Long-Term Disability vs. FMLA

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Understanding FMLA

What is FMLA?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for specific family and medical reasons. This federal law ensures that eligible employees can take necessary leave without fear of losing their jobs. FMLA applies to all public agencies, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.

Eligibility for FMLA

To be eligible for FMLA, you must:

  • Work for a covered employer.
  • Have worked for the employer for at least 12 months.
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12 months before the leave.
  • Work at a location where the employer has 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Reasons for FMLA Leave

FMLA leave can be taken for the following reasons:

  • The birth and care of a newborn child.
  • The placement of a child for adoption or foster care.
  • To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition that makes you unable to perform the essential functions of your job.
Long-Term Disability And Fmla

Understanding Long-Term Disability (LTD)

What is Long-Term Disability Insurance?

Long-term disability (LTD) insurance provides income replacement if you are unable to work due to a serious illness or injury. This insurance typically covers a portion of your salary, often between 50% and 70%, depending on your policy, and it continues until you can return to work or reach retirement age.

How Does LTD Work?

LTD benefits usually start after short-term disability benefits end, typically after 3 to 6 months of disability. To receive LTD benefits, you must provide medical proof of your disability and be unable to perform the duties of your job.

Eligibility for LTD

Eligibility for LTD insurance depends on your policy. Generally, you must:

  • Be employed and covered under your employer’s group plan or have an individual policy.
  • Suffer from a qualifying disability as defined by the policy.

Coordinating FMLA and LTD

Can You Use FMLA and LTD Simultaneously?

Yes, you can use FMLA and LTD simultaneously. FMLA protects your job while you are on leave, whereas LTD provides financial support if you are unable to work due to a long-term disability. Combining these benefits can offer comprehensive protection during extended periods of illness or injury.

How FMLA and LTD Work Together

  1. Initial Leave: When you first become unable to work, you can take FMLA leave for up to 12 weeks. During this time, your job is protected, but the leave is unpaid unless you have accrued paid leave.
  2. Transition to LTD: If your disability extends beyond the 12-week FMLA period, your LTD insurance can start providing income replacement. This ensures you have financial support while you are unable to work.
  3. Job Protection: While on FMLA leave, your job is secure. After FMLA leave ends, job protection may vary based on your employer’s policies and applicable state laws. However, LTD benefits will continue as long as you meet the policy’s disability criteria.

Important Considerations

  • Documentation: Maintain thorough medical records and documentation to support both FMLA and LTD claims.
  • Employer Policies: Review your employer’s policies on FMLA and LTD to understand how they coordinate and any additional benefits offered.
  • State Laws: Be aware of state-specific laws that may provide additional leave or job protection beyond FMLA.
Fmla And Long-Term Disability

How We Can Help

At The Annuity Expert, we understand that dealing with a severe illness or injury is overwhelming. For 15 years, we have been your trusted insurance agency, annuity broker, and retirement planner, dedicated to finding the best solutions at the lowest costs. We stand by you in navigating the complexities of FMLA and long-term disability insurance, ensuring you receive the support and benefits you deserve.

Your core problem might be the uncertainty and financial stress of being unable to work due to a serious health condition. The symptoms of this problem include fear of losing your job, anxiety over unpaid bills, and confusion about your rights and benefits. These symptoms can take a significant emotional toll, causing stress and worry about your future. We recognize this struggle and are here to guide you through it.

What We Recommend

  • Step 1: Initial Consultation
    • Contact us for a free initial consultation. During this step, we will discuss your situation, assess your eligibility for FMLA and long-term disability insurance, and provide personalized advice. The main benefit is gaining clarity and understanding of your options.
  • Step 2: Application Assistance
    • We will assist you in applying for FMLA leave and long-term disability benefits. This includes helping you gather necessary documentation, completing forms, and submitting applications. The main benefit is ensuring that your applications are accurate and timely, increasing your chances of approval.
  • Step 3: Ongoing Support
    • After your applications are submitted, we provide ongoing support, helping you navigate any challenges or questions that arise. The main benefit is having a dedicated partner to guide you through the process, offering peace of mind and financial stability.

Features and Benefits:

  • Personalized Advice: Tailored guidance to fit your unique situation.
  • Application Assistance: Experts help ensure accurate and timely submissions.
  • Ongoing Support: Continuous support throughout the entire process.

These features mean you will have a knowledgeable partner to guide you, reducing stress and increasing your chances of securing the benefits you need.

Common Objections and Our Responses:

  • “I’m not sure if I qualify.” We will assess your eligibility and provide clear guidance.
  • “The process seems too complicated.” Our experts will simplify the process and handle the paperwork for you.
  • “I can’t afford legal fees.” We offer competitive rates and free initial consultations to make our services accessible.

If you choose not to work with us, you risk missing out on essential benefits and financial support, potentially leading to greater stress and financial hardship. However, by partnering with us, you can expect clarity, support, and financial stability, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Imagine the peace of mind and relief you’ll feel knowing you have expert guidance and support. Contact us today for free advice or a personalized quote, and let us help you secure your future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you apply for FMLA?

FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is a federal law that gives eligible employees a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons. You must contact your employer’s human resources department to apply for FMLA. Your HR representative can provide an application form or a more detailed explanation of the steps you must go through to qualify for FMLA.

How much of a person’s salary does LTDI typically cover?

Long Term Disability Insurance (LTDI) typically covers between 40 and 60 percent of an employee’s salary, depending on the policy. Most policies will cover up to a certain amount each month, so you may not receive the total salary if it exceeds that limit. It would be best if you also kept in mind that employers often require employees to provide proof of disability before they can receive LTDI benefits. Understanding the specific policy details of your employer’s plan is essential to know how much you could receive.

What resources are available to help people with disabilities?

Many resources are available to individuals with disabilities, including support groups, advocacy organizations, and government programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Additionally, job training programs can help individuals with disabilities re-enter the workforce. Local nonprofits and state government agencies may also assist those in need. Lastly, many employers offer disability benefits to their employees as an added benefit of employment.

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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