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FMLA, disability
May 31, 2013

I am having a very difficult time getting by at work due to a progressive, but yet undiagnosed, health condition, despite many tests and doctors. I work 32 hours per week. Every day is a struggle and I don't perform as well as I used to. My time off is spent recuperating and resting. I've come to believe my job really is bad for my health and I probably need to see if I can improve by not working. I am POZ (undetectable), but that isn't seen to be a factor.

Without any medical diagnosis, though, would I still be able to take FMLA? And, say I quit and later on I am diagnosed with a disabling disease, is there any way I could get on the disability plan I have now, at the time this condition came on?

Thank you!

Response from Mr. Chambers

FMLA is available to you provided your physician will confirm in writing you have a "serious health condition."(see definition below) The law does not require disclosure of your diagnosis, although some employers ask for it. Some employers have special forms for you and your doctor to use.

Generally under federal (some states have their own law that differ slightly) FMLA requires that the employer have 50 or more employees in the same location, and you have worked for that employer for at least twelve months and had more than 1,250 hours of work in that time.

Once you terminate, your disability plan from your employer expires. It will not pay if you become disabled after that. To protect it, you really should leave work disabled under FMLA and any short term disability your employer provides.

"The most common serious health conditions that qualify for FMLA leave are:

conditions requiring an overnight stay in a hospital or other medical care facility; conditions that incapacitate you or your family member (for example, unable to work or attend school) for more than three consecutive days and have ongoing medical treatment (either multiple appointments with a health care provider, or a single appointment and follow-up care such as prescription medication); chronic conditions that cause occasional periods when you or your family member are incapacitated and require treatment by a health care provider at least twice a year; and pregnancy (including prenatal medical appointments, incapacity due to morning sickness, and medically required bed rest)."

Good luck, Jacques



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