Indiana's Short-Term Disability Laws

By Don Shepard
Temporarily disabled Indiana employees have rights granted by the federal government.

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Indiana short-term disability laws coincide with the minimum requirements of the federal Americans With Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act. The state doesn't require private employers to pay employees with short-term disabilities. Indiana code does guarantee specific short-term disability entitlements for state employees who qualify. Understanding your rights as a private or state employee is crucial when confronted with an injury or illness that prevents you from working.

Americans With Disabilities Act

While the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn't specifically mandate that employers grant short-term disability leave, it does force them to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified workers so that they may continue working. This includes attempting to find a position of equal level for the employee. If this is not possible, offering a position of lower status is acceptable. The United States Department of Labor explains that the ADA applies only to employers with 15 or more workers. Labor management committees, employment agencies and labor organizations must abide by this ADA standard no matter the number of employees. A qualified worker returning from a disability is entitled to return to the same job he had before the disability unless the employer proves this causes undue hardship.

Family Medical Leave Act

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides the most protection for private Indiana employees with short-term disabilities. Under this law a worker can take up to 12 weeks off during a 12-month period for reasons including a serious health condition which makes an employee unable to do an essential function of her job. The FMLA applies to employers with 50 or more employees who work within 75 miles of each other. In order to be eligible for any benefits under FMLA, an employee must have been working for the employer for a total of at least 12 months and at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

State Employee Benefits

A state employee who is full-time for at least six months may be eligible for short-term disability benefits. No program enrollment is required, as automatic deductions begin after the six-month period. As stated in the Indiana State Employee Handbook, benefits are 60 percent of biweekly pay, beginning the later of the 31st day off work or the day the employee submits the application. Benefits last no longer than five months. After this period, long-term disability is an option. In order to get these benefits, according to Indiana Article 3, a worker must be absent due to "illness, injury, or legal quarantine as evidenced by a physician's signed statement."

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Don Shepard has been published in a water resources laboratory manual and in various online publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Ball State University. His most recent work includes performing editing team leading duties for a prominent political advocacy firm.

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