West Virginia short term disability insurance is vital coverage for growing families in the Mountain State. The state also mandates coverage for infertility treatments, but only those participating in an HMO. You may end up with left-over medical bills.

Expenses often peak just as income drops when an illness or injury strikes. This combination puts many families in a financial bind. It doesn’t have to work this way. Learn how short term disability insurance works in West Virginia.

  • Implications of lost income
  • Applying for benefits
  • West Virginia laws regarding disability

WV Short Term Disability Benefits

West Virginia does not offer a state program. But a personal short term disability policy makes great sense for any growing family in West Virginia. Whether you live in West Virginia or any other state, if both parents are working, two incomes are needed to make ends meet. Any disruption in income can have a devastating impact on finances.

Implications of Lost Income

Often growing families work in thin margins. Saving are depleted to pay for infertility treatments, pregnancy related medical expenses, new furniture, baby clothing, diapers, infant formula. This list goes on and on. Accidents and illnesses can strike at any time. Growing families are more vulnerable because of the thin financial margins, and hectic lifestyles associated with raising a family.

You buy insurance to cover your house and care, why not buy a policy to protect your ability to pay for these things? Buying this insurance protects your income from any bout with unemployment due to your inability to perform the duties of your full time occupation because of a medical condition. For women with growing families, the policy can be self funding, making a purchase decision easily justified.

Get a short term disability quote to determine affordability.

During Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

West Virginia short term disability insurance can relieve some of the stress associated with working during pregnancy, and taking your maternity leave. So many parents face an unpaid leave from work, just as expenses start to rise for:

  • doctor and hospital costs
  • maternity clothing
  • baby furniture
  • infant formula, clothing, etc

Paid maternity benefits are very rare these days, as most employers find it difficult to fund pay continuation for employees no longer working and contributing. Forward thinking prospective parents can purchase coverage before getting pregnant, and enjoy income protection from an event planned in advance: a parental leave after a perfectly normal pregnancy, to bond with a perfectly healthy newborn.

Cover a Planned Event: normal childbirth

Short term disability covers maternity leave for normal childbirth in West Virginia. Women receive six weeks of income replacement for a vaginal delivery, and eight weeks for a c-section birth. A one or two week elimination period reduces this benefit by a little, but the amount paid directly to parents is often several times greater than the premium payments made in advance.

The policies often pay for themselves when the planned for event occurs. Then additional payments are often made when something unexpected happens: bed rest, an accident, mom gets sick, or her recovery from childbirth takes longer than expected.

Does this sound too good to be true? There must be a catch! These policies are only available through payroll deduction as a short term disability employee benefit. This type of individual coverage is not sold directly online. Parents looking for coverage that applies to normal pregnancy should look to their employer first for a voluntary option. We work with a network of agents located in West Virginia who would be happy to visit your local worksite to help you get covered.

Applying for Benefits

The first step in applying for benefits is to make certain you have a policy in place prior to your disabling event. Preexisting conditions are not covered during the first 12 months after the policy effective date. Complete a policy application through your employer to get covered.

Existing policy holders who need to apply for benefits should file a claims form. Claims forms can usually be downloaded directly from the issuing company’s website. Follow the instructions carefully before filing your claims paperwork.

West Virginia Laws Regarding Disability

West Virginia does not have any laws requiring state short term disability benefits. West Virginia state disability insurance is for long term conditions only. You must be totally disabled, and your inability to work must be expected to continue for one year or longer. Entitlements are not for temporary disabilities.

If you are permanently disabled you should contact the West Virginia DDS. This department administers Social Security compensation. There are two offices located in the state:

500 Quarrier Street, Suite 500
Charleston, WV 25301-2913
Professional Relations Officer
304-343-5055
800-344-5033

320 West Pike Street, Suite 120
Clarksburg, WV 26301-2913
Professional Relations Officer
304-624-0200
800-344-7813

Reproductive Rights

West Virginia requires that any HMO health insurance plan cover infertility as part of basic preventative care. If you are trying to conceive remember that you are also trying to become disabled for your parental leave. A high risk pregnancy may extend the amount of lost income. Make sure you include supplemental insurance in the mix.

Family Leave

The only family oriented state law in West Virginia is the infertility mandate. Several national regulations apply in every state. Employers meeting employee size and other criteria must comply. See how the laws work, what your rights might be, and if your employer is compelled to comply.

Image credit: lightscribe / 123RF Stock Photo

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