Short-term disability insurance covering normal pregnancy and childbirth creates maternity leave pay. Benefits may be paid when both mom and baby are perfectly healthy.
In addition, payments may also be made during pregnancy bed rest prior to delivery, or if postpartum complications delay your return to work. Accidents and non-pregnancy related illnesses may be covered as well.
Learn how short-term disability works when leaving work to have a baby. Below are steps you may want to take.
- Get an instant online quote
- Purchase a policy covering normal childbirth
- Apply for maternity benefits
Short Term Disability for Maternity Leave
Short-term disability insurance for maternity leave generates payments while you recover from normal childbirth. Having a policy allows you to spend more time bonding with your baby, and less time worrying about how to pay your bills. Apply for maternity leave benefits after your child is born by completing an express pregnancy claims form.
Maternity Leave Benefit Payments
Short-term disability makes a six-week cash payment for a vaginal birth, and an eight-week payment for a cesarean delivery. Payments begin after satisfying your policy elimination period, which is most commonly one or two weeks.
The maternity leave benefit payment is available when normal childbirth occurs nine months after the policy effective date. Make certain to buy your policy at the right time, at least three months prior to conception. Delays can and do happen, and not every pregnancy lasts a full nine months. One in eight babies are born early.
Short Term Disability before Pregnancy
The ideal time to begin thinking about short-term disability insurance is before getting pregnant. Most private policies contain two exclusions that impact pregnancy: one for preexisting conditions, and one for childbirth. In addition, these policies can be difficult to find and may require extra steps.
Quotes and Rates
Get an instant quote online to determine the monthly premium cost, and compare the cost to the expected payments for normal childbirth. Get an illustration of the cost relative to the amounts you may receive in return after giving birth. See examples of what the policy may also pay in the event of complications of pregnancy, premature birth, postpartum disorders, accidents, or an illness.
Policies covering normal childbirth are in great demand, but short supply. Your quote will illustrate the reasons why. The payment for delivering a perfectly healthy baby may be several multiples of the premium paid in advance, making your policy self-funding.
How to Purchase a Policy
Purchase a policy covering normal childbirth through a voluntary employee benefit offering. What has overwhelming advantages to growing families is a money loser for insurers. Therefore, there are a few extra steps needed in order to qualify.
The biggest tripping point for most people is the need to purchase your policy through an employer. Many site visitors are seeking policies that can be purchased online directly as an individual. If you want a policy that generates maternity leave income for recovery from normal childbirth, there is only one source. If not available at work, we can help you ask for the option to pay for the policy yourself via payroll deduction.
Short Term Disability during Pregnancy
Many people begin thinking about short-term disability during pregnancy. While expecting a baby we often become more aware of the need for income security after having a baby. However, income security may also be important when mom needs to take leave before giving birth. The policy works differently during pregnancy depending upon when coverage begins: before or after conception.
Pregnancy Preexisting Conditions
Short-term disability pregnancy preexisting conditions are generally not covered. Most policies contain exclusions for preexisting medical conditions. Two pregnancy-related policy exclusions generate the majority of denied claims.
- A preexisting condition may mean, having a sickness or physical condition for which you were treated, received medical advice, or had taken medication within 12 months before the policy effective date. If you become disabled because of a preexisting condition, the policy will not make benefit payments if the disability occurs during the first 12 months the policy is in force.
- Giving birth as the result of a normal pregnancy, including Cesarean, which occurs within nine months of the policy effective date is excluded from coverage.
Purchasing short-term disability while pregnant may still be a good idea if you have access to policies covering normal childbirth through your employer.
Pregnancy Disability Leave Reasons
For women who purchase policies prior to conception there are a number of reasons to use short-term disability during pregnancy leave: high-risk pregnancies, miscarriage, bed rest, and complications.
High-risk pregnancies are most common with twin pregnancies, when the mother is older, or when other medical factors are involved. Having a high-risk pregnancy by itself does not qualify as a disability. Your doctor’s note must include a medical reason why you are unable to perform the primary duties of your full time occupation.
Ten to twenty percent of conceptions end in miscarriage. After miscarriage mom may miss time from work to recover. The length of the benefit payment will vary based upon the time needed to recover from the Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and return to work. A doctor’s note may be required when filing the claim.
Pregnancy Bed Rest
Doctors commonly prescribe pregnancy bed rest prior to delivering your baby. A doctor’s note prescribing bed rest must include a medical reason for the leave from work. Bed rest by itself is not a qualifying reason to file a claim.
Twenty five percent of pregnancies result in one or more medical complications. Your doctor may order you to take leave from work to protect your health, and the viability of your newborn. The most common complications covered under short-term disability insurance are:
- Ectopic Pregnancy - When the embryo implants outside the uterus
- RH Negative Disease - The mother develops antibodies against her baby
- Preterm Labor - Mother’s body tries to deliver the baby before reaching full development
- Group B Streptococcus - Bacterial infection in the vagina
- Placenta Previa - When the cervix is clogged by the covering layer of the uterus
- Gestational Diabetes - Mother’s body does not make enough insulin
Supplemental short-term disability is the policy type most in demand but hardest to acquire. The policies cover normal childbirth, in addition to complications. The one caveat that prevents more women from taking advantage is the requirement to purchase through payroll deduction at work. Ask your employer for a paid maternity leave option!
Reasons to Extend Maternity Leave
Postpartum problems are the most common reasons to extend short-term disability for maternity leave. Having a baby is a high-risk activity. Things may not go the way you envisioned. You may be injured during delivery, or develop an infection. The main disorders that might affect you after a vaginal delivery include fissures, infections, and postpartum hemorrhage. The leading risk factors include:
- A baby weighing more than 9 pounds
- Use of forceps or vacuum
- Repair of large tear
Delivery via C-section is a relatively safe surgical procedure, but entails a higher risk of complications as it is far more invasive. The most common disorders associated with this surgery are blood clots in your legs or lungs, anesthesia related nausea, and bowel movement problems (ileus).
Many new mothers experience postpartum depression after delivery. This change in mood may be caused by a variety of factors including:
- Changes in hormone levels
- Lack of sleep
- Changes in work relationships
You may experience feelings of extreme sadness, which may affect your ability to return to work. Check your policy language to see if mental disorders are part of the policy benefit. Many policies do not consider postpartum depression as a valid reason to extend short-term disability benefits.
Returning to Work
The length of benefit payments for short-term disability for maternity leave is determined by medical necessity. Benefit payments continue as long as your doctor indicates you are unable to work, or the policy benefit period ends.
Your plans for returning to work do not influence benefit payments. A choice to stay at home longer is unrelated to your medical condition. The same holds true for policyholders quitting their job after maternity leave, or facing job termination.
The policies are individually owned, meaning you can keep the policy in force if you separate permanently from your employer. That means that new mothers who quit work can keep coverage in force in case they plan to have another baby. Not every employer makes these plans available.