Short-Term Disability Workers’ Compensation Patients and Paid Family Leave

Check out the quick guide if you’re wondering about combining short-term disability and paid family leave with Workers’ Compensation cases.

Can I pair short-term disability with paid family leave? Absolutely, you can combine short-term disability and paid family leave if you meet the criteria. But keep in mind, you can’t use them simultaneously. However, you’re allowed to use short-term disability and paid family leave consecutively.

About Paid Family Leave (PFL): The New York State Paid Family Leave program offers job protection and paid time off for specific situations. This includes bonding with a new child, adoption or foster care within the first 12 months, providing care to a family member with a severe medical condition, or even taking care of your parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild.

Understanding Short-Term Disability (STD): Short-term disability is an insurance that provides a percentage of your salary for a defined period when you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. Importantly, the illness or injury must not be work-related, and you must have been employed at the time. If the injury occurred at work, a different type of insurance covers that. It’s crucial to note that paid family leave does not replace disability benefits coverage.

Disability benefits cover:

  • Employees working for a “covered employer” for at least four consecutive weeks while claiming unemployment benefits.
  • Employees moving from one covered employer to another. The initial day of employment is the first day of eligibility for short-term disability with continuous work.
  • Household employees working at least 40 hours per week for one employer, like nannies or personal assistants.
  • Unemployed individuals opting for optional coverage by an insured employer must submit disability claims within 30 days for short-term disability insurance.

Mothers on maternity leave might qualify for both PFL and short-term disability payments but not simultaneously. Employees have the flexibility to choose how to use benefits to address their family’s needs. For instance, a new mother could become eligible for short-term disability after childbirth with these options:

  1. Use short-term disability weeks first, then PFL at any time within the first 12 months.
  2. Use PFL without utilizing short-term disability.

At times, an employee might need to use short-term disability and PFL in the same year but under different qualifying circumstances. In such cases, separate requests and documentation are necessary for each plan.

For more details, refer to your state’s Workers’ Compensation Board website or consult a Workers’ Compensation attorney for personalized information.

Skip to content