Many new parents rightfully want to know how long maternity leave lasts in Indiana and how much money they might get while bonding with their adopted or newborn baby.
The answer depends greatly on whether you work for the government or in the private sector. In general, public employees enjoy much richer benefits than do the taxpayers working for private companies who support them.
First, many public employees qualify for income support during their time off, while only a minority have similar benefits through their company.
Second, FMLA covers all government agencies automatically, while small businesses do not have to comply.
Paid Maternity Leave in Indiana
The length and amount of paid maternity leave in Indiana vary considerably depending on whether mom and dad work for the government or the private industry.
Paid parental leave is rare for individuals working in the private industry as Indiana does not have a law mandating this benefit. Most people in this category rely on the generosity of their employer and short-term disability.
The lack of income support for many individuals working in the private sector means that parents often must turn to alternative means of support to survive.
Government financial assistance during maternity leave could help parents reduce expenses, which allows your limited cash inflow to stretch further.
- Subsidies for health insurance coverage
- Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance)
- Women Infants & Children (WIC)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- IRS-supported tax savings
Short-term disability in Indiana sometimes offers partially paid (up to 2/3) maternity leave for mothers working in the private sector. However, they must buy a policy to be eligible to file a claim.
- The state does not have a mandatory temporary disability program
- Coverage must begin before conception to qualify for benefits
The duration of the short-term disability claims payments can range widely depending on policy features and the length of time mom cannot work for a covered medical reason.
- Pregnancy disability before birth: up to 26 weeks
- C-section birth: 8 weeks
- Vaginal delivery: 6 weeks
- Postpartum medical disorders: up to 26 weeks
Filing for unemployment during maternity leave is unlikely to help parents working in the private sector find an alternative means of income support. You do not meet the most critical criteria while disabled or performing caretaking duties.
- Physically able to work
- Available for suitable employment
- Actively seeking a new job
Collecting unemployment after you are able and available is also unlikely to help as Indiana law has a strict definition for good cause reasons for quitting and does not allow for the employee’s disability or the need to care for a family member. 
State government employees in Indiana can tap into three different resources, which combine to determine whether their paid parental leave benefits last 6, 8, or 12 weeks.
- Short-term disability with a 30-day elimination period
- New parent leave (full pay for 150 hours)
- Accrued time off varies based on availability
Mothers suffering pregnancy complications could enjoy partial income replacement benefits beyond the standard 12 weeks via short-term disability. However, the legal job protections for her state government job do not extend as far.
The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) makes parental pay available to specific civilian employees in the US Government. FEPLA provides 12 weeks of paid time off for FMLA-eligible personnel connected with the birth or placement (for adoption or foster care) of a child. 
Federal employees working in civilian roles in Indiana could qualify for this benefit and work for one of the many agencies located in the state.
- Department of Veteran Affairs
- Department of Defense
- Department of Commerce
- Many others
FMLA Indiana Rules
The federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) rules determine how long the two sets of legal job rights last in Indiana.
- Restored to the same or equivalent job
- Continue health insurance on the same terms
These two legal rights could last zero or twelve weeks, depending on how a two-part rule applies to them. FMLA covers most parental absences for eligible employees who work for a covered employer.
The first FMLA rule is that Indiana parents must work for a covered employer to have twelve weeks of unpaid time off during maternity leave.
- All public (government) agencies and departments
- All public and private primary and secondary schools
- Companies with 50+ employees working within a 75-mile radius
Small business workers should consult their employee handbooks.
The second FMLA rule is that Indiana parents must fit the criteria for eligible employees to enjoy the twelve weeks of job protections during maternity leave.
- 12 months of tenure with the company or agency
- 1,250 hours worked over the preceding 12 months
Newly hired and part-time workers often must fend for themselves.
Summarizing the ideas covered above, we can break down the legal rights for fathers taking paternity leave in Indiana into two categories: paid time off and legal job protections.
Paid Time Off
Indiana fathers have fewer paid paternity leave options than mothers because they remain physically able to work at all times. But other alternatives are available for government employees.
- Short-term disability does not cover dads who remain able to work
- Collecting unemployment before or after is never viable
- Fathers who are state employees can tap two income support resources
- New Parent Leave
- Accrued time off
- Dads who are federal workers receive 12 weeks of compensation
Legal Job Protections
Indiana fathers enjoy twelve weeks of legal job and health insurance protections during paternity leave when they are FMLA eligible. Otherwise, dads must fend for themselves or take less time off.
- Fathers working for small businesses (under 50 employees) do not qualify
- Dads who recently changed jobs (12 months) do not meet the criteria
- Fathers who work part-time (less than 1,250 hours) miss the cutoff