Social Security warns about excessive sick leave

The Social Security Board is warning workers not to take excessive sick leave because this may hurt their pensions in the long run. Donavon Herbert, manager of Research and Statistics, said sometimes people take sick leave when they are not sick, for example to get time away from one job while working at another.

“If you are ill or deemed ill, you should not be working at all. Persons, want to use Social Security as a little reprieve from some sort of work and that is not correct.”

He said pensions are calculated by your weekly wage. If a weekly paid person takes unpaid sick leave for two weeks out of the year social security pays sixty five percent of the wage and the average for the year will be less.

He added that two weeks would not make that much of a difference but it starts to add up when people take excessive sick leave.

“Just by doing that, I would reduce my average weekly earnings for that year. Albeit, 2 weeks out of 52 may not be that significant, but when persons seek to claim excessive sick leave especially when they know they are not ill, they can actually end up hurting their average used to calculate their pension, therefore the lower the average, the lower the pension.”

He says that pension is then paid for the rest of one’s life and urged everyone to lock in the highest possible pension.

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