Insurance for a short-term disability (STD) will pay a portion of your regular salary if you are disabled for a short time. The short-term disability may be related to an illness such as cancer or a heart attack, an injury, arthritis, or back pain. Short-term disability insurance may provide up to 65 percent of your base salary, although it could also pay as little as 40 percent, according to the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education. Short-term disability insurance payments are temporary and are usually limited to three to six months. If you purchase a group short-term disability policy, you will not have to take a physical examination to receive coverage.