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What happens if I will be disabled only for a short time?

What happens if I will be disabled only for a short time?

If you cannot perform the duties of your job on a short term basis, a NY state disability lawyer will tell you that there are certain benefits mandated by federal law.  There are also some benefits that may be mandated under the law of your State, or which you are entitled to as an employee benefit by your company. A NY state disability lawyer will be able to provide greater legal context as to what is entitled to you under these benefits.

The first thing you should do is read your company’s employee handbook and consult with your company’s human resources department.  The handbook and human resources department will be able to tell you if you have any accrued sick and/or vacation days that could be used on a short term basis.

If you will be out of work for a longer period, many companies have short term disability plans, which will provide you with all or a portion of your pay for a stated period.  Most cover the first six months of disability.  If your company does not have a short term disability plan, many states mandate that your employer subscribe to a State disability program covering the first six months of disability, says a NY state disability lawyer.  Under this program, you will be paid a weekly benefit.  The amount is set by State law.  You can obtain the required application forms from your human resources department.

You will be required to submit periodic proof of disability (e.g., a note or form from your doctor). A NY state disability lawyer will be able to help you decipher the legal requirements involved in submitting this proof.

If you will be out of work for an extended period (up to 12 weeks), then you may be entitled to job protection under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  If you have worked for at least a year at a company with 50 or more employees and have a serious health condition, you are entitled to request a medical leave of up to 12 weeks.  During this medical leave, your employer must guarantee your job or provide you with an equivalent job when you return.

The FMLA does not require that an employer pay you during a medical leave, but an employer may do so as a matter of company policy.  Check your employee handbook to determine how your company handles paid and unpaid leave.  A NY state disability attorney will say that the FMLA does, however, require an employer to provide you with the same employee benefits that you were entitled to receive prior to your medical leave.

To obtain a medical leave under the FMLA, an employee must request it in advance. Contact your human resources department for the appropriate forms.  A 12-week medical leave under the FMLA can be requested once during every 12-month period.  It is also possible to take your 12-week leave on an intermittent basis, e.g. one or two days per week.  This could be very helpful if you require periodic medical treatments on an ongoing basis.

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