Temporary Illness or Disability, Off the Job

Federal Benefit Advisory

I am going to tell you a story. Adam is a good family man, he believes in the traditional family values, and he loves his wife and 3 small children. Like all young marrieds, they struggle with house payments, car payments on the family van and day to day expenses. He is the main bread winner, while his wife works part time to help make ends meet.  Life is good and full or promise. Adam also loves his motorcycle; it is his hour each week when he can call this time his own. The country roads, especially on a beautiful day call him like a mythological ‘Siren’.

One day Adam, although very careful, had a car turn in front of him. It doesn’t take much imagination to know what happened next.

Adam is a federal employee, so let’s look at his options:

  • FERS employees suffered on-the-job injuries and received compensation through the Office of Workers’ Compensation Program (OWCP). Employees receiving compensation through OWCP are not taxed for Social Security because such compensation is tax free.

But wait, Adam was not on the job. What are his options:

  • Sick Time
  • Leave Time
  • Leave Bank

Open enrollment is from September 1st to October 1st of each year. New hires can join the bank within 30 days of becoming eligible to earn sick time. Employees will continue to donate on a rotating basis, alphabetically, until the bank is built up to a minimum of three hundred and twenty (320) hours. After donating the minimum of eight (8) hours an employee can pass and the rotation will continue until the bank reaches the minimum of three hundred and twenty (320) hours. Employees at any time may donate excess sick time hours over one thousand forty (1,040) that would normally otherwise lapse.

  • Extended Sick Leave:

Extended Sick Leave When an employee’s salary continuation and short-term disability pay have been exhausted, the employee may request to be placed on extended sick leave if the employee continues to be unable to perform the duties of their position due to the illness or accident. Such request must be made thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of short-term disability payments. Extended sick leave may continue for up to eighteen (18) months from the employee’s last day worked.

In conclusion, as one dream of retirement or even the next vacation, planning for a rich and enjoyable life, without fear of loss of home and hearth, takes planning, especially when injury or illness strikes. No one askes for an accident, but we ensure the vehicles, we insure our homes and our lives, but it is rare for most people to plan for injury.  The answer?

  • Private Disability Insurance.

A low-cost insurance that may pay as much as a year income. It may match or not match your income, depending on the coverage and premiums you may choose.

Applying takes only a few moments, costs little and you will be happy and praised for your wisdom, when an accident or illness occurs.

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