Q) My job consists of me driving special needs children to school and back home. I will be having shoulder surgery that will require me to be off work up to 4 weeks. Do I qualify for any type of medical pay or unemployment while out of work?
A) It is possible that you may be eligible for medical leave or unemployment benefits while you are out of work due to shoulder surgery. Here are a few things to consider:
- Medical leave: If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, you may be entitled to take medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The FMLA provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for medical reasons, including surgery. To be eligible for FMLA leave, you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, and your employer must have at least 50 employees.
- Unemployment benefits: If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, you may not be eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are typically available to workers who are out of work through no fault of their own, and who are able and available to work. During your recovery you would need to be available for work in order to qualify for UI benefits. To be eligible for unemployment benefits, you must have worked for your employer for a certain period of time and have earned a minimum amount of wages.
- Short-term disability: Depending on your employer and the specifics of your job, you may also be eligible for short-term disability benefits while you are out of work due to your shoulder surgery. Short-term disability benefits are typically provided through an insurance policy that pays a portion of your salary while you are unable to work due to a medical condition.
It is important to check with your employer and your state’s unemployment agency to find out what options are available to you while you are out of work due to your shoulder surgery.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.