Family medical leave was enacted in order to offer some protection to employees that needed time off due to family needs. Those needs can include caring for another family member, having a child, adopting a child, and more. When people use family medical leave; however, there are a ton of questions, and it makes people very unsure of how to proceed.
Find out with the help of a Wisconsin disability attorney if you can access disability while on FML.
Family Medical Leave Relating to Family Illness and Disabilities
There’s a clear gap when it comes to FMLA and disability. Under Wisconsin law, employers have very few requirements for FMLA. The Family Medical Leave Act only protects employees for two weeks, and then for six weeks in the event of birth.
For family illnesses, that means their own serious illness or the illness of a child, spouse, or parent will have FML kick-in. There is no requirement that employers pay employees during that time, only that they allow them to return to the same position.
So, if your dad is sick or your spouse is sick, you can only take off two weeks and most likely cannot receive any type of disability. Now, if your child is disabled and requires constant care, then you may have access to some disability benefits to help ease the costs of care for your child.
Family Medical Leave for Pregnancy and Maternity Leave
For pregnancy, adoption, and maternity leave, a person is able to take off up to eight weeks, depending on the medical release conditions. For example, a “natural” birth will result in six weeks of guaranteed leave, and that may be extended if there are elements such as postpartum depression or complications with the recovery.
However, for cesarean section, the recovery time is eight weeks and can go for more if there are recovery complications. There is access to disability through a short term disability plan. However, there is no umbrella application of disability for workers within Wisconsin. Unlike other states, pregnancy and delivery do not allow workers to get disability benefits or paid leave.
Family Medical Leave for Paternity and Family Bonding Leave
Paternity leaves and leave for family bonding both fall within Family Medical Leave. Employees can get up to six weeks off for bonding. However, just as with new mothers, new fathers and new adoptive parents do not get paid leave unless it’s offered through the company exclusively.
There are also factors ,such as any medical complications with the child or the birthing parent that may require care or assistance. Because legal job protection with the FMLA expires many people find themselves paying for short term disability and, in many cases seeking new employment after their time runs out if they can’t return to their previous job.
Understanding How Wisconsin Apples the FMLA
Unlike many other states, Wisconsin does not offer short-term disability through the state for Family Medical Leave. There are situations in which you may take FML for a serious condition that would overlap with disability benefits and opportunities. For example, if you get a new diagnosis, then your employer may grant your Family Medical Leave and then provide an extended leave of absence at their own discretion.
In the event that you’re out of work for more than 12 months, you could also apply for disability. However, Family Medical Leave only requires employers to offer two weeks of job security and everything else after that is at their own discretion.
To learn more about disability opportunities and if you have access to disability benefits, then you should consult with a local Wisconsin attorney for SSDI. In many cases, people can receive SSDI benefits.
Will You Need a Wisconsin Social Security Disability Attorney?
Wisconsin disability attorneys help the community by providing legal aid and insight into how to handle SSDI applications. When you apply for SSDI, you may not know exactly how to proceed. But when it comes to family medical leave, it may seem like you don’t have any SSDI benefit options. For those instances, you need to talk to a Wisconsin SSDI attorney. These attorneys are able to handle big jobs and explain the nuances of how FMLA applies to Social Security Disability.
Contact Tabak Law and gain information and insight into how family medical leave can lead you to submit a social security disability application. When you’re ready, get in touch with our local disability law office and schedule a consultation.