You can maximize California short-term disability pregnancy benefits by purchasing a second policy.

The state program has percentage and maximum amount limitations that become apparent during an extended pregnancy leave. Complications and bed rest occur frequently.

After giving birth, the limitation affects continue while mom recovers from labor and delivery, and if baby blues delay her return to work.

  • Benefit amounts and percentages during pregnancy
  • Extending maternity leave due to postpartum depression

CA Short-Term Disability Pregnancy Benefits

California short-term disability benefits during pregnancy highlight four main reasons why many couples consider purchasing a second policy.

  1. The state program limits benefit payments
  2. Pregnancy disability due to bed rest can last for many months
  3. Recovery from childbirth adds another two months
  4. Postpartum depression can extend you time away from work

Benefit Amounts

Individual short-term disability insurance in California can make an extended pregnancy disability leave more affordable. This private program increases your maximum benefit amount when you need it most.

The state program limits benefit payments by percentage, and with a maximum monthly amount.

Percentage Amount

California SDI provides a maximum claim payment of approximately 55% of you income. This equates to a 45% pay cut.

Pregnancy bed rest is not planned, but very common. Twenty five percent of all pregnancies experience one or more complications, and may require extended bed rest prior to delivery.

The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act allows for four months of job-protected leave. Four months is a long time to go with a 45% pay cut, before taking time after delivery as well.

Maximum Amount

California SDI provides a weekly maximum benefit amount of $987 per week.

Workers earning more than $93,387 annually will hit this weekly maximum amount. Anyone earning above that amount will realize more than a 45% cut in pay during a pregnancy disability leave.

Waiting Period

California State Disability Insurance has a one-week waiting period before benefit payments begin due to pregnancy bed rest. The waiting period is not repeated if you extend your time after childbirth.

The person purchasing a private policy determines the waiting period at time of application. Women planning to have children often find the shorter waiting periods work better. The premium cost is higher, but so is the benefit. The likelihood of use is very high.

Applying for Benefits

Applying for California short-term disability pregnancy benefits requires you to complete claims forms. Both the state and private plans require you to download the form, and have both your doctor and employer complete the appropriate sections.

Apply for CA state disability benefits through the EDD website.

Apply for private payments by filing a claim with your carrier

CA Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave

California short-term disability during maternity leave highlights two of the main reasons why couples often consider a second policy.

Parents experience two more highly likely scenarios where they must cope with another period with a 45% or greater pay cut: while recovering from labor and delivery, and when suffering postpartum depression.

Recovery from Labor and Delivery

Both the state and private policies cover mom’s recovery from labor and delivery, and provide income replacement during maternity leave. As before, the key question is whether you want to increase the maximum claim payment amount during this time.

Normal childbirth is a highly likely event. Both policies follow a standard benefit payment formula.

  • Vaginal delivery – 6 weeks
  • C-section delivery – 8 weeks

California Paid Family Leave benefits kick in during maternity leave for both parents, offering yet another opportunity for a 45% pay cut. Mom can apply for baby bonding benefits once she recovers and is able to return to work. She cannot collect paid family leave and state disability benefits at the same time.

Postpartum Depression

After giving birth, many women experience episodes of extreme sadness, which can interfere with her ability to work. Postpartum depression, or the baby blues, may affect your ability to return to work and earn an income.

California SDI covers any mental illness that prevents you from performing your regular and customary work according to the unemployment insurance code section 2626.

Private policies must now cover postpartum depression. A new law explicitly spells out this entitlement.

California Section 10144.55 of the insurance code requires that every disability insurance policy with “a short-term limited duration of two years or less,” provide coverage for disabilities caused by severe mental illnesses. The definition of major depressive disorder includes postpartum depression.

Fathers on Maternity Leave

California state disability insurance does not apply to fathers during maternity leave. Mom is disabled, however dad is still physically able to perform the regular duties of his full-time occupation.

If father passes out in the delivery room and injures himself, he may be able to use SDI for paternity leave. Otherwise, he is out of luck.

California Paid Family Leave provides income support for fathers during paternity leave. Dad can collect six weeks of partial income replacement to care for a sick family member, or to bond with his newborn baby.

Image credit: kbuntu / 123RF Stock Photo

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