You can maximize California short-term disability pregnancy benefits by purchasing a supplemental policy. California is one of only four other states with a mandated program, which is great to have when the need arises. The limitations become apparent during an extended pregnancy leave.

A supplemental policy can radically improve the answer to some common concerns about the state sponsored short-term disability insurance in California. Consider these common requests, and find detailed answers below:

  • How much do you get and how long does it last?
  • How does it work for pregnancy and childbirth?
  • How do you apply for benefits?

CA Disability Maximum Amount

The first very common question heard is “how much do you get for short-term disability in California?” The answer is not always straightforward, as the formula is complex, and you want to compare the maximum benefit to your take-home-pay before your medical condition began.

What the State Pays

Calculate the California short-term disability maximum benefit amount by looking at your most recent income over several base periods. There are two key points to the calculation.

  1. The CA state disability program uses a formula that equates to payments of about 55% of gross income. These payments come to you free of taxes, and other deductions. For many people this may result in an increase in spendable income.
  2. There is a weekly maximum benefit amount of $987. Workers earning more than $93,387 annually will hit this weekly maximum amount.

Increase the Maximum Benefit Amount

Personal short-term disability insurance in California allows you to increase the maximum benefit amount. The maximum amount on a supplemental policy may go as high as seventy percent when combined with the state plan. Remember that without adding to your amount, the best outcome translates into a 45% pay cut. Many people find it difficult to make ends meet with this type of income loss.

CA Short-Term Disability Extension

The second question with a new answer is “how long can you stay on short-term disability in California?” The state program duration is twelve months if continuously unable to work. Your medical condition may last longer, and you may need an extension.

Private, supplemental policies provide a claims payment extension of up to twelve additional months. Many believe that Social Security will extend claims payments after the state program reaches its limitation of twelve months. This is not always true.

The definition of disability is much stricter for Social Security. The state program pays for temporary medical conditions. Social Security only pays for permanent conditions. If you expect to recover at some point, you may not qualify for an extension beyond twelve months.

California Short-Term Disability Pregnancy

The third question with a new answer is “how does California short-term disability work for pregnancy and maternity leave?’ Both the state and private supplemental plans work in the same way in term of qualifications, and requirements. The primary difference boils down to whether somebody wants to increase the maximum claim payment amount while on maternity leave.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

Pregnancy is a planned event for many couples. The state plan automatically enrolls most people. Private policies covering pregnancy require an action: enroll in a plan prior to conception. Pregnancy is a preexisting condition for private supplemental plans.

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. The California Pregnancy Disability Leave Act allows for four months of job-protected leave. The state plan provides a maximum claim payment of fifty five percent.

Four months is a long time to go with a forty-five percent pay cut. Increase the maximum claim payment amount during your pregnancy bed res. Purchase a supplemental policy prior to conception.

Maternity Leave and Childbirth

In California, both the state and private policies cover mom’s recovery from childbirth, 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.

Since normal childbirth is often a planned event, it makes great sense to purchase a private supplemental policy. The carriers do not always view the opportunity the same way, as these policies are money losers.

Policies sold as voluntary employee programs allow workers to cover childbirth, and create maternity leave pay. Get the policies at work, and pay the premium through payroll deduction. Enjoy additional income replacement to supplement what CA Paid Family Leave might pay out.

Applying for Benefits

The last question whose answer has changed is “how do you apply for California short-term disability benefits?’. The first part of the answer remains the same for people inquiring about the state-sponsored plan. There may be two additional places to apply.

  1. Apply for CA state disability benefits through the EDD website.
  2. Apply for private payments by filing a claim with your carrier.

Enjoy a California short-term disability maximum benefit increase. Start by requesting a quote, and then learn how to get a policy covering normal childbirth if an increase in maternity leave income would help your family.

Image credit: kbuntu / 123RF Stock Photo

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