I recently suffered a serious injury and I am unable to return to work – however, I’m not sure how long I will be hurt. What is the difference between long-term and short-term disability in New York?
Disability benefits are an important and – in many cases – vital component to maintaining financial stability in the wake of a serious illness or injury. In general, the major difference between short-term and long-term disability benefits in New York is the expected duration of the underlying condition and whether it is expected to eventually resolve. In the following, we explain the components of each benefit as well as the eligibility requirements for short-term versus long-term coverage.
Short-term disability in New York
If an employee is injured while not on the job (which would not be covered by New York’s workers’ compensation regulations), short-term disability benefits may be available through the New York State Department of Labor. Under its regulations, all covered employers are mandated to maintain a short-term disability policy for workers who experience an injury or illness, which provides approximately 50 percent of a worker’s average wages for up to 26 weeks. The wage amount is calculated based on a worker’s pay rate over the prior eight weeks, and the claim for benefits must be filed within 30 days of the date of the injury or diagnosis.
If a condition is expected to last longer than 26 weeks, is considered terminal, or the applicant meets certain age criteria, long-term disability benefits may be the best option to supplement the financial loss incurred by a medical condition.
Long-term disability benefit basics
In New York, long-term disability benefits may be available through the Office of Labor Relations. For covered employees, the option to enroll in long-term disability insurance must be made available by their employers. Under this coverage, an employee can receive 66 and two-thirds percent of their basic earnings each month – which may be reduced if the employee is deemed “partially disabled” as opposed to totally disabled.
A partial disability is one in which, due to the illness or injury, the employee is no longer able to work on a full-time basis but can still handle part-time work at his or her current job or a different job. By contrast, an employee with a total disability is rendered unable to continue working in any capacity or in any vocation.
For more information about the benefits available to New Yorkers facing injury or illness, please contact the disability law attorneys at the Seelig Law Offices, LLC by calling 212-766-0600 today.