The United States is much different from many other countries. Many employment and labor issues are left to states and employers to decide. The federal government does not overreach.
This can be seen with maternity leave laws in the U.S. There are a few federal laws that apply across all fifty states, but each regulation has qualifying criteria, leaving many holes.
State-based financial assistance programs display the widest array of outcomes during pregnancy. Expectant women often need to stop working because of complications. Of course, she also needs time to recover from childbirth.
Things even out a bit when you consider programs to help with the extra medical expenses. While pregnant, women have an additional need for prenatal care, and delivery in the hospital.
Single parents often struggle with half the income, and double the expenses and responsibility. Making ends meet is an ongoing challenge under the circumstances.
Many state programs provide financial assistance for these families. However, the aid does not always come with clear labels and directions for use. Find some help here.
Many state based health benefit programs fill holes in federal programs such as paid maternity leave. Too many couples find themselves in a financial bind when mom stops working to deliver her baby, and spend time bonding with her infant.
Find a variety of options to help you survive.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides needed job protection rights to qualified employees for up to twelve weeks. Unfortunately, this is unpaid leave.
Many families find it very difficult to cope with the increased expenses associated with a sick family member, combined with lost income. Private and state government programs may provide some financial assistance.
State temporary disability insurance is often assumed as a given health benefit program. Only five have a mandated program, and many people expect the government to replace their income when they are injured or sick.
Unfortunately, things do not work that way. Most people need to purchase a private policy.
The number one motivator of phone calls to our office comes from women concerned about how to pay their bills while out on pregnancy and maternity leave. Most women take an unpaid leave, and fail to realize that short-term disability must be purchased prior to conception.
Six states allow women to collect unemployment compensation for her own disability. Sixteen others allow it to care for a sick family member.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides partial income replacement for workers who have a serious illness or injury expected last a year or longer or result in death.
The approval process is lengthy. You may need to make a reconsideration request or file for a hearing to appeal a declination decision. Several forms of possible state-based financial assistance can help families with children survive in the interim.
Collecting unemployment benefits after you quit work due to health reasons works as a source of financial assistance in only a handful of states. FMLA rules can actually hurt your cause if you cannot return to work.
Six states allow residents to collect because of their own medical condition. Sixteen other states exclude this definition, but allow benefits for the care of a seriously ill family member.
New parents of multiple babies born too early often face unreimbursed medical expenses such as insurance deductibles and out of network charges from specialty doctors and other hospital contractors. You could also contend with unexpected non-medical expenses such as travel, parking, and lodging.
Now add in lost income for both mom and dad, who often must stop working or lose their jobs. Finding every conceivable form of financial assistance is now critical.