• Due to job insecurity, should we run for the FMLA now in case of lay-off?

    Asked by rustysflygirl on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Due to job insecurity, should we run for the FMLA now in case of lay-off?

    Newby here, another question about jobs and new cancer diagnosis. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer 2 weeks ago. He had surgery last week. He is scheduled to start chemo next week. He had planned to work will in chemo but we found out yesterday he may face a lay-off at best or termination at worst in the next few weeks. Not related to the cancer but to a govt. contract his company has that may lose funding. He notified his boss yesterday of the cancer situation and his intent to work through chemo. If indeed his job goes away there is no way we can afford Cobra, we are barely making rent now. Should we apply now for the FMLA? He does have short-term and long-term disability with this job. Will that offer some protection against the Cobra payments? This all has happened in 2 weeks, we are so overwhelmed.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I would recommend you look into finding some sort of case management service. You may be able to get some help here, but we are here because of cancer experiences, not because we have expertise or experience in labor laws, insurance, and other financial or legal matters. Check with his oncologist's office. They may be able to refer you to a support group that provides legal and financial advise. Additionally, many of those things vary greatly by jurisdiction, so what somebody from another state tells you may not necessarily apply in yours.

      Cobra is a temporary continuation of health insurance at group rates. It has nothing to do with disability or life insurance. Generally, disability insurance pays a percentage of salary if the employee is not able to work due to a disability. So if your husband is still working, it is unlikely that disability benefits would be available. And if he is laid off, it is unlikely that the employer provided disability insurance would continue to cover him.

      over 4 years ago
    • RebeccaW's Avatar

      My husband has stage 4 colon too. He took off work to fight the disease, trust me its a full time job itself! Disability has covered 60% of our income. Plus he filled for long term SSDI and was approved in
      29 days because of his diagnosis. Filed for Medical due to the income loss but was denied when my family gave me an early inheritance. But he is still employed because it was his illness that made him unable to work and termination would be grounds for a lawsuit. Start his social security application immediately and have him go on long term disability. Tomorrow is never promised and he should enjoy this time now.

      over 4 years ago
    • cpooh5150's Avatar

      Hey Rustysflygirl... I can totally understand your situation and wanting to go into panic mode. My husband has non hodgkins lymphoma. Since I work in a municipal gov't they have to follow federal & state government laws so I was able to do the FMLA (and people don't realize it is for x amount hours...I think over 800 hrs). With my husband it is a small company with less than 150 employees at their main office. Federal laws say they do not have to do the FMLA. so you will need to check the human resource office. If they do follow the FMLA then I suggest you have the dr sign forms ASAP and turn it in. This will protect his insurance.

      If you go with disability then you need to check the guidelines because you will have to be out of work for x amount of days/weeks WITHOUT pay. Of course they may let u use sick leave until it kicks in. Again you will need to ck w/ human resources. IF he goes with the social security disability then I've been told you must be without work for a certain amount of time. If this the route MAKE SURE TO KEEP/ASK FOR COPIES OF EVERYTHING. The Feds will want copies of every lab,test,scan,office visit etc...

      I pray all goes well with you and your husband. It's not easy being a caretaker but it's what he will need as with being a great cheerleader :). I hope that you find this info helpful ...cpooh5150

      over 4 years ago
    • rustysflygirl's Avatar

      Thank you.

      over 4 years ago
    • Buckwirth's Avatar

      Your hubby should probably bite the bullet and start the short term disability, which will start the fmla clock.

      Fmla provides a number of protections, including the continuation of his current benefits. DO NOT TELL THE EMPLOYER HE WILL TRANSITION TO THE LTD! If you do, the employer is allowed to stop paying those benefits.

      While on std he can go online and apply for Social Security Disability. Getting the approval letter will make the transition to the ltd very smooth.

      The life insurance policy may have a couple of riders:

      1. Waiver of premium due to disability

      2. Early payout for terminal disease

      3. Some additional insurance for qualifying disabilities

      Typical ltd insurance pays out at 60% of current salary. This may not seem like it will cover much, but you will be paying lower taxes, and the final take home will be very similar to what he gets now.

      I just did this in October, and I could not be happier. He needs to do it to protect his benefits! If he is laid off he could lose hundreds of thousands in benefit dollars!

      Good Luck,


      over 4 years ago

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