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Life Events
Serious Illness & Disability - Overview

Having a serious health condition, or having a family member who does, can present many challenges for you and your family members, especially if you have to miss work for an extended time. If you are caring for someone who is ill, there are the added demands of caregiving.

This webpage will help you understand job-related issues to consider, and resources that can help you if you or a loved one has a serious health condition, or if you have to care for a seriously ill family member.

Leave, Pay and Insurance

Eligibility for paid leave and employer-paid insurance benefits will generally have the biggest effect on a person's economic situation. The leave planning webpage will help you plan for any time off work you will need. It will also help you understand the conditions under which your employer paid health insurance coverage will continue.

If you have questions about leave use and leave eligibility, you should talk with the Human Resources Consultant (HRC) for your unit. Once you have evaluated your eligibility for paid or unpaid leave, you should contact the Benefits & Work/Life with your benefits questions.

Disability Accommodation

If you have a health condition that limits your ability to perform your job, become familiar with disability accommodation options. If you have questions about the disability accommodation process, you should call the Disabilities Services Office, or the HRC for your unit.

Coping with Challenges

In addition to friends and family members who may be able to assist you, there is UW CareLink, the employee assistance program. UW CareLink provides in-person assessment and short-term confidential counseling by local professionals for any issue that may be causing an employee concern. The UW CareLink webpage provides more detailed information about the services available and how to arrange for an appointment.

Depending on your situation, working from home (telework) or flexwork may allow you to cope with your situation and still work in some capacity. The availability of these options depends on your health condition, the work that you are able to perform, and whether your job lends itself to teleworking or working a flexible schedule. You should discuss the possibility of changing your work schedule or working from home with your supervisor if you think one of those options would work for you. Your supervisor must decide whether an alternative work schedule, or working from home, will allow you to perform the tasks that need to be accomplished.