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Legally Required Benefits: Federal

Legally Required Benefits requirements by state

Author: Jayne Zanglein, Western Carolina University


  • Social Security provides retirement income to the elderly, income for the disabled and health insurance for the elderly and disabled. See Social Security and Medicare.
  • Employers must comply with the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) in conjunction with applicable state unemployment insurance laws. See Unemployment Insurance.
  • Workers' compensation provides protection to employees in the event of a work related illness or injury. See Workers' Compensation.
  • Employers are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on the same terms as if the employee continued to work. See Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits employment discrimination to employees taking military leave. See Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
  • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires group health plans to extend health insurance coverage to employees and their families who lose coverage due to certain qualifying events. See Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates medical privacy and security, and provides portability of health insurance benefits. See Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.