Can an employer use your private short term disability for an auto injury?

by Patti

I was in a 3-car accident. It was considered a no-fault in Florida, and no one was cited. I was forced into the vehicle in front of me.

I now suffer lower lumbar pain and moderate to severe neck and upper back pain. I currently go to physical therapy 3-4 times a week, use lidocaine patches, wear a support brace, and take medication for the spasms. An MRI will be the next procedure to determine the degree of injury.

That background is the purpose of asking about my Short Term Disability...

I have always carried private insurance in the event that something happened to me, so my family would be taken care of. Now that something has occurred, my company has informed me that they will subtract the funds from my personal AFLAC policy and then they will pay the difference.

They also claim that since I was driving a company car when the accident occurred, they will put a lien against the disability for auto damage protection. This too will be subtracted from my payment.

This doesn't seem right, since they expect me to to pay $250 a month for the company vehicle and my personal insurance is covering my injuries.

Is it possible that they can take my AFLAC and apply it to their STD for the required payment from their own Fortune 500 company?

This doesn't seem right and I hope you let me know if they can really take my funds and apply them to their own as payment. Thank you. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Can an employer use your private short term disability for an auto injury?":

Patti (Florida):

You're right. What they're doing doesn't sound fair. To know whether your employer has the right to apply your AFLAC benefits to your STD, start by looking closely at the "Explanation of Benefits" you received when you were hired. The Explanation of Benefits will tell you how your short term disability can be used.

You can also speak with your employer's Human Resources Department and ask them to show you where in the Explanation of Benefits is the language authorizing your employer to deduct your AFLAC payments and apply them to your STD.

You have the right to go over the head of your Human Resources Department and directly contact the insurance company providing the STD. Ask them if your employer has the right to apply your AFLAC payments to your STD.

Without knowing which insurance company is proving your STD we turned to AFLAC. Contact AFLAC and ask them about the application of benefits to your short term disability. To access that information go to AFLAC's web site here.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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