Things Employees Ought to Know about Short Term Disability Benefits

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Disability Options | 0 comments

Many employees think that a serious medical condition or disability is enough reason to permanently remove their names from their company’s roster of employees. This is because many are not aware of the time off from work that the law allows them to avail of and enjoy or that even in the event of a brief period of disability, getting time off from work (without losing pay) can offer them relaxation, which can lead to improved health, better quality of life and even a longer career.

While no employers are mandated by any law to pay employees who incur absences due to temporary disability or illness, there are still employers who offer their workers “paid disability time off.” This paid disability time off includes: sick leave for those who need a few days off from work, usually due to sickness; a short-term disability period, which usually lasts for about a week or more (a usual short-term disability plan pays employee benefits for about 13 to 26 weeks); and, a long-term disability period, which employees may apply for in cases of longer or permanent disability.

Sick leaves are separate and distinct from vacation leaves and other paid time off from work. Some employers grant a 10-day sick leave to their employees, which, if not used, may either be carried over (totally or partly) to the succeeding year; there are also employees who forfeit all unused sick leaves, starting a new clean slate at the start of the year.

While some employers may also offer short-term disability benefits, they require their employees to use all of their sick leaves first before applying for disability plans. Employees who have used up all their paid sick leaves but still need longer time for recovery can avail of paid short term disability leaves (if their employers offer these). The short-term disability pays a part of the employee’s salary, usually between 50% and 75%, which may start either at the time when the sick leave has all been used up or after the employee has already been absent for about a week.

Whatever the company policy is regarding sick leave and short-term disability benefits, employees need to be aware and updated for possible changes; employers, on the other hand, ought to make sure that employees are aware of their rights regarding such paid time off.

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Social Security Disability Benefits: Making Sure that Your Application Doesn’t Get Denied

Posted by on Jan 4, 2014 in Disability Options | 1 comment

Though disability is a dreaded eventuality for many, there are research studies which still show that three out of ten new, young employees will most likely get disabled before they retire. Thanks to the Social Security Administration which provides monetary benefits to individuals who lose the ability to work for at least a year due to disabling medical condition. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits, however, one will first have to declared disable according to how SSA defines the word.

To the word “disabled” SSA associates three elements: inability of the person to continue the work he/she performed before the disability; the incapacity to do any other form of work due to medical state; and, the disability is expected to last for at least a year or may result in the person’s death. Such disability is total and permanent – the type that SSA considers eligible for the benefits applied for. This means that those suffering from partial or short-term disabilities are not covered by SSA, which has two major programs, namely, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

The Supplemental Security Income is a benefit given to a disabled individual who has limited income and resources. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), on the other hand, is given to insured workers 65 years old and below. “Insured worker” refers to any employee who has earned work credits through payment of SS taxes; such employee should also have worked just recently and long enough to qualify for the SS disability benefit.

To help SSA determine fast if a claimant’s disability qualifies him/her to receive benefits, it has drawn up a list of severe medical conditions; illnesses or disabilities found in this list can automatically render a claimant eligible to the benefit applied for.

Oftentimes, even if a person is qualified to receive benefits, his/her application gets denied due to technical errors and/or lack of the required documents.

To help the SSA expedite the evaluation and processing of your claim application, it is important that you make sure that all the required documents (original or certified true copies) and all information about yourself plus proofs of your disability are submitted with the correctly filled out claim form.

Hiring a lawyer to help you acquire, prepare and submit all needed forms and documents can be a good move to help you get over the worry of probably having missed anything that can result to denial of your application.

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