Yes, you can apply for the disability while on FMLA. However, you must be careful that taking FMLA is not easy compared to getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. 

If you are applying for Social Security Disability Benefits, it is a long and complicated process. You may protect your job by taking leaves under the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA). 

Under this act, you can take job-protected leave for your medical condition. It means your organization cannot fire you if you are away from your job due to medical conditions. Moreover, if you are eligible for disability benefits, you will also be eligible for FMLA. 

Can I Work While on FMLA?

According to FMLA regulations, employees can accept work voluntarily on medical leave. However, according to the FMLA regulation 825.216(e), an employer has to follow a uniformly applied policy that helps to govern supplemental or outside employment. 

Such policy will apply to an employee while they are on FMLA leave. It means that work can be performed voluntarily.  The work acceptance must be uncoerced and not be a condition of employment. 

Can I Get Disability Benefits While On FMLA?

There is no specific answer to this question. It may or may not. The fundamental aim of FMLA is to safeguard your job. It indicates to the SSA that you will return to work soon. The FMLA will be shown on your disability application if you take it. After seeing your application, the judge will assume you will return to work after feeling better.

The FMLA gives 12 work weeks of job protection in a year, indicating that you will return to work soon. Therefore, the Social Security Administration (SSA) wants you to make it clear whether you will get back to work or not. 

When Can You Take FMLA And Get Disability Benefits?

You can take FMLA and get disability. For this, you need to show that your impairment is preventing you from working and is severe. Fortunately, the conditions that may qualify you for disability will also help you to be entitled to FMLA. However, one thing you need to be clear about is the timing. 

It is advisable to get FMLA and disability benefits consecutively. You must go on leave for 12 job-protected weeks, which is mentioned under the FMLA Act. During that time, if you realize your condition is not improving and you cannot return to work, you can apply for disability. The scenario will work if you work for an employer or reside in a state where some pay accompanies FMLA leave.

How To Improve Your Chances Of Getting Gisability On FMLA?

You must build a relationship with your healthcare provider to improve your chances of getting SSDI or SSI Benefits. It is because SSA will consider your medical records and doctors’ records as well as consider that your disability prevents you from working.

If you’re committed to taking leave under the FMLA and you know you’ll need disability after, it’s time to start building a relationship with a doctor. You need to gather those records if you are also a consulting specialist. You need to communicate with them about your medical condition and how you are feeling.

One of the tips that you can follow is to ask your doctor for a medical source statement (MSS). This statement confirms that your medical conditions will prevent you from working for 12 months. It will be helpful for those 50 years or older who are trying to get a disability. 

FMLA Eligibility Requirements

According to the FMLA, eligible employees must take up to 12 weeks of job-protected and unpaid leave annually. Some of the eligibility requirements of FMLA are as follows:

  • The employee must be employed for at least 12 months 
  • They must have worked at least 1,250 hours or more during the previous year. 

Where Can You Get Help With a Disability Application?

Filling out the disability application appropriately may be challenging as you may lack relevant information about your disability. For applicants who are applying for disability while they are on FMLA leave, it becomes extra important for them to get help from a Social Security Disability Attorney

They will guide you throughout the disability application process by collecting and submitting additional evidence, such as a function report and work history report, to strengthen your claim.