New Jersey short term disability for pregnancy is a great way for women to increase their level of maternity income, and allow for income replacement that spans all nine months while she is expecting, plus time to recover from childbirth.

The state has a rich set of regulations providing partial income replacement. The program may not pay enough, often ends too soon, and has limited eligibility. Private short term disability insurance in NJ can address these three primary shortcomings.

  • How does it work for pregnancy?
  • Where to apply for benefits
  • Payment duration, eligibility, and benefit amounts

New Jersey Pregnancy Disability Leave

Private New Jersey short term disability insurance may cover pregnancy bed rest and maternity leave after normal childbirth. These policies address a big shortcoming in the NJ state mandated program: the income support payments may not last long enough if you encounter complications during pregnancy. There are two important limits to understand:

  • NJ Disability payments – stop after six months
  • Paid Family Leave (PFL) – stop after 6 weeks

During Pregnancy Bed Rest

Private NJ short term disability insurance for pregnancy can put your mind at ease during an extended bed rest. The state entitlements have limits that come into play with extended bed rest. You may be able to mitigate losses by optimizing your maternity health insurance options. You may be able to upgrade your plan if dealing with a complicated pregnancy. It all depends upon timing of open enrollment.

For most normal pregnancies, the limits do not come into play. However not every pregnancy is perfectly healthy. Suppose you experience a high-risk pregnancy and need to stop working in your first trimester. Your delivery does not go smoothly and you need extra time to heal before returning to work.

NJ maternity pay graphDid you notice the big doughnut hole in the middle of the chart? Having 6 months of disability coverage sounds like a long time, but it does not span a 9-month pregnancy, and the time needed to recover after delivery. When benefits are being paid you have at least a 1/3 pay cut or more. Then payments stop.

When you purchase your policy, make certain that you elect a benefit period of at least 12 months. This way you fill in the doughnut hole left by the state plan described in the chart. The over-insurance paid in the beginning months will come in handy when your state payments end.

Maternity Leave Payments

Private NJ short term disability insurance for maternity leave also increase the amount of money coming in while recovering from childbirth. Normal childbirth is an event many plan. You are automatically enrolled in the state program, but a private policy requires action prior to conception.

Applying for NJ Short Term Disability

Applying for New Jersey short term disability insurance can mean two different things: purchasing a policy, and filing a claim. To purchase a policy covering normal childbirth you need to complete an application for coverage prior to conception. Short term disability employee benefits work best in this scenario.

Filing your claim is straightforward for normal childbirth. Often an express pregnancy claim form streamlines the process. If an accident, illness, or pregnancy complication is involved your doctor and employer will need to complete a portion of the claim form. Fax the completed form to your carrier.

NJ Short Term Disability Benefits

Short term disability insurance in NJ supplements the state program mandated for private workers. It helps fill the three gaping holes by extending your payments for a longer duration, expanding the pool of covered residents, and increasing your level of income replacement.

Payment Duration

The state program makes payments for twenty-six weeks. A pregnancy lasts nine months. Recovery from normal childbirth can last two months or longer if postpartum problems arise. Your state benefits might run out.

Private short term disability insurance in NJ allows you to purchase a policy that makes payments for as long as twenty four months. You choose between four different payment duration options: three months, six months, twelve months, or twenty-four months.

Expanded Eligibility

The state program applies to people who work for private employers in New Jersey. Government workers are not automatically enrolled, or included in the state plan. Teachers are government workers and may not be eligible to participate unless their school district elects to join the voluntary plan.

New Jersey residents who commute into NY or PA are not covered by the state disability plan. Pennsylvania has nothing, and New York caps payments at $170 per week.

Residents who are not eligible for the state program can purchase a private policy through their employer, or directly as an individual. Self-employed workers also have options.

Benefit Amount

The New Jersey state temporary disability program replaces two-thirds of income with a weekly maximum benefit amount that is capped at $595 weekly beginning in 2014. The weekly maximum benefit amount applies to any worker earning more than $45,597 annually. If you earn more that this amount, you may not have an adequate level of income replacement protection.

Private short term disability in NJ allows you to increase your maximum benefit amounts to a more suitable level given your income. The maximum benefit amount can be increased to $6,500 per month for a private policy.

Find your income in the chart below to determine your level of income replacement via the state program.

Estimated Pay Cut Percentage

Annual Income

Weekly Income

NJ State Payment

Pay Cut %