Statutory Update – Coronavirus’ Impact on State Disability and Family Leave Programs

March 13, 2020

Below is information on how the states with disability and/or paid family leave laws are addressing these programs as they relate to current COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns. It is worth noting that some of the rules/guidance may impact the interplay of the state program with a company’s Short Term Disability policy (see specifically CA FAQ and RI emergency regulations).

  Programs News and Resources
California • State Disability Insurance (SDI)

• Paid Family Leave (PFL)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

• Paid Sick Leave

EDD – COVID-19 information and state programs

EDD – COVID-19 FAQ

DILR Guidance on CA Paid Sick Leave

Hawaii • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Hawaii has not addressed the TDI or Unemployment Programs directly, though this may change. Trion will continue to monitor COVID-19 information released by the Hawaii Department of Health and the Hawaii Employers Council.
New Jersey • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

• Family Leave Insurance (FLI)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

• Paid Sick Leave

NJ DOL – State Benefits and COVID-19
New York • Disability Benefits (DBL)

• Paid Family Leave (PFL)

•  Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Attorney General’s Guidance

Also:

Governor Cuomo has called for paid-leave provisions in his 2020 Executive Budget; voting on the proposal could be conducted as early as next week.

• New York City and Westchester County also have mandatory paid sick time

Puerto Rico • Temporary Disability (SINOT)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

Puerto Rico has not addressed the SINOT or Unemployment Programs directly, though this may change following the State of Emergency declaration on March 12, 2020.
Rhode Island • Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI)

• Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

• Paid Sick Leave

Workplace Fact Sheet includes “emergency regulations” affecting state programs as part of the State of Emergency declared on March 9:

1. Waiver of 7-day waiting period for  COVID-19 related TDI and TCI claims;

2. Waiver of required medical certification for individuals under COVID-19 quarantine;

3. Waiver of the 7-day waiting period for COVID-related Unemployment Insurance claims.

The Fact Sheet also includes a reminder that RI’s Sick and Safe Leave law enables employees to take time off from work to care for themselves or family members affected by COVID-19.

Washington • Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)

• Unemployment Insurance (UI)

• Paid Sick Leave

ESD – COVID-19 Information for Workers and Businesses

ESD – COVID-19 Program Comparison Guide

Emergency Unemployment Insurance Rules

COVID-19 Legislation

In addition to the New York proposal mentioned above, other states, including (but not limited to) Alabama, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee, Utah and Washington have introduced legislation aimed at protecting the public interest.  Federal legislation has also emerged in response to the needs of businesses and their employees in the wake of this national health threat:

•   House Bill 6074: Public Law No. 116-123, or the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020”, was signed into law on March 6, 2020.  The Act provides $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The funds will be directed toward needs associated with the development and distribution of vaccinations and other medical supplies, grants for public health agencies, small business assistance, emergency preparedness, humanitarian support and promoting telehealth services under Medicare.

        House Bill 6201: If passed, the “Family First Coronavirus Response Act” would provide individuals affected by COVID-19 with paid leave, food assistance and coverage for virus testing; it would also expand benefits under unemployment insurance and increase states’ funding for Medicaid.  The bill was introduced in the House on March 11, 2020 and referred to committee.  Due to the broad scope and potential cost of the bill, it is likely to face considerable opposition.

        House Bill 6207, introduced on March 11, 2020, focuses on unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19.

        Senate Bill 3370 and House Bill 6019 propose means and direction for research and development of a coronavirus vaccine.  Both were introduced in the past few weeks and referred to committee.

Trion will continue to research and monitor developments.

More information and resources may be found on MMA’s Coronavirus Outbreak Resource Page.

 

Please contact your Trion Account Team members for specific questions about these or other updates.

No part of this document may be reproduced, quoted, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system), without express, prior permission, in writing from Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change. Copyright © 2020 Trion Group, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC Company. All rights reserved.

Share this article
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook