Can you get in trouble for...

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Can you get in trouble for...

Postby eternalamour » Jul 03, 2008 1:15 pm

...being on short term disability until your FMLA is over then decide not to go back to work? As of the 21st of July, I have been out for 12 weeks from work. My doctor doesn't feel as though I need anymore time off although I do. I'm far from 100% and I'm not ready to return to work. My options at this point are to go talk to work and ask if they would be willing to let me stay off work until after the baby is born. (Take a unpaid leave of absence until February.) I just received my last extension for my short term disability this past week. I am dropping my insurance through work and going back to Badgercare Plus because at this point I don't think I'll be returning to work. With the different insurance I'll have to find a new doctor within the next two or three weeks, right during the time I'm supposed to return to work. (Which means explaining to the new doctor everything thats going on, etc.) So my questions are:
1.) Is it possible that you can get in trouble for being on disability, having it paid for, and not returning to work?
2.) Do you think employers would be willing to give someone an absence from work for a long period of time without anymore doctors excuses?

I know I didn't explain much about whats this all regards to, if you have any questions please feel free to ask to further help any answers.

Quick note; I work at a call center. Its the "one call center" for Wisconsin to get locates done for any digging in the state. Our busy season is April through September. I've missed nearly half of busy season already. Last year, there were three pregnant girls that were only seasonal employees. They turned down the full time permanent position due to when they were having their babies. Work called them months later asking if they were willing to come back for this season and work full time.

I'm really young, this is my first full time job I've ever had so I don't know exactly what I should do or what my options are. I already know I don't want to work the rest of this pregnancy. Although we are going to have a hard time affording it, theres no way I can 'stomach' doing it.

Thanks in advance for any answers. Sorry this is so vague its hard to explain an entire situation.
-- Nikkole --
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Postby Maganb0819 » Jul 03, 2008 3:39 pm

Nikkole, i would go ahead and get a new dr. if you are going to loose your insurance your are def going to have to have something and with you being of the preg now is the best time... I am in a similar problem.
I work in a call center where over the past few months since so many people are falling behind on the car payments our work load has gone up. I explained to my boss before i even got preg that i had hg with the last two and that there was a good chance that i would have to leave work... my fmla ran out yesterday so to keep my insurance through work i had my dr but me on short term dis. I went in and straight told her that i was still :sickfast: and that i couldn't talk on phone and so that at the same time... as far as going back they told me that if they had room for me they would let me come back... honestly i have been thinking about just staying home and taking care of the baby ....
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Postby krdoty » Jul 03, 2008 8:00 pm

I don't know about the disability payments, but I was told while pregnant with Paul that the company can require you to repay them for any insurance premiums that they paid for your insurance. (Many companies only pass on a portion of the premiums to their employees.) The company that I worked for did not do that, but I don't doubt that they could.

The bigger employment issue is that you would be burning a bridge by not going back. Temps who turned down a hire on citing pregnancy likely are respected by your employer because they are seen as honest and up front. Regardless of your intentions going into the leave, it appears dishonest if you take paid leave and then don't go back. They can choose to put a "no rehire" note in your file which would prevent them from ever hiring you again. I wouldn't burn that bridge if I could avoid it.

Have you considered seeking out a second opinion? Is your current doc willing to add to your treatment regimen to account for the increased nausea and vomiting that are bound to result from increased activity?

Are you willing to attempt going back to work if your employer will not give you unpaid leave? There is a good chance you would be sick at work, which can be humiliating. But with sympathetic superiors, that might help you get the unpaid leave.
Kendra, M.W.F.E.
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Postby eternalamour » Jul 04, 2008 7:06 am

Well, quick update as to whats going on;
My doctor had to fill out more paperwork for my insurance company and short term disability yesterday. HE extended my leave until Sept 1st! Which is really surprising to me and I appreciate it greatly. So on Monday I'll be going into work to discuss this extension with the HR manager whose there. (Prior to this, we were doing extensions every two weeks. When it was the day I was supposed to return he'd fax in an extension) Well, with this large change theres some things that could happen... Since my FMLA is up, work could technically fire me whenever they please. I guess with this new extension, it changes everything that was written above. Thanks for the answers I've received so far. I'm going to just take it day by day and figure out what happens.
-- Nikkole --
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Postby krdoty » Jul 04, 2008 6:11 pm

Whew! I really hope this works out for you! Having a job to return to, not to mention the disability payments, means a lot less stress about finances. And I can't think of many HGers that didn't have financial worries thanks to the cost medical care, lost hours at work and the paradoxical increase in grocery money despite not being able to eat! I'll have my fingers crossed that you are fluffy by September 1 so you won't have to navigate this again.
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Postby aaronsmommy » Jul 04, 2008 6:17 pm

There is no problem with collecting disability payments and not going back to your job. You would probably have to pay back any insurance premiums that were paid per FMLA though. Some companies have some kind of a "sick time bank" that people occasionally refer to as "disability" where you can basically collect sick time from the company itself (not a third party state or insurance program) - that you would probably need to pay back.
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