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

Use the quick guide if you are curious if you can use short-term disability and paid family leave with Workers’ Compensation cases.

Can I use short-term disability with paid family leave?

Yes, you can use both short-term disability and paid family leave if you are eligible. However, the law has certain conditions, such as you can not use both simultaneously. However, you can use short-term disability and paid family leave consecutively.

Paid Family Leave (PFL)

The New York State Paid Family Leave program allows employees job protection and paid time off in particular situations, including maternal-newborn bonding, adoption, or foster care within the first 12 months, providing care to a family member, such as a spouse, domestic partner, child or stepchild, or a person you have legal custody with a severe medical condition. The policy also covers an employee’s parent/stepparent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandchild.

Short-Term Disability (STD)

Short-term disability is insurance that provides an employee a percentage of their salary for a set period during illness or injury that prevents performing their job. However, the illness or injury must not occur at work to be eligible but requires that you had employment at the time. A different type of insurance covers you if injured at work. Paid family leave does not replace coverage of disability benefits.

Disability covers the following workers:

  1. An employee working at a job owned by a “covered employer” for at least four consecutive weeks is claiming unemployment benefits.
  2. An employee who moves from one covered employer to another covered employer. The initial day of employment is the first day you are considered eligible for short-term disability with continuous work.
  3. A household employee works at least 40 hours weekly for one employer, such as a nanny or personal assistant.
  4. Unemployed persons who choose optional coverage by an insured employer must submit disability claims within 30 days for short-term disability insurance.

Mothers on maternity leave may qualify for PFL and short-term disability payments but not used simultaneously. Employees may choose how to use benefits to cover their family’s needs. For example, a new mother may become eligible for a short-term disability following childbirth with the following options.

  • Utilization of short-term disability weeks, then PFL at any time within the first 12 months
  • Utilization of PFL without using short-term disability

Sometimes an employee may need to use short-term disability and PFL within the same year but under different qualifying circumstances.

The employee must complete separate requests and documentation for plans to use short-term disability and PFL.

Refer to your state’s Workers’ Compensation Board website or speak with a Workers’ Compensation attorney for additional information.


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