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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