New Jersey short term disability insurance is a great way for women to increase their level of maternity income, and allow for income replacement that spans all nine months of her pregnancy, plus time to recover from childbirth.
The state has a rich set of regulations providing partial income replacement that may not pay enough, often ends too soon, and where eligibility is limited. Private short term disability insurance in NJ can fill address these three primary shortcomings.
- Where to apply for benefits?
- Payment duration, eligibility, and benefit amounts
- How does it work for pregnancy?
NJ Short Term Disability Pregnancy
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.
The state program makes payments for twenty six weeks. What if you are unable to work for more than six months?
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.
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. Get a short term disability quote for individuals and see for yourself.
The state 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.
NJ State Payment
Pay Cut %
NJ Short Term Disability: Pregnancy, Maternity Leave
Private New Jersey short term disability insurance for pregnancy bed rest and maternity leave addresses another 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.
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.
Did 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, plus 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 found above. 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 in advance. 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. There is often an express pregnancy claim form that 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.