New York State Short-Term Disability for Maternity Leave

Yes, you can use short-term disability in New York for pregnancy disability before birth and maternity leave while recovering from labor and delivery.

Apply for benefits by completing the correct claim form, which might vary for residents commuting from New York State to work.

The amount New York State Disability Insurance pays is microscopic compared to Paid Family Leave.

NYS short-term disability benefits can last up to twenty-six weeks, but women should never collect more than fourteen weeks for any pregnancy-related claim.

Learn how to maximize your total maternity leave benefit by limiting your time collecting disability checks.  

Applying for NYS Pregnancy Disability

You apply for short-term disability benefits for pregnancy in New York State by completing the appropriate form correctly and submitting the signed paperwork to the designated authority.

NYS Form

Apply for NYS short-term disability for maternity leave by completing the appropriate form (DB 450 or DB 200) and submitting it to the correct insurance company. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid delays in receiving the claim checks.

The New York State Disability form could be DB 450 or DB 300, depending on whether you were actively working or receiving unemployment compensation.

Have your doctor or gynecologist fill out and sign part B of the application form: complete question 7E, providing the month, day, and year.

  • The estimated delivery date for pregnancy complications before birth
  • The actual delivery date for recovery from labor and delivery

Submit the completed form to the private insurance company selected by your employer to manage the coverage, as mandated by NYS law. You should find posters displayed prominently in break rooms and other common areas.

Private Form

Apply for short-term disability benefits through a private insurance company if you purchased a supplemental policy to boost the size of your maternity leave.

Many women buy private short-term disability before getting pregnant because the NYS weekly amount of only $170 is woefully inadequate (see next section below). You must purchase the extra coverage before conception to avoid pre-existing health condition exclusions.

Commuter Form

New York residents who commute across state borders to their job cannot apply for NYS short-term disability during pregnancy as the law covers workers. Therefore, women must complete the claim form based on where they work, not live.

How Much is NYS Disability for Maternity Leave

The question of how much NYS short-term disability pays during maternity leave raises a critical issue that can sneak up and bite mothers unaware of the consequences.

You cannot collect disability benefits (NY SDI) and Paid Family Leave (NY PFL) simultaneously. You have to pick one. Fortunately, the choice is evident before and after birth, but for a different rationale.

 Percent of IncomeWeekly MaximumReason
NY SDI50%$170Self
NY PFL67%$1,068Others

Pregnancy Leave

NYS short-term disability for pregnancy leave pays a maximum of $170 per week or 50% of your income, whichever is less when you must stop working before the birth of your baby.

During this phase, the tiny disability benefit is your only option because the PFL program addresses the care of family members, not your medical condition.

Women buy supplemental short-term disability insurance before conception to increase the weekly benefit by several magnitudes. An extended work absence before birth (see below) can last months, and many families cannot survive on the minuscule amount paid by the NYS program.

Maternity Leave

NYS short-term disability for maternity leave pays the same maximum of $170 per week or 50% of your income, whichever is less when you must stop working after the birth of your baby to recover from labor and delivery.

However, during this phase, you pick which program to utilize, and the choice is clear. NY PFL pays up to six times more ($1,068 weekly) while you bond with your baby!

How Long is NYS Pregnancy Disability Leave

The question of how long NYS short-term disability lasts for pregnancy-related issues raises a second critical issue that might cause harm to mothers unaware of nuances in the law. Never go beyond fourteen weeks!

The total combined NY SDI and NY PFL over any 52-week period may not exceed 26 weeks.

Before Birth

NYS short-term pregnancy disability leave can last up to twenty-six weeks before birth if your gynecologist requires you to stop working six months before your due date.

Valid medical complications of pregnancy that might prevent you from working before birth include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, severe morning sickness (Hyperemesis Gravidarum), lower back pain, Sciatica, High blood pressure (Pre-eclampsia or Toxemia), and other reasons.

However, mothers-to-be should consider limiting their pregnancy disability leave to fourteen weeks even if they will be out of work longer. In other words, you will be better off getting nothing initially.

NY PFL lasts up to twelve weeks while paying six times more! You do not want to lose a $1,068 benefit and replace it with $170 if you collect disability for more than fourteen weeks.

After Birth

NYS short-term disability for maternity leave can also last up to twenty-six weeks after the birth of your baby, but you should never collect more than fourteen weeks in total (see above).  

Postpartum, you get to choose the program because mothers bond with their baby (others) while recovering from labor and delivery (self). The decision is apparent.

  • NY PFL: lasts up to twelve weeks at up to $1,068 weekly
  • NY SDI: continues up to fourteen weeks at $170 per week
    • Vaginal delivery: 6 weeks
    • C-Section birth: 8 weeks
    • Postpartum medical complications: undefined