Q) I had to leave my part time job (worked over a year) to help my special needs child to transit to
elementary school just last week. Can I receive any compensation at this time?? Thank you.
A) In the United States, there is no federal law that requires employers to provide paid leave for employees who need to take time off to care for a sick family member or a child with a disability. However, some states do have laws that require employers to provide paid leave for these purposes.
To find out if your state has a law that requires employers to provide paid leave, you can visit the website of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
If your state does not have a law that requires employers to provide paid leave, you may be able to receive unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain family and medical reasons, including to care for a sick family member or a child with a disability.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 months.
If you are eligible for FMLA leave, you must give your employer at least 30 days’ notice of your intent to take leave.
If you are unable to take unpaid leave, you may be able to receive financial assistance from the government. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to low-income adults and children with disabilities. To be eligible for SSI, you must meet certain income and asset requirements.
You may also be able to receive financial assistance from your state. To find out more about the programs that are available in your state, you can visit the website of your state’s Department of Social Services.
According to the Department of Labor, you need to meet two criteria to qualify for unemployment: You are unemployed through no fault of your own: That means you are out of a job due to reasons beyond your control, like a layoff. It is very unlikely that you will qualify for unemployment benefits to assist your special needs child in her transition.