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HomeNewsCan an Employee on Long-Term Disability be Terminated?

Can an Employee on Long-Term Disability be Terminated?

If you are currently away from your job on long-term disability, you already have a lot to worry about. Do you also have to worry about your employer terminating you? The short is that it is possible for a company to lawfully terminate someone who cannot work and is receiving long-term disability benefits. If you have questions about a specific situation, please reach out to an Illinois disability lawyer at Bartolic Law.

How Can an Employer Fire a Disabled Employee?

The web of laws governing disabilities and employment is a complicated one. There are certain circumstances under which an employer may not fire someone due to a disability, including:

  • There might be an accommodation to help you work – The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against employees with mental or physical disabilities. If you cannot perform your job as usual due to a disability, the ADA requires your employer to implement reasonable accommodations as requested. If you request a reasonable accommodation that allows you to return to work with your disability, your employer must comply and cannot lawfully terminate you instead. 
  • You are on family and medical leave – Employers with more than 50 employees must comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows you to take up to 12 weeks of leave due to a serious medical condition. If you take qualified leave, your employer must hold your job – or a suitably similar position – for you when you return, and they cannot fire you. 

If you are on long-term disability, chances are you are beyond your 12 weeks of FMLA leave from work, and there might not be any reasonable accommodations that will allow you to perform your job. If you are receiving benefits because your disability prevents you from working at all, your employer does have the right to terminate your employment. 

What Happens to Your Disability Benefits if You are Terminated?

If you are receiving long-term disability benefits for an indefinite disabling condition, it is likely that your employer will terminate your employment at some point. So, what happens to your benefits if this happens and your disability insurance was through your employer?

The good news is that this is a common scenario, and your benefits should continue. Some policies will end benefits if your termination was misconduct, but this is a rare occurrence. If you filed a valid claim while you had coverage through your employer, and the insurance company awarded you long-term disability benefits, they should continue as long as you can provide ongoing evidence of your persisting disability. Anyone who has their benefits terminated along with their employment should seek legal help immediately. 

Speak with a Long-Term Disability Attorney Today

At Bartolic Law, we can help individuals who had their long-term disability benefits terminated prematurely, and we can work to appeal this decision to ensure they have the benefits they need if they are still disabled. Please contact us for more information and for an assessment of your situation today.

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