FMLA/Leave and Income


Can anyone here share their experience with FMLA? I will be employed at my current employer for 1 year in December of this year (2014). I read the FMLA policy and it can provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year with medical certification. My concern is the UNPAID part of the policy. Currently, I have about 2 weeks of paid leave I could apply if I was approved for FMLA. At my employer we have Annual Leave and Sick Leave. I could use either or both; but what happens when those are exhausted? I cannot take 12 weeks of leave and go without pay. I don't even know if I would need 12 weeks of leave; but I do know this: My husband and I rely on both of our incomes, I'm feeling very tired/in pain/feel like I need to focus on my medical treatments, and am not familiar with how I could get paid for being away from work for a short time (4-6 weeks) in order to focus on getting healthier/more stable. I don't want to apply for SSDI because I want to continue to work. Can you work and be on SSDI? I'm not even sure I would qualify at the Federal level for SSDI and don't even know if I want to explore that because of the stories I've heard about the hoops they put you through to get qualified. I just need some time to get healthy and go to medical appointments in order to get treatments to become more stable with my diagnoses.

Suggestions/Feedback appreciated,


hi sara / i dont know about this but i am sure many others will have info to share with you.. all the best . HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGS


Also, I did further research, you cannot be on SSDI and work according to the website AND Washington State does not offer payment for short term disability leave (very few states do). I would have to purchase some type of short term disability insurance.


Hi Sara,

I’ve worked on the HR side of things with federal government so I have a bit of experience with FMLA. Basically, FMLA is a leave umbrella and it prevents an employer from denying you leave. You’re granted a certain number of leave hours and those hours are tracked. The Feds required an employee to exhaust their paid leave first and then take leave without pay. All hours taken for FMLA, whether paid or unpaid, went towards the allotted FMLA hours. Most employers offer short and long term disability insurance but, depending on the employer, you’re paid a percentage of your wages. Your leave accruals may be affected as well because most employers will not allow you to accrue leave if you’re taking LWOP or are on short or long term disability.

Thank you for the information! It is really helpful. I have to figure this out and I'm not even sure that I want to take leave, but I want to be informed if I decide that I need to do so. Basically, my employer would allow me to exhaust my leave, but would not provide any additional pay after that is exhausted. I would have to check into short term disability with the employer, but my hubby and I really need all of our income monthly.

Hope to talk to you soon,


Our company has CIGNA as the insurance company for STD and LTD. I am out on FMLA and STD as they go hand in hand. FMLA protects your job for 90 days while you are recovering during STD.

My doctor authorized me to be out till November 29th and CIGNA has only approved me till November 7th. They only approved me till November 7th due to my carpal tunnel surgery.

You should talk to your doctor and try to get the paperwork done for your STD before going out.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the reply and information Lynie : )


Not a problem, hope everything goes smooth for you.