Does an employee have to offer short-term disability coverage?

UPDATED: May 18, 2009

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Does an employee have to offer short-term disability coverage?

Can my employer make me use my sick days AND my vacation days before disability starts? Apparently, our office does not have a short-term disability plan, only a long-term disability plan. Would the state (NJ) cover any short-term disability??

Asked on May 18, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

New Jersey does not require employers to offer disability insurance at all.  Typically, disability insurance payments are based on how long you are out of work, and whether or not you have sick days or vacation days and whether or not you use them don't matter.

Different companies have different plans, however, and the plan documents tend to be very dense "fine print."  It isn't something you want to try to figure out by yourself, since even lawyers who aren't familiar with these things can easily make mistakes.

You may also have rights that would be useful in your situation, under the federal Family and Maternity Leave Act (often abbreviated "FMLA").

For all of this, I would recommend that you talk to an employment and labor attorney, as soon as you can.  One place to find a qualified lawyer in your area is our website,

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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