TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE
Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs are designed to provide wage replacement for non-work-connected sickness or injury. The TDI program complements the UI program by providing benefits to individuals who do not meet the UI program's "able” to work requirement. Although Federal law does not provide for a Federal-State TDI system, the SSA and the FUTA both authorize the withdrawal of employee contributions from a State's unemployment fund for the payment of TDI.
Six states operate TDI programs. In California, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island, the TDI programs are administered by the State employment security agency. The Hawaii law is administered by the Temporary Disability Income Division of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and the New York law is administered by the worker's compensation board.
Historical Note: Rhode Island passed the first TDI law in 1942; California followed in 1946; New Jersey in 1948; New York in 1949; Puerto Rico in 1968; and Hawaii in 1969.
California, Puerto Rico and Rhode Island provide one program of benefits without regard to whether workers are employed, unemployed, or in noncovered employment when their disability begins. Hawaii, New Jersey and New York provide two separate disability benefits programs, one for individuals who suffer disability while employed or shortly thereafter, and another for those who become disabled while unemployed. The New Jersey program for disability during unemployment also cover workers with base period wages in covered employment whose disabilities begin while they are in noncovered employment.
DEFINITION OF DISABILITY
The scope of the program depends in part on the type of disabilities which are compensable. The intent of the laws is to compensate for non-work-connected sickness or injury. This purpose is achieved through the definition of disability or through other eligibility conditions.
In general, the laws define disability in terms of the inability of an individual to perform the regular or customary work because of the individual's physical or mental condition. California also specifically includes individuals suspected of being infected with a communicable disease, acute alcoholics, and drug addicts undergoing treatment. The Puerto Rico law and two of the special systems for the disabled unemployed, in New Jersey and New York, contain more strict requirements with respect to disability during unemployment. The New Jersey law provides that the claimant must be unable to perform any work for remuneration. The New York and Puerto Rico laws provide that the claimant must be unable to perform any work for which the worker is reasonably qualified by training and experience.
TYPES OF DISABILITY EXCLUDED - Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Puerto Rico have provisions for excluding payments for disability caused by willful, intentional, self-inflicted injuries, or acquired in the perpetration of an illegal act. New York also excludes disabilities resulting from an act of war after June 30, 1950, or caused by an automobile. California and Puerto Rico prohibit payments for any period of confinement in an institution as a drug addict, dipsomaniac, or sexual psychopath. California also prohibits payment due to incarceration. Puerto Rico benefits are not payable for disability caused by or in relation to abortion in cases performed for medical reasons or in cases where complications have arisen due to abortion.