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I am on short term disability for two months and may get terminated as part of my company's work force reductions - will my long

Saint Petersburg, FL |

I am on FMLA leave for 8 weeks with an ADA disability / progressive medical condition and may not be able to return to work. My company announced it would be doing work force reductions after I went on leave and I may be terminated - will I still be able to apply for the LTD even if I am terminated while on std?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

You should still be able to access disability benefits, as the disability began at a time you were gainfully employed and covered with insurance. I hope this is helpful.

Posted

I agree with Mr. Bilsky. Under most LTD plans, it doesn't matter if you're still employed at the time the claim is made, or at the time benefits start. What matters is that you were still employed (and covered under the plan) at the time your disability started. It's usually treated the same as any other kind of insurance, like car insurance. If your car insurance lapses, but you had an accident on the last day of coverage, you can still present that claim a few weeks later and it should still be paid, because the "loss" happened while coverage was still in place.

That said, there are a few LTD plans I've seen that specifically state that not just coverage ends, but BENEFITS end when someone is terminated. This is rare, but legal. If you've got a plan like that, your employer shouldn't be allowed to terminate you BECAUSE of your disability, because that would probably be illegal interference with attainment of your legal rights under the employee benefits plan. But if you're being terminated with a bunch of other people as part of a force reduction, they could likely get away with that.

Again, such plans are rare, and under the vast majority of plans I've seen, you should be able to present your claim and not have it denied simply because you were terminated. I would get a copy of the plan documents, though, and review them carefully. If your claim is denied, talk to an employee benefits attorney.

Best of luck.

Jeremy Bordelon is a licensed attorney in the State of Tennessee only, and is authorized to practice in all Tennessee State and Federal courts, and before the Social Security Administration in any jurisdiction. The answers provided on Avvo.com are for information purposes only, and should not be relied on as legal advice. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. In some jurisdictions, this answer may be construed as attorney advertising.

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