North Carolina short term disability is an important benefit for growing families. Expenses are often highest when couples are having children. This is not a good time to lose your income, but this is exactly what happens when mom takes her maternity leave.

Don’t assume that the state offers a program that automatically enrolls everyone. NC does not have a state benefit for temporary disabilities. Learn how private short term disability insurance works in NC.

NC Short Term Disability Benefits

North Carolina does not offer a state program. Personal short term disability policies in NC can safeguard your paycheck in the event an accident or illness makes it impossible to earn an income at your regular full time job. Many people think about only permanent conditions: falling off of a horse and being permanently confined to a wheelchair. The reality is most couples have thin financial margins and even minor disruptions cause big problems.

Why Insure a Paycheck?

First, you may have far more in debts than assets, and many of your assets are not liquid. Nobody wants to sell their home to pay for food. Many couples are living check to check when they are healthy thinking they will repay the debts with future earnings.

Second, seemingly minor physical ailments can cause a disruption in earnings. Women in particular work in professions that require physical activity. Nurses, teachers, beauticians, hair stylists, and many other job roles require you to be on your feet all day. Dental hygienists and office workers need the use of their fingers. Imagine tripping on the sidewalk. Your throw your hands out to break your fall, only to break both wrists.

For many couples a temporary cash squeeze makes it hard to pay your mortgage, car payments, etc. If any of these scenarios describe you, you may want to consider a North Carolina short-term policy.

Benefit Amounts

Short term disability in North Carolina can cover as much as sixty percent of your earnings to a maximum of six thousand five hundred dollars monthly. You can select from of range of elimination periods to match your financial cushion. Benefit duration varies depending upon the choices made at time of policy application. File a claim with your insurance carrier if the need arises.

Childbirth a Covered Benefit

Living expenses can be rough for a growing family. Most are just starting out, and not yet at peak earning years, but costs are often highest when couples decide to start having children. There may be out of pocket costs for infertility treatments along with normal challenges of an expanding family. Cost of living may be higher for those living and working in or near Charlotte, and the research triangle.

Maternity Leave

If you are contemplating pregnancy, think about the opportunity to buy a policy that pays benefits for something you influence: your normal pregnancy and healthy infant! North Carolina short term disability for maternity leave works by covering your recovery from normal childbirth. Your maternity leave benefit may be several multiples of the premiums you pay in advance.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

25% of pregnancies will experience one or more complications. You may miss weeks or months of work prior to your delivery. Your temporary policy may continue to replace a portion of your income during this time and help you protect your family finances. You may also experience some type of birth injury or postpartum complication that requires more time to heal than expected. Your doctor may ask you to stay away from work in order to properly recover. Once again, your policy may replace some of your lost earnings during this time.

Do one thing before getting pregnant – get your policy started. Normal delivery will not be covered until nine months after the policy effective date.

North Carolina Disability Laws

North Carolina does not have a law requiring state short term disability benefits for workers in private industry. You will need to purchase a policy for temporary work interruptions. But there are several related regulations that may apply to differing populations and circumstances.

State Employees

Teachers and state government workers do have state mandated coverage for off the job accidents and illnesses. Benefit payments last for up to 365 days or one year. The monthly benefit amount equates to fifty percent of income. Cash payments begin immediately after satisfying the elimination period. Only employees working for at least one full year are eligible.

Permanent Disabilities

North Carolina state coverage consists only of Social Security. Benefits are paid only for total and permanent conditions expected to last 52 weeks or longer. If you are medically unemployed and need help you should contact the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Parental Leave

North Carolina does not have state level laws addressing parental leave from work. There are several federal laws that apply to workers across the nation. Eligibility is based upon type of employer, number of employees, and the number of hours worked, and other criteria.

Unemployment Compensation

Many couples start a family without thinking ahead about a short term policy to cover maternity leave. Thanks to federal incentives that began in 2009, couples may be able to tap into unemployment benefits under certain circumstances. NC accepted the federal unemployment modernization incentives, and allows workers to use these benefits for a compelling family reason.

You can’t use unemployment benefits for your own condition. But you can to take care of an immediate family member with a disability, or a minor child with a health condition. So how does this apply to maternity leave benefits? There are two ways.

If mom experiences a pregnancy related medical condition, dad may be able to tap into unemployment insurance to take care of mom if she requires bed rest.

Sometimes infants are born prematurely, with birth defects, or with a serious medical condition. Twins, triplets, or any multiple pregnancies often deliver early. Preemies often are born with health problems that may require a parent to provide care at home. In this case, once mom is healthy enough to work, she may be able to leverage unemployment insurance to replace income while she cares for a sick infant.