When Should I Start My Application
You can apply for paid leave starting 60 days before your leave would actually start. Try to notify your employer at least 30 days ahead of time.
However, it may also be that you need to take leave suddenly and unexpectedly. In those cases, you can apply for paid leave after you began taking time off from your job. This is called retroactive leave.
If you apply for retroactive paid leave, your benefits may be reduced if:
- Youre applying more than 90 days after your leave began
- You were still being paid by your employer during your leave
- You used another leave program, such as your vacation time or sick leave
- You received another wage replacement from the government, such as unemployment benefits, during that time
Note that if you’re applying for retroactive leave, you will need to know the date that your leave began.
Whos Eligible For Paid Family And Medical Leave
The PFML law covers most Massachusetts employees who have earned at least $5,700 or $6,000 over the past 4 calendar quarters. In addition, you must have earned at least 30 times the benefit amount that you are eligible for.
If you are self-employed, you may opt in through MassTaxConnect. If you have questions about your PFML eligibility, ask your employer.
Short Term Disability Attorneys In Boston Massachusetts
Your employer-provided short term disability benefits protect you when you become injured, ill or disabled, and cannot work. It is also necessary to successfully obtain short-term disability benefits before you receive long-term disability benefits if you are permanently disabled.
That is why STD insurance benefits are so important to your current and long-term financial health. A denial takes away your focus on your recovery or management of your disability and prohibits you from obtaining long-term disability benefits when needed.
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Whats A Reasonable Accommodation
A reasonable accommodation can be the installation of a wheelchair ramp or Braille signage, desk modification, or the restructuring of the employees schedule or job duties. These are just a few examples. If it is shown that the necessary accommodations will cause the employer undue hardship, or that none exist to support the employee in that particular job, the employee can be legally terminated. However, the way in which the termination is handled is equally important. Before firing an employee due to disability, the employer must work with the employee to try multiple options. A Boston employment law attorney can help you determine how to proceed if youve been unlawfully terminated due to a disability.
To recap, employees can be fired while on disability if they exceed their 12 annual weeks of FMLA leave, or if they are unable to perform the essential functions of their job after reasonable accommodations have been made. If you feel that you are being discriminated against due to your disability, it is in your best interest to save any correspondence you have with your employer. This could be highly useful if you decide to file a lawsuit.
Family & Medical Leave Act Explained
The Family and Medical Leave Act , a government provision, provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year with health benefits.
FMLA lets families take time off for family and medical reasons. All public agencies, schools, and companies with 50 or more employees must adhere to FMLA. All qualified employers must allow for 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for qualified employees for any of the following reasons:
- Birth and care of the newborn child of an employee
- Placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care
- Care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition
- Medical leave when you cannot work due to a serious health condition
As the employee, you’ll have to meet a few requirements to qualify for FMLA:
- You must work for an employer for at least 12 months for at least 1,250 hours.
- You must work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.
You may go back to your original job or an equivalent job with the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. FMLA cannot count against you through hiring, promotions, or discipline.
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Individual Disability Insurance Ma
In Massachusetts, individual disability insurance is less critical than before now that the state requires coverage for temporary losses. However, two big holes remain that you might want to fill before your next accident or diagnosis from a doctor.
Remember, you cannot purchase new coverage once you have a pre-existing health condition. Therefore, you want to take proactive steps.
Avoid Claim And Appeal Mistakes By Getting Experienced Legal Help
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a complex law that governs whether your employer-provided STD insurance must cover your disability claim.
Most people, even many attorneys, lack experience in the nuances of this complex federal law. At the Murray Law Office, we know ERISA law and short-term disability claims.
It can be hard to understand why you have received a denial after you have filed a legitimate claim for needed short-term disability benefits. Yet insurers regularly deny disability claims if they feel there is not enough medical proof of your disability. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may have to see several doctors or medical specialists to prove your claim.
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What You Need For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
You will get a faster decision when you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income with the Social Security Administration if you provide:
- Your Social Security number
- Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics and caseworkers
- Laboratory and test results
- Names, addresses, phone and fax numbers of your doctors, clinics and hospitals
- Names of all medications you are taking
- Names of your employers and job duties for the last 15 years
If you are applying for a child, you also need school records regarding your child’s disability.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t wait to file your claim for disability payments even if you don’t have all this information.
