others who need it.


How do I qualify for disability in Washington?

To qualify for disability benefits, you need to have a condition that stops you from working for at least a year. You also need to meet certain work history requirements. If you are applying for SSDI, you need to be within certain income limits.

What conditions qualify for disability in Washington?

If you’re unable to work for a year or more because of a health problem, you might qualify for disability benefits. Certain health issues can make you eligible for these benefits. 

These include muscle and bone problems, mental health conditions, diseases that affect the nervous system, and those that affect blood circulation.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Washington?

In Washington, it usually takes about 6.1 months to receive a first decision on disability claims. Many applicants are first turned down and must challenge this decision. If you go through the appeal process and have a hearing, it typically takes about two years.

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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