Ask Terry Questions Unemployment vs. Disability ?

Unemployment vs. Disability ?

By Terry Savage on June 18, 2020 |

Hi Terry, My employer closed 3/19/2020 due to C-19. I applied for unemployment and received a couple payments. My employer has since opened back up, they also received some kind of loan through the government and told those who did not return back they will have to stop their unemployment.
I have a chronic heart condition and my Dr. will not allow me to return to work for at least another 3 months. I looked into disability and I don’t qualify unless it is for a year or more.
Do you know if unemployment or disability has an exception for people who are unable to return to work because of a chronic illness with C-19 still around? I do want to return to my job and financially I need to return to my job but I don’t want to take a chance at catching C-19, I am a RN with a heart condition.
I work at a Practice that specializes in respiratory diseases, so my chances of exposure is greater. I know this is a weird circumstance but I am at a loss who can give me some advice. I need some type of assistance to pay my bills. I have worked my entire adult life and paid into social security. Sorry this is so long. Any suggestions or guidance will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely,

Terry Says

This is the best answer I could find and it came from an article in the Washington Post:

Q: Do I have to return to work if I am pregnant or have a health condition that places me at higher risk if I am exposed to the coronavirus?
Try to obtain documentation from a health-care provider that you are especially vulnerable and at high risk, and that your health-care provider recommends self-quarantine. Once you have done that, your options include:

— asking your employer to grant you reasonable accommodations (such as alternative duties or temporary job-protected leave, for example) under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

— asking to be granted paid sick or emergency Family and Medical Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

I hope htis helps, and that your employer is sympathetic. One good thing you could point out to them is that it benefitsthem to grant you this leave, so the non-use of payroll funds for your sake does not count against their PPP loan issues.
But notice that this does not help you maintain unemployment benefits! I have asked for a lawyer in that area, and will add to this response if (and notify you) if I learn anything helpful in that regard.

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