Short Term Disability Short term disability can be a very important employee benefit. Since the majority of disability claims last less than six months, a short term disability plan can be extremely beneficial. STD plans are usually set up to include elimination periods for both accident and sickness. For example, a plan might have a 0/8 elimination period which means 0 day elimination for accidents and 8 days for sickness. Another alternative would be 1st day accident and 8 days for sickness. Most short term disability plans will be written as a 13 week or 26 week benefit period. If the employer has a long term disability plan in force, the short term plan will pay benefits long enough to satisfy the elimination period of the long term plan. It is important to note that STD plans pay benefits on a weekly basis. These benefits are taxable income to you because they are employer paid.