My question involves labor and employment law for the state of:
I have a bit of a complex question. First, I'll give some background. 7 years ago, I contracted an autoimmune disease that ended up with my liver being in stage 2/3 liver cirrhosis. Stage 3 is considered end-stage. Stage 4 is hepatic coma and death. Since that time, I've continued to work. For the first several years, I worked at an office. For the past 4 years or so, I've worked from home. It now appears like I might have another autoimmune disease - graves disease. This one, I'm not sure I can continue to work with - even from home. So, I'm considering going on STD/LTD.
For a note, my performance and attendance at the company has been basically perfect. I don't want my condition to change that and affect my options going forward.
I have STD/LTD and health insurance through my work. I've worked for this employer (based in Colorado) from Utah, and currently from Washington State - though I'm considering relocating to California to see if the warmer/dryer less rainy climate helps.
For STD/LTD, the company pays 100% of STD and 40% of my income as LTD - and I opted to pay an additional 20% LTD myself. It appears like if I do go on STD/LTD, my benefits will be tax free. I see this note in our benefits package
"Company pays the STD/LTD plan premium. The amount of the premiums will be added to your taxable income on the first paycheck of each month. By doing this, STD and LTD benefits you receive will not be considered taxable income should you have to utilize the disability benefits."
To further complicate things, my company is being bought out by another company - deal should close in a few months. And I have stock options.
1. Will my STD/LTD benefits terminate if the company were to dissolve?
2. I am guessing my health insurance would terminate after a certain period of time? If that is the case, would my STD/LTD benefits affect my ability to be covered by the Affordable Care Act?
This seems to indicate it would not:
3. Is the state in which I reside a big factor in how this could play out? I almost see a move to California (a more liberal state) as a good option since I'm guessing they have more laws which might benefit or protect me.
4. How sick do you really have to be in order to get STD/LTD? I honestly think I'm pretty bad. Liver cirrhosis, graves disease, and a BMI of 15, or less - which translates to 5'11'' and just over 100 pounds. I think I have a bit of a fighting chance if I take it really easy, but to work full time and the overtime at my company is killing me - literally. I think it was stress and overwork that introduced graves disease to this whole equation.
5. I have life insurance through my work - and pay for extra over the guaranteed amount. I basically buy the maximum amount which is 5x your salary. Does this insurance policy continue after my company might terminate my position, since I've already been approved for the nearly 5x my salary?
6. Any recommendations on how I would approach this with my employer? Is there something I could work out with them so they don't terminate my position? Like remove any financial burden from them that would result from me going on STD/LTD - perhaps me pay them for whatever premiums they pay currently.
Any other things I need to know? I'm trying to get as prepared as I can so if it should come to requiring disability.