Does time from work on short term disability count against time for being vested?

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Does time from work on short term disability count against time for being vested?

While employed, I have become disabled and approved for SSDI. I am still considered an active employee now on long term disability. A Human Resources representative informed me that I am vested 5 years of service and as a result of receiving SSDI, I am eligible for disability retirement with no less than $400 a month income. My 5 year vested window passed when I was on short term disability, but according to HR that make no difference due to still be listed as an active employee. The insurance company has declined to pay the retirement benefit claiming I am not vested despite what HR states. The same merri-go-round continues. HR places the insurance company and me on speaker phone. HR is adamant with the insurance I qualify, yet a few days later the insurance company telephones my home and states I will not be receiving any benefit.

Asked on November 11, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Only time spent actually working applies for vesting in various different benefits: time spent still being "employed" (i.e. not terminated or laid off, or not having quit or resigned) but while not working (e.g. out from work on disability or on FMLA leave)  does not count for vesting. You don't accrue time when not actually working or drawing a regular paycheck.


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