Legislation to establish a program for people who are on disability to be able to return to work sooner, while still receiving their Temporary Disability Insurance, was signed into law, effective June of 2020. The law will permit the payment of temporary disability insurance (TDI) benefits on a reduced basis to temporarily disabled workers who are otherwise eligible for TDI benefits, but are only able to return to work on a reduced basis while recovering from a disability. The law sets a maximum duration of eight weeks for partial benefits, unless the Division of Unemployment Insurance, after a review of medical documentation, approves an extension beyond eight weeks, but not more than 12 weeks in any case. The previous TDI law provided for benefits only during the time that the worker is completely unable to work due to the disability. A summary follows:
- If permitted by the employer, an individual could return to work on a reduced basis;
- Pay will be the difference between the wages paid by the employer and the benefits the employee would have received from the State if they had been fully disabled;
- An individual must have been totally unable to perform their job due to disability and receiving full benefits for at least seven consecutive days prior to receiving partial benefits;
- Maximum duration of partial benefits is 8 weeks, unless DOL reviews medical documentation and extends to a max of 12 weeks (12 weeks is the most possible);
- If the employer does not allow for the partial return to work, the individual will remain eligible for full benefits as long as their medical documentation indicates necessary.