Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Leaves
Q: How are my insurance premiums paid while I am on medical leave? What if I don’t qualify for FML?
A: If you have insurance under the state’s fringe benefit plan and you normally pay a portion of the premiums, your eligibility will continue while you are on family-medical leave. Whenever possible, premiums missed will come out of your paychecks upon return to pay status. The amount deducted from each paycheck will depend upon the number and amount of premiums required to cover the full unpaid balance. If the premiums cannot be made up on future checks, you will be billed directly by the carriers. If you are billed by the carriers, you have a minimum thirty (30) day grace period in which to make premium payments for health insurance. Your health insurance can only be cancelled if you are given at least fifteen (15) days written notice that payment has not been received. Failure to submit payment will result in termination of coverage retroactive to the last day of coverage for which full payment was received. If coverage is terminated for non-payment of premium, you will be responsible for any claims incurred in the affected benefit timeframe.
Employees who do not qualify for FML will be charged both the employee and employer portions of the insurance premiums. Once disability begins, premiums are deducted from their disability payment.
Q: Do I have to use my accrued leave?
A: Payment during FML is dependent upon whether you have accrued sick, vacation, or personal leave or earned compensatory time. Use of compensatory time or accrued leave runs concurrently with FML during the first 30 days of disability (elimination period) and can be used to supplement the basic benefit of S/LTD by choosing Option 2 or Option 3 on the Options Statement.
- If you are in a position entitled to premium overtime for hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a calendar week, and you have earned compensatory time for working compensable overtime, such compensatory time must be used first concurrently with the FML designation.
- Next, you must use all available sick leave concurrently with the FML designation.
- After your sick leave has been exhausted, you may choose to use any accrued personal and/or vacation leave in order to be compensated.
- If you are in a position exempt from overtime, then you must use all available sick leave concurrently with the FML designation. After your sick leave has been exhausted, you may choose to use any accrued personal and/or vacation leave in order to be compensated.
- Family-Medical Leave also runs concurrently with any disability designation.
- Accrued leave can be utilized to increase your disability benefits after the elimination period. Example: STD basic disability benefit is sixty percent (60%). You can use one (1) paid leave day a week to increase the basic benefits to eighty percent (80%).
Q: What if I am not timely in turning in my disability forms? FML paperwork?
A: Disability paperwork received after the thirty first (31st) consecutive day absent from work due to disability will result in the loss of disability benefits for every day late. It is forbidden by law to pay disability benefits for days prior to the receipt of the application for such benefits.
If FML certification paperwork is not submitted timely, any absences not also covered by accrued leave may be designated as unauthorized leave and subject to disciplinary action.
Q: When am I eligible for disability? Family Medical Leave (FML)?
A: An employee is eligible for disability after six (6) consecutive months of full-time employment.
To be eligible for Family Medical Leave employees must have:
- Been employed in an agency under the executive authority of the governor for at least 12 months (consecutive or non consecutive)
- Have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 month period immediately preceding the need for family medical leave
- Have not exhausted the allotment of family medical leave in the applicable time period
Q: How much does disability cost?
A: All eligible employees who have completed six (6) months of continuous permanent full-time employment contribute to the Disability Plan through a payroll deduction one-quarter of one percent (.25% or .0025) of their gross bi-weekly salary.
Q: Do I get paid for holidays while out on medical leave?
A: If a holiday occurs during the elimination period, and the employee either worked at least one day or used an accrued leave day during that week, the employee should get the holiday pay from the agency. If the employee goes out of pay status for the whole week in which a holiday is observed, the holiday is not paid. Once disability benefits begin, every week day is a disability day – no holidays are paid except for disability participants in option three (3).
Q: Do I still accrue leave while on medical leave?
A: An employee will continue to accrue leave while in paid status. Disability participants in Option 1 or Option 2 will not accrue while receiving disability benefits.