Disability benefits are temporary cash benefits paid to an eligible wage earner, when he/she is disabled by an off the job injury or illness. The Disability Benefits Law provides weekly cash benefits to replace, in part, wages lost due to injuries or illnesses that do not arise out of or in the course of employment. Disability benefits are also paid to an unemployed worker to replace unemployment insurance benefits lost because of illness or injury.
Disability benefits include cash payments only. Medical care is the responsibility of the claimant. It is not paid for by the employer or insurance carrier. Cash benefits are 50 percent of a claimant’s average weekly wage. Benefits are paid for a maximum of 26 weeks of disability during 52 consecutive weeks. For employed workers, there is a 7-day waiting period for which no benefits are paid. Benefit rights begin on the eighth consecutive day of disability. An employer must supply a worker who has been disabled more than seven days with a Statement of Rights under the Disability Benefits Law (form DB-271), within five days of learning that the worker is disabled.Who is covered Under the Disability Benefits Law?
- Employees or recent employees of a “covered” employer, who have worked at least four consecutive weeks.
- An employer of one or more persons on each of 30 days in any calendar year becomes a “covered” employer four weeks after the 30th day of such employment.
- Employees of an employer who elects to provide benefits by filing an Application for Voluntary Coverage.
- Employees who change jobs from one “covered” employer to another “covered” employer are protected from the first day on the new job. Generally, an eligible employee does not lose protection during the first 26 weeks of unemployment, provided he/she is eligible for and is claiming unemployment insurance benefits.
- Domestic or personal employees who work 40 or more hours per week for one employer.
- A minor child of the employer.
- Government, railroad, maritime or farm laborers, ministers, priests, rabbis, members of religious orders, sextons, Christian Science readers.
- Corporate officers and persons engaged in a professional or teaching capacity in or for a religious, charitable, or educational institution of a "non-profit" character, and persons receiving rehabilitation services in a sheltered workshop operated by such institutions under a certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Persons receiving aid from a religious or charitable institution, which perform work in return for such aid.
- Golf caddies.
- One or two corporate officers who each own at least one share of stock and between them own all the shares of stock hold all of the offices of a corporation that employs no other employees.
- Daytime students in elementary or secondary school, who work part-time during the school year or their regular vacation period.
- Employees, who change to jobs in an exempt employment or with a "non-covered" employer, and work in such employment for more than four weeks, lose protection until they work four consecutive weeks for a "covered" employer.
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