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Monday, March 22, 2010

Benefits and Protections for Short Term Disability

Accidents and injuries are inevitable situations. Fortunately, federal and state laws provide rights for employees who need Short Term Disability (STD) benefits. If you sustained an injury or illness, you can apply for STD in your company. Before filing STD claims, you should first consider how your company offers sick leaves, vacations, and time offs. Whatever the program of your employer is, make sure you have a printed copy of it so that you know your status as far as your employer is concerned.

Once you have been approved to receive STD claims, here are some of the benefits you will enjoy:

• Financial benefits. Certain employees may obtain different amounts of benefits depending on how long they have worked for the company. Typical STD benefits ranges from 50% to 70% of the employees’ monthly wage. However, workers who have worked for more than 10 years in the company may receive 100% of their salaries as STD benefits for several weeks.

• Waiting period. Claims will only be paid to the employee once he has been absent for a week or when his sick leave has already expired.

• Benefit period. STD claims are usually paid for 13 to 26 weeks, depending on the severity of the disease and the amount of weekly compensation.

• Applying for an STD claim. STD application may be difficult depending on your employer. Sometimes, you may need to file a claim directly with an insurance company that your employer has designated to handle STD claims.

Aside from STD benefits, there is also the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1992 that protects disabled employees from experiencing unlawful actions committed by employers such as termination or refusal to allow leaves. The following are some of the protections that claimants enjoy under the conditions of the FMLA.

• Eligible employees. Under the FMLA, employees who are working for companies with more than 50 workers are eligible to receive benefits and protection. Employees should also be working in a company for at least 12 months before they are qualified to apply for disability claims.

• Availability of benefits. Under the law, an employee may have a time off either due to his own medical condition, or to nurse a spouse, child, or parent who is disabled or seriously ill.
• Benefits and protection. Aside from receiving benefits, a beneficiary may be reinstated to his past position or an equivalent position once he recovers from his injuries or disability.

• Maximum Benefit Period. The FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of disability benefits per employee. However, employees may have the option to use certain number of weeks for a given period, and then exhaust the remaining weeks in another time.

Understanding a complicated issue such as STD is a little difficult if you do not have a legal expert by your side. If you want to maximize your benefits and enjoy the protection STD and FMLA offer, consult with short term disability attorneys in your location.