If You Become Sick or Disabled — Even Temporarily
If you're in an accident or develop an illness that leaves you disabled even for a short period of time, call your employer immediately. Most employers carry disability insurance on their employees that ranges from 40 to 80 percent of your income, and most can offer you some pay for sick time until that insurance kicks in.
Send your employer every bit of information they need to process your claim, including letters from your physician. A call from your doctor to your human resources (HR) representative can also be quite helpful.
Whatever you do, don't get defensive with your employer. Your HR rep should feel as though you're as horrified at your absence as the company is, and that you can't wait to get back to work.
Keep in mind that some employees fake illness and injury in order to collect disability pay without working, and you don't want to be labeled as someone who is trying this scam.
If the company doesn't believe that you're actually disabled, you could lose more than a few weeks' pay — you could lose your job. You might be able to fight it in court, but that takes money, too. Instead, contact your employer immediately and work with them to resolve your problem.
Even if your company carries disability insurance, however, it may not kick in for some time, and when it does, it won't give you 100 percent of your pay. In this case — or if your company does not carry disability insurance — take the same actions that you would if you lost your job.