COVID-19 and the Disability Manager: Part 2

Posted on 05/14/2020 - 04:38 PM


The rapid developments around COVID-19 from both the regulatory and Human Resources perspectives require Certified Disability Management Specialists® (CDMS®) to react quickly with the information needed. In the first part of this blog, we identified the basic components of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) as they relate to affected employees (Mitchell, 2020).  Here, in part two, we will look at the basic requirements for employees and employers in applying for these new, temporary benefits. 

Amendments to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), (Department of Labor, n.d.), specifically the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA), (Department of Labor, 2020) and its related paid time off rules require very specific information to be put in place for affected employees.  This requires the use of a written request form (Kutakrock,2020).

Written Request Forms

An employee’s eligibility for paid sick or paid family leave should be based on a written request from the employee that includes the following: 

  • The employee’s name;
  • The date(s) for which leave is requested;
  • The COVID-19 related reason the employee is requesting leave and written support for such reason; and
  • A statement that the employee is unable to work, including by means of telework, as relates to the issue identified in number 3.
  • If the leave is due to a quarantine or self-quarantine, then the request should include the name of the government entity ordering quarantine, or the healthcare provider advising self-quarantine, and
  • If the person ordered/recommended for quarantine is not the employee, then that person’s name needs to be provided.

Employers should maintain this information to substantiate employee eligibility for the sick leave or family leave credits.


The FFCRA makes accommodation for leave so an employee, with no other resources, can apply for a leave to take care of minor children.  It is important for the CDMS to understand these provisions, to be the resource to the employee and the employer. 

  • Requests for childcare leave require documentation as follows:
    • the employee’s written request should include the name and age of the child (or children) to be cared for;
    • the name of the school that has closed or place of care that is unavailable;
    • and a representation that no other person will be providing care for the child during the period for which the employee is receiving family medical leave. 

If the employee needs to provide care for a child older than 14 during daylight hours, which renders them unable to work (even remotely), then the request should include a description of what circumstances exist that the employee needs to provide care.

There is a high level of detail required for the application of these regulatory changes. The Certified Disability Management Specialist is in the unique position to wade through the weeds and provide much-needed clarity to both HR, organizational leadership, and the affected employees.

We, at the Commission, hope that it is helpful to you in your work.  We appreciate all the efforts you have put into responding to this ongoing health crisis and are here to help interpret the rapidly changing regulatory arena.  


Certified Disability Management Specialists (CDMS), (n.d.).  Introduction to Disability Management.  Core Knowledge Curriculum, Domain I, 2nd ED.  Topic 4.  Accessed April 6, 2020 from: (2020). Employers Encouraged to Use Specific FFCRA Leave Request Forms.  Accessed April 24, 202 from:

Mitchell, Ellen (2020).  COVID-19 and the Disability Manager:  Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Part One.  Accessed May 1, 2020 from:

United States Department of Labor (2020). FFCRA Questions and Answers.  Accessed April 17, 2020 from: