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Short Term Disability Options in PA

Norristown, PA |

I am currently hospitalized for a lacerated spleen, and expect to be out of work at my full-time job for 2-3 months. What are my options for salary replacement in the meantime? My employer may or may not have Short Term Disability Insurance - if they do not, do I have any other options through Pennsylvania State Disabiity Laws, or unemployment, etc. to get coverage to help with missing income?

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Attorney answers 2


First, in order to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must suffer from a medical condition that causes you to be unable to work for a period of at least 12 consecutive months. Social Security disability benefits are not short-term.
Second, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not offer a program of disability benefits, neither short-term nor long-term.
Third, to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, you must be be able to work at a job and not be totally disabled from all types of employment for the period of time you are off work. Also, your employer will have had to lay you off or terminate you from your job. If you are on sick leave from your job, you are not unemployed.
Fourth, if you have no income and no savings, and you do not ahve a spouse who is able to support you, you may be able to qualify for a temporary period of benefits from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. However, you must be indigent: no income and no money in the bank or other cash assets.
Unfortuantely, if your employer does not have short term disability, you do not have any options for short term income payments from any government source except, if you meet the strignent financial guideliens, public welfare benefits.
I am very sorry that you have this medical condition which, I hope, will be temporary, and that you will be able to return to your job as soon as you are medically capable.


An excellent answer by the prior attorney, but I'll also add that you can check your paystubs to see if there is an indication in the deductions section for STD or DISAB or some similar indication that they have been taking out money for a policy of some kind. Also, just because it isn't there doesn't mean your employer doesn't have it - they could pay the premium for you and not deduct it- so check with human resources or your employee handbook. If you don't have one- get one! Best of luck and I wish a fast recovery-