Monday, November 19, 2012

Do companies still pay associates for short-term disability?

Are companies keeping short-term disability available to salaried and hourly associates?

Back in January 1998, I fell in a convenience store in downtown Minneapolis and sustained a hip acetabular fracture.  I was turning as I entered the store from the Skyway, and the store hadn’t put down mats to sop up water from an outside entrance.  Ironically, I had walked over for coffee when the mainframe TSO connection went down around 9 AM on a Tuesday morning. 

I wound up in the University of Minnesota hospital for a week with major surgery, in rehab across the River (it seemed like a nursing home) for a week, and then recouped at home.  I recovered very quickly and was back to work in three weeks. 

The company (ReliaStar, later to be bought by ING) paid my full salary under its short term disability policy, without loss of vacation.  I guess that’s the one time that I got a “perk” that I thought that parents with children then unfairly got. 

By the time ING came in the door, however, the short term disability payment was reduced to 80% of salary.  That didn’t affect me, but it could have done so for others.
The case was litigated, but the ReliaStar health insurance was able to collect most of the settlement (after lawyer’s fees) through subrogation.  

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