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Short Term Disability for Relapses?

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by bakercape, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

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    Cape Cod. Mass
    I'm having a relapse that I just can't pull out of it. I really need to stop working. For how long I do not know.

    I have STD through work. Even though it would not be much money because I only have a 30 hr a week job it would be something.

    Does anyone know if you can use Short Term Disability for a relapse of a chronic illness. Has anyone tried to use it for a CFS relapse?

    Any experience/advice would be much appreciated.
  2. floydguy

    floydguy Senior Member

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    The real challenge I think is that most employers may tolerate one time on STD but will actively look to terminate after that one time. I personally have never heard of people using STD more than once. Typically it's used as a one time respite or as a bridge to LTD.
  3. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Southeast US
    Yes, I went on short-term disability for CFS. My job was full-time. My doctor wrote a letter. I couldn't return because my company was sold and we were all let go.
  4. bakercape

    bakercape Senior Member

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    Cape Cod. Mass
    thanks

    for the responses. I fear this is the end of my ability to work for a while. I'm hoping this will serve as a bridge to better days.
  5. BEG

    BEG Senior Member

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    Southeast US
    bakercape, I certainly hope not. I know I improved a lot after the ST disability and was able to move on to a part-time job. Good luck!
  6. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

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    USA
    A Dr. signoff is critical.

    You may be entitled to family medical leave. As your HR people should be able to tell you or Google FMLA. In my case FMLA ran concurrently with STD (and when my FMLA ran out I still had additional STD time) but it may work differently elsewhere. Eligibility is the key to FMLA.

    Here's a summary of FMLA act, you can go to the gov website as well.

    I hope you are able to tap one and/or the other and are able climb out of the crash.

    • The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows eligible employees to take off up to 12 work weeks in any 12 month period for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member, or if the employee themselves has serious health condition.
    • An eligible employee is an employee who has been employed by the employer for a least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours. The 12 months do not need to be consecutive. You are only an eligible employee if your employer employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles of the worksite.
    • FMLA can be taken on an intermittent basis allowing the employee to work on a less than full-time schedule.
    • The employee is entitled to have their benefits maintained, but they must continue to pay their portion during the leave. The employee also has the right to return to the same or equivalent position, pay, and benefits at the conclusion of their leave.
    • The eligible employee must provide 30 day advance notice for foreseeable events. The employer is allowed to ask the employee to obtain a certification from a medical provider testifying to the need for the employee to take the leave for themselves or for the family member. Upon completion of the leave the employer is allowed to require the employee to obtain a certification of fitness to return to work when the leave was due to the employees own health concerns. The employer can delay the start of FMLA for 30 days if the employee does not provide advance notice, and/or until the employee can provide certification from a medical provider.
    • If you and your spouse both work for the same employer. You cannot each take 12 weeks off for the birth of a child, when adopting a child, or to care for a parent with a serious health condition.
  7. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    Oregon, USA
    This is a bit of a late reply but I had not seen this message earlier.

    I collected some short term disability (STD) benefits off and on for 10 years before I finally had to stop working completely. In my case I was working a full time job with a lot of flexiblity. I was a software engineer and, like most jobs in the high tech area, this was a salaried position with pretty long hours, actually not a place where anyone counted hours (if they had then "full time" work would be probably 50 hours a week or more).

    Some periods I had to stop working completely for a full rest for some months and then I came back to work. At other times I reduced my work hours to half time (I generally worked more hours than I reported on the official time card) and then managed to go back to full time. This was not something that I planned in advance. It's amazing to think about this in hindsight but I sincerely believed that I was going to get well, at the very least well enough to work full time. And maybe, if only I found the right treatment, then I would get well enough to exercise, hike, run, lift weights, etc. (silly me - I was in denial that this was a serious, long term illness). So much for having the "correct" illness beliefs, huh?

    One other factor in my case was that I had been working at this company for 8 years before the illness hit me. This meant that I had some credibility built up. I don't know if the same would be true for someone working part time unless they had already proved their worth to the company. My boss was also very supportive because he knew I was working as hard as I could to do my job (and it was hard to find a replacement). Also, I tried to be very efficient once I got sick. I had to be careful wit my time and energy. I was pleasant, and as friendly as possible, but I did not sit around in the cafeteria drinking coffee and joking around. I went straight to my office and got to work.

    As others have said, having the support of your doctor(s) is crucial. But in general STD benefits are easier to get than LTD benefits. One of the main reasons is that since most STD benefit premiums are paid for by the employee then the STD does not fall under ERISA laws. ERISA laws are one factor that make LTD benefits very hard to get.

    I hope this is helpful!

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