If you think you may be eligible for payments, call 772-1213 to file a claim or contact your local Social Security Office . You must contact the Social Security Administration to apply for benefits. If you are looking for an online application for either SSDI or SSI visit ssa.gov. For an update on case status call the Vocational Disability Examiner as identified in your introductory claimant letter
What Factors Cannot Determine My Di Premium
Insurers are prohibited from discriminating in insurance premiums based on a persons race, color, religion, and nationality.
Beginning January 1, 2020, insurers offering Massachusetts-approved individual DI in Massachusetts will also be prohibited from varying premiums solely based on a persons gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or the person being pregnant.
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Extending Or Changing Your Leave
You may need to update us with new information about your approved leave. Here are some common scenarios and how to address them.
Your payment information has changed: Call our Contact Center at .
Report intermittent leave hours: If you are taking intermittent leave, you will need to report how many hours of leave you take each week by calling our Contact Center’s Hours Reporting Line at . Do not report the hours you worked.
Report additional income: If you need to report additional income, call us at .
Extending or changing your leave details: If you need to update your leave dates, end your leave early, or extend your leave, go online to paidleave.mass.gov or call us at .
You will need to let us know that you are extending your leave 14 days before the end of your current leave.
How To Best Comply With Leave Requirements
As you can see, there are lots of considerations when it comes to providing your employees leave benefits. In some cases, you may be required to offer certain types of coverage while other times, offering a leave benefit is voluntary. Deciding on the best approach requires careful consideration of the laws in your state and your business objectives. To find out more about available options that may fit the needs of your business, employees, and budget, readour next article on types of employee leave.
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Next Steps For Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
Evidence required by DDS for case documentation
Once you apply for disability benefits with the SSA, the Disability Determination Services , a division of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, will review your case. DDS will review medical information and vocational information, if necessary, that includes:
- A history of all work performed in the last 15 years
- A description of the physical demands and skill requirements for each job
- Educational history
When all required medical and vocational information is received, the disability examiner and staff physician and/or psychologist carefully evaluate each claim, using a sequential evaluation process.
The following people or agencies can help supply the information that is needed to process a claim for disability benefits.
- Treating physicians and psychologists
- Consultative examinations authorized by the DDS
Can I Receive Benefits From My Disability Income Policy In Addition To Other Income
DI plans often have language in their policies that specifically identifies that certain types of income, such as Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, will be taken into account and may reduce the total payout from the DI policy. These policies usually include language that emphasizes the recipients responsibility to notify the carrier immediately if the recipient begins to receive payment from these other sources or require corresponding overpayments to be reimbursed to the carrier. It is not uncommon for a DI carrier to pay out benefits, subsequently discover that the recipient has been receiving SSDI benefits during the same period of receiving DI benefits, and request a reimbursement of DI payments.
Massachusetts law, M.G.L. c. 175 § 110F, does not allow for benefits due under a DI policy to be reduced by an future increases in federal social security benefits once payment of disability benefits has commenced. However, this only applies to STD policies.
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What Is A Serious Health Condition
A serious health condition is a physical or mental condition that prevents you from doing your job for more than 3 consecutive days. It requires one of the following:
- Overnight stay in a medical facility
- 2 or more treatments by a health care provider within 30 days of whatever prevented you from doing your job
- At least 1 treatment by a health care provider within 30 days of whatever prevented you from doing your job, with plans for continued treatment, including prescriptions
What Is Paid Family And Medical Leave
Paid family and medical leave is a program designed to help people in Massachusetts take paid time off of work for family or medical reasons. If you are looking to apply for paid time off, you can learn how to begin an application online.
Massachusettss PFML law is funded through employer and employee contributions, and is different from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, and from any benefits your employer might already offer.
If you need to take paid leave, the first thing you need to do is inform your employer. Once you have done this, you are legally protected against changes in pay, losing your benefits, and retaliation.
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Short Term Disability Family And Parental Leaves
Human Resources has partnered with Unum to administer our disability, state, and federal leave benefits. This includes short-term disability claims, long-term disability claims, as well as paid family and parental leaves. Unum will ensure compliance with Massachusetts state leave laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act . Engaging Unum to administer these leave benefits means you will no longer be required to send sensitive personal health information to Human Resources.
Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave laws went into effect January 2021. Williams College received an exemption from contributions into the Massachusetts State plan because it provides benefits that are comparable to or more generous than the State Plan. However, in order to maintain our exempt status, the College must adhere to certain conditions. To assist employees and supervisors with obligations under the Leave Act, guidance on how to most easily access benefits under the new plans is included below:
Can Employees Use Std Fmla And Pfml At The Same Time
In certain situations, employees may combine FMLA, PFML, and/or STD and have the benefits run concurrently. However, there are factors that youll need to be aware of that may impact your employees benefits.
