I would guess it depends on the specific policy.
We have both short and long term disability offered from the company. Short term starts whenever you want it and goes up to something like 2 or 3 months - if it's any longer, then the long term disability would kick in.
However, since the short term (I am assuming long term is the same) is only like 60% of the paycheck, a lot of people will bank that up over a few years and use that in case of an emergency, etc.
The only appropriate answer is "read your paperwork" / have an attorney read your paperwork. My company covers STD/LTD, and reasonably generously (good bennies). YMMV. Little beats a well-stocked savings account for short-term liquidity while you sort it out though.
My wife maintains both short and long term disability insurance. They are separate products.
They may disappoint you with their payouts, though...
It's better than nothing. I've read anywhere from 50-70% of your pay. I'm recovering from rotator cuff surgery. I still got two more months to go before going back to work. I've almost used up my vacation and sick time. I wish I had at least short term in this case.
when I was in the hospital for 25 days, I was on Short term disability. as soon as I got discharged home, the short term disability insurance cut me off and said I was ready to go back to work since I was out of the hospital. My doctor had to submit records saying I wasn't ready for another 2 weeks. I refused two week inpatient rehab and went home instead. what can I say? I was tired of being poked with needles two-three times per day. Insurance is a business so they will try to not pay out as much as possible.