Many people do not know what their employment and short term disability policies say. Some of the confusing things are that you should never be contacted by your employer without asking first, that they should tell you if you can be contacted during the waiting period and that they have to tell you how to reach you should an accident or incident occur. Your policy may also say that once you have reached your limit for waiting time you will have to go back into the office if you are unable to return to work. This is confusing and can make it hard for you to understand what you are agreeing to when signing up for a short term disability insurance policy.
The Disability Discrimination Act protects against discrimination on the basis of disability or physical impairment. Part of this act is that any reasonable accommodation can be made for a disabled worker so long as it does not unreasonably interfere with his work. An employer who requests that a worker should wait for a period of time before beginning work because he could become disabled is acting unreasonably. His request that the worker should wait before beginning work is also being considered as discrimination. The only way the employee can prove that he cannot perform the job due to a physical or mental condition is to show that undue hardship would be likely if he was disabled.
How can your employer contact you while on short term disability? Your employer can contact you in one of two ways, via the company’s direct mail system or via a telephone. Your direct mail system should include a form that you need to fill out if you wish to be contacted, or a list of the names of your direct supervisors. Should your employer choose the second method, they should ensure that you are informed as soon as possible if this option is available to you. They should send you a formal letter notifying you that your disability status has been changed and that you are now eligible to work.
If your employer chooses the telephone method, they should inform you that you are entitled to a paid telephone time off for the duration of your short term disability. You should have your own phone number so that you can call your employer to make arrangements for your disability insurance. You will not have to wait until your next pay day to speak to your supervisor if you choose this method.
How can your employer contact you while on short term disability? Your supervisor can contact you in one of two ways, either by leaving a voicemail that will be forwarded to you or by contacting you by using your company fax machine. You will need to provide them with the details of your disability and how you learned of it. It is important that you keep all of these details in a secure place where you will not lose or forget them.
As long as you follow the proper channels you should not run into any difficulty as to how can your employer contact you while on short term disability. Once you are on your way out, remember to fill out your last two years’ worth medical history forms. Most short term disability insurance policies will require you to do this. If you are late, you could find yourself being denied coverage.