The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) both provide protection for an employee from termination/firing based solely on the employee's medical leave -- limited to 12 weeks in any 12 month period. After expiration of the 12-week protection, an employee can terminate/fire an employee "at will:" at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all. Cal. Labor Code 2922.
Your separation from employment is an "involuntary termination" (i.e., firing). You are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits, unless you are "able and available" for full-time work. You would be eligible for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits, in lieu of unemployment benefits, but only if your employer's private disability benefits were not granted a waiver by the California Employment Development Department (EDD), so that the private plan was used as a substitute for state SDI.
Assuming the worst case, if you have been off work and reciving disability for more than one year, then you are entitled to apply for and receive federal Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) -- or, if you are eligible for full
Social Security Retirement (65), then you would be entitled for those benefits instead of SSDI.
Concerning your health insurance, you will be individually responsible for paying the benefit premiums for the next 18 months (COBRA continuation coverage). If you are eligible for Medicare, then that will almost certainly be less costly than your employer's private insurance (though, you may have to purhase a private supplemental insurance policy in order to pay the amounts that Medicare does not cover.
I think that about covers your questions. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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