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Becoming disabled and being denied unemployment

by Linda
(Crown Point, Indiana)

My husband became medically disabled. He told his employer he will not be returning, but when the unemployment office called the employer, he told them he did not let him go. So therefore, he was denied unemployment.

We reside in Indiana and my husband works in Illinois. My husband is 61 years old and worked full time for 45 years, but at this company for only 5 years. The company does not offer medical insurance and therefore he was not able to get short term disability. Please help!

Comments for Becoming disabled and being denied unemployment

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Sep 25, 2008
Disability and Unemployment

Linda, I can't tell if your husband is permanently or temporarily disabled, but I did notice you said he didn't have short term disability insurance. So I'll go from there.

I see two problems that may be the reason he was denied unemployment.

1. He quit.
2. He's disabled which makes him unable and unavailable to work.

These are two of the primary requirements for receiving unemployment.

If he has a medical document from his doctor saying he can't work he should have provided that to his employer, which in turn his employer should have started the process to be approved for FMLA. If he is in fact temporarily disabled this would have protected his job for 12 weeks.

To further protect a persons ability to collect unemployment, it is a wise idea to stay in touch with the employer and if not released back to work by the FMLA return to work date, to contact the employer and request a personal leave.

The employer may deny the request and end the employment reationship, but the moment an individual becomes able and available for work again they will usually be able to collect unemployment because they have lost their job through no fault of their own and have taken all reasonable steps to preserve the employment.

Now, if his disability is only the restriction of certain activities such as lifting and the employee provides medical documentation from a doctor to the employer. The employer is generally obliged to provide work which complies with the restrictions, but as many people know...this doesn't always happen.

If an employer is unable to comply with the restrictions until such date that a doctor lift them, the employee is considered to have been separated due to no fault of his own and is eligible for unemployment because he/she is able and available for work even if restricted for a time.

If your husband's employer was instrumental in anyway for your husband giving his resignation, you should contact an employment attorney. If he quit because he was just trying to do what he thought was the right thing to wasn't.

If the determination said he was denied because he quit, he can appeal if the deadline hasn't passed. If it said he was denied because he is not able and available he can try to requalify when he does become able to go back to work.

There are five states which do have TDI (temporary disability insurence). They are Rhode Island, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and New York. Hawaii and New York require employers to provide the insurance, whereas RI, NJ, and CA's program is a state operated fund.

The fact is that any state could do this, but only five do.

Jan 10, 2011
State Complaints
by: Anonymous

Who would you contact in the state you live in to complain that there is no disability insurance? Would it be the governor's office or a state representative?

I would think contacting your state representative .. would be the best first option .. but, just know that any state has had the option of providing this type of coverage and remaining within the Federal guidelines for eons now .. so don't hold your breath for results when states are now talking about taking away employees rights to organize unions and even to strike if in a union.

The general atmosphere is not what I'd call conducive for progressive changes that could cost the state more money.

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