The integration of the various types of leaves may also affect your responsibilities.For instance, in New York, if an employee has an event that qualifies for leave under both FMLA and Paid Family Leave, and youre a covered employer under both laws, you can require them to run concurrently. In order for the two types of leaves to run together, you must notify the employee that the leave qualifies for both FMLA and Paid Family Leave, and that it will be designated as such.
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Getting Paid And Taxes On Benefits
If your leave begins in the future, you can expect your first payment 2-4 weeks after your leave begins.
If your leave has already started, you can expect your first payment to arrive 2 weeks after it is approved.
After that, you will receive payments each week. Learn more about how to check the status of your payments.
How Will This Change Affect Me As A Consumer
Historically, insurers offering Massachusetts-approved individual policies have priced policies differently based on gender when supported by claims history. For instance, a 30 year old woman could have a higher premium than a 30 year old man with the same health and medical history
However, individuals purchasing a Massachusetts-approved individual DI policy on or after January 1, 2020 cannot be charged differently solely based on the individuals gender. This means a man and woman of the same age and all other things being equal will be charged the same rate. This will not impact the premiums on policies that were purchased prior to January 1, 2020.
If you have a group DI policy , please note that these policies have already been offered with gender neutral rates and the Massachusetts statute should not impact these policies.
There may be plans approved outside Massachusetts that are not subject to this statutory change. However, Massachusetts-approved plans are required to be gender neutral.
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How To Apply Apply For Ssdi Or Ssi Benefits
If you think you may be eligible for payments, you can apply for disability benefits online with the Social Security Administration.
If you think you may be eligible for payments, call the Social Security Administration at to file a claim or contact your local Social Security office.
If you think you may be eligible for payments, visit your local Social Security office. You should call first to make an appointment.
Americans With Disabilities Act
Under the ADA, it is illegal to terminate an employee due to a covered disability. This applies to employees who are currently on disability leave. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Businesses with 15 or more employees are subject to the ADA and are required by law to make, or offer to make, reasonable accommodations for an employees disability. The only exception occurs when doing so would cause undue hardship for the employer. The employee must inform the employer of the disability, however, and allow reasonable time to make the requested accommodation.
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How Does Di Differ From Workers Compensation Or Social Security Disability Benefits
Workers Compensation provides income replacement coverage if you become injured or sick while at your job or performing duties relating to your job. Workers Compensation is Massachusetts-regulated coverage that employers must have for their employees. It provides a standard level of compensation according to Massachusetts laws until the worker is able to return to their job.
Social Security Disability Income provides income replacement if an individual meets federally determined disability eligibility standards, usually that the individual is not able to do any job as a result of the disability. SSDI is a federal government program which pays standard benefits to SSDI eligible persons who are unable to work in any job. Everyone who is eligible for federal Social Security is eligible for benefits under this program.
DI is a voluntary insurance product that an individual can purchase at the workplace or through an insurance producer – that provides income replacement benefits when disabled according to the specific standards of the insurance coverage and depending on the policy, benefits may be limited to a strict period of time or may be available only if you are unable to do the work of a stated profession. Individual DI coverage is medically underwritten and an individual cannot generally obtain this coverage if they are already injured or disabled.
What Can I Take Paid Leave For
Most Massachusetts employees are eligible for up to 26 weeks of combined family and medical leave per benefit year. You can take leave for a qualifying reason. A qualifying reason is the cause or event that makes you unable to work and eligible for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits.
Qualifying reasons are:
Caring for your own serious health condition as certified by a health care provider, including illness, injury, or pregnancy/childbirth
Caring for a family member with a serious health condition as certified by a health care provider, including illness, injury, or pregnancy/childbirth
Bonding with your child during the first 12 months after birth, adoption, or placement
Caring for a family member who was injured serving in the armed forces
Managing affairs while a family member is on active duty
A benefit year is 52 weeks starting on the Sunday prior to the first day of paid leave through any leave program. You can take more than one kind of leave in a benefit year, but the maximum amount of paid leave you can take in a benefit year is 26 weeks.
There are several different kinds of leaves you might take depending on your circumstances. Learn more about different types of leave here, including what you will need to prepare to apply for each.
In addition, the PFML program provides flexibility in how you schedule your leave. You can take it all at once or a few days at a time per week. Learn more about what kinds of schedules PFML accommodates here.
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