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NY Unemployment & Disability Laws

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  • NY Unemployment & Disability Laws

    Background to my question: I have developed a nerve injury (neuropathy) in both of my feet that makes it painful and difficult to walk - this injury was not work-related. Outside of work I use a wheelchair but am not comfortable using one in the workplace for a variety of personal reasons. I have tried every possible treatment and have seen every specialist but the only thing that helps is to stay off my feet.

    I requested that I be able to telecommute, as I was working FT in a tech position that I could easily do from home; my employer did not permit this. Instead, my employer permitted me to work part-time for 8 weeks at an hourly rate. My 8 weeks are nearly done, and because this is a nerve injury (which take months to heal) I am not at all ready return to full-time work. I need to stay home as much as possible to let my feet heal. My company says that it's a full time position, and if I don't return, they will have to find someone else. My life is being ruined due to this injury; I just have to put my health first.

    2 questions:

    1) Am I correct when I presume I won't be able to get Disability because my injury does not show up on conventional medical tests (everything shows up as "normal" which is common for this type of thing), and because no doctor is suggesting I stay at home to heal (it's just based on my personal experience that staying off my feet improves my condition, where nothing else will.) Is that a correct assumption, that Disability would be tricky at best?

    2) Since I am not really quitting, but am compelled to leave my job, will I have problems getting Unemployment Insurance?

    Thanks so much for your assistance - and sorry for the long post!

  • #2
    You can't get both disability and unemployment. If you are disabled to the point where you qualify to receive benefits, that means you are almost certainly unable to meet one of the standard requirements for unemployment, which is that you be able to work and actively looking for work. While if you are able to work, you almost certainly won't qualify for disability benefits.

    It also isn't going to help an unemployment claim that you are leaving of your own accord. In the very, very large majority of cases if you quit you don't get benefits.

    I think you can probably write off UI as an option. Though I'm not saying you shouldn't apply - even if you do not qualify initially, it's possible (I make no promises) that you may qualify when you are once again able to work, and the only way you'll know that is to file.

    I don't know the eligibility definition for NY disability claims; NY is one of only five states (plus Puerto Rico) where disability is state mandated or state provided. All you can do is apply.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

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