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Ask Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport Your Own Ques...

Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport
Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport, Counselor, Information Professional
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Master's in Counseling - 30 Yrs - Helping Prof - 160 IQ - 57 Yrs. Life Exp 1000 Site-wide Accepts.
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Vacation Pay and disability

Customer Question

I live in California, and have been on disability since April. I have become short on cash, and asked my employer for my vacation pay due me, which is 14 weeks. Why is he saying that he has to inform the insurance company of my request? They have nothing to do with my vacation pay. Please help.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Andy Lambert replied 9 years ago.
HiCustomer

It appears that it is not your bosses' responsibility to contact the disability office but yours (although he could make your life miserable if he decided to drop a dime in which case you would fall under the "fraud" chapter). I have researched the California disability law and have come up with the following information for you. The part that refers most to your question I have highlighted in red. Taken from the actual California disability laws:

BASIC ELIGIBILITY

SDI benefits can be paid only after you meet all of the following requirements:




  • You must be unable to do your regular or customary work for at least eight consecutive days.


  • You must be employed or actively looking for work at the time you become disabled.


  • You must have lost wages because of your disability or, if unemployed, have been actively looking for work.


  • You must have earned at least $300 from which SDI deductions were withheld during a previous period (see "YOUR BENEFIT AMOUNTS" in next column).


  • You must be under the care and treatment of a licensed doctor or accredited religious practitioner during the first eight days of your disability. (The beginning date of a claim can be adjusted to meet this requirement.) You must remain under care and treatment to continue receiving benefits.


  • You must complete and mail a claim form within 49 days of the date you became disabled or you may lose benefits.


  • Your doctor must complete the medical certification of your disability. A licensed midwife, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner may complete the medical certification for disabilities related to normal pregnancy or childbirth. (If you are under the care of a religious practitioner, request a "Practitioner's Certificate," DE 2502, from the SDI office. Certification by a religious practitioner is acceptable only if the practitioner has been accredited by Employment Development Department.)

We may require an independent medical examination to determine your initial or continuing eligibility.

top of page

INELIGIBILITY

You may apply for benefits even if you are not sure you are eligible. If you are found to be ineligible for all or part of a period claimed, you will be notified of the ineligible period and the reason. You may not be eligible for SDI benefits if you:




  • are claiming or receiving Unemployment Insurance or Paid Family Leave benefits.


  • became disabled while committing a crime resulting in a felony conviction.


  • are receiving workers' compensation benefits at a weekly rate equal to or greater than the SDI rate.


  • are in jail, prison, or recovery home because you were convicted of a crime.


  • fail to have an independent medical examination when requested to do so.

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FRAUD

Under sections 2101, 2116, and 2122 of the California Unemployment Insurance Code, it is a violation to willfully make a false statement or knowingly conceal a material fact (receiving your vacation pay without disclosing it) in order to obtain the payment of any benefits, such violation being punishable by imprisonment and/or by a fine not exceeding $20,000 or both. To detect and discourage fraud, SDI continually monitors claim payments, vigorously investigates suspicious activity, (your bosses phone call?) and will seek restitution and conviction through prosecution.

top of page

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES




  • File your claim and other forms completely, accurately, and in a timely manner. If a form is late, include with the form a written explanation of the reason(s).


  • Read carefully the instructions on this and all other forms you receive from SDI. If you are not sure what is required, contact the SDI office.


  • Report in writing to the SDI office any:



    • change of address or telephone number.


    • return to part-time or full-time work.


    • recovery from your disability.


    • income you receive.

Hope I Helped :)





















Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Andy Lambert's Post: I kinda understand what is written, but I am not receiving benefits from SDI. I am receiving benefits through the company that provides our company with workmans comp insurance. And if I did receive any income from work for my vacation time, what does that have to do with money I am receiving for an injury that happened while I was working? And if I do get the vacation pay from my employer, that is money that I have already earned, not that I am receiving for work that I am performing?
Expert:  The Mystic Wave replied 9 years ago.

Greetings:


Since you are on worker's compensation everything must go through the insurance carrier. If you are entitled to the vacation pay, then there shouldn't be a problem in receiving the monies - but, I cannot tell you how soon you can expect to receive same. These monies should be separate from your work comp claim.


If you do not hear back from your employer, then you may wish to contact the insurance company, unless you are represented by an attorney and, if so, you should contact your attorney to have him/her handle this situation for you. If you are not represented by counsel, you may wish to consider same in order to protect your rights.


I hope this helped. If you wish for further information, please let me know.


Thank you.


Bright Blessings.


Peace, Love & Happiness,


The Mystic Wave


Information provided herein is based on my 30 years experience as a legal secretary/paralegal in the State of California, with experience and knowledge in the State of Nevada, only. This information is not intended to substitute for informed professional legal advice from a practicing, licensed attorney.

Expert:  Andy Lambert replied 9 years ago.

I misunderstood you in your original post. Is it job related? There is a big difference when you're collecting workman's comp. It may be legal because the employer has the authority to set the terms and conditions of employment and one of those conditions may be to inform the insurance company whenever an employee is compensated during his or her time out on workman's comp. The Mystic wave is right. California law is very complex regarding disability insurance isues and the first thing I would do is contact the insurance company and see what they say. You can always get legal advice and appeal if they say you will be penalized if you get the vacation pay. California law allows the attorney's fees to be paid by someone other than yourself depending on the situation. Hire an attorney if you get a negative response from workmans comp. If they say it's ok because those are dollars that were previously earned then your boss would have no choice but to pay you. He couldn't hold it over your head in other words. You think it's punitive on his part? California law does not allow punitive action on the part of the employer. You could sue him. You have more rights than he does so he better cool his heels if he's playing a game because he's angry with you.


Hope I Helped :)

Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 9 years ago.
Your employer's thinking that there is an obligation to inform Worker's
Compensation may be well-intentioned -- although, misinformed.



On the other hand, your employer may be trying to delay, or avoid, parting with the cash.



Either way, your belief that your vacation pay has nothing to do with
your disability is absolutely correct. This is because you earned
the vacation time prior to your becoming disabled.



The fact that, you are on disability when you receive a cash payment
for the vacation time -- should make absolutely no difference in your
original, or continued, eligibility for disability benefits of any sort.



The only exception of this would be if you are receiving Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) benefits -- SSI eligiblity requires that a person
be low income -- in addition to having a disability.



I recommend you contact the The California Department of Industrial Relations -- Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for assistance in this matter.



They should be able to quickly set your employer straight regarding the obligations to pay you for your accrued vacation time.



Let me know if you need more input. If not, thanks for the
opportunity to assist you... I would really appreciate your honoring my
efforts by 'pushing the button' and Accepting this answer. Adding
a bonus -- should you wish to do so -- is always warmly welcomed.



Good Luck!



Steve






















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