Written by attorney John A. Gallagher

Can I Get Short-Term Disability and FMLA Leave at the Same Time?

Family and Medical Leave and Short Term Disability: Can I Get Them Both at the Same Time If I Need to Miss Work Due to My Own Medical Condition? Without question, this is an issue that confuses many employees and human resource personnel. But, the answer is very simple: YES! And you need them both, but for two separate reasons. Family and Medical Leave Provides Job Security, but no Compensation for Lost Wages ** If you qualify for Family and Medical Leave** for your own serious health condition, then you are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. No money? What’s the big deal? JOB SECURITY. If you go out on FMLA Leave, you are virtually entitled to be restored to your same job provided that you return to work within 12 weeks of your first date of absence. To clients that often pooh pooh the benefits of FMLA leave, I often say: Would you rather get paid for 12 weeks and then lose your job, or get by for 12 weeks but then get your job back for (hopefully) years? Ahhh, but it gets better. If you go out on FMLA because of your own health condition, and your company provides short-term disability benefits, you don’t have to go without pay for 12 weeks because… Short-Term Disability Insurance Provides Payment for Lost Wages While You Are Out on FMLA Leave If you have a medical condition that makes it impossible for you to work, and your company provides ** short-term disability insurance, then you can be paid a substantial percentage of your wages during the time you are out of work. And that includes while you are out of work on FMLA Leave! End of story – no debate. **How Do I Apply for FMLA Leave and Short Term Disability? They are two separate applications. Your request for FMLA leave is decided by your employer. Simply advise as to what your medical condition is, and provide a doctor’s note supporting your leave request (you don't need the note at the time of your initial notification to the employer of your need for leave; you will need it shortly thereafter). Your request for STD is decided by the company’s disability insurance carrier. Tell the company’s HR Department that you want to also apply for STD benefits, and they or the insurance company will send you forms to get you started. Usually, the same medical information you provide from your doctor to support your FMLA claim will be used to substantiate your claim for STD benefits as well. That's pushing the Easy Button! Hope that you found this helpful.

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