Pregnancy and starting a family is one of the most exciting times of your life — minus the finances. For mother’s especially, this means time away from work, which is something not everyone can afford to do. 

Currently under the Family Medical Leave act (FMLA), employers have to let new parents take up to 12 weeks off, with a job guarantee upon return. However, the law doesn’t require employers to pay for that time off. Most employers provide paid time off for new parents because it’s required by the state, or it’s a company benefit. But if either of those aren’t the case, the parents are unfortunately the ones absorbing the costs. 

So the question stands — is there an option for new parents who don’t have a requirement by state or company benefit? The answer is yes: pregnancy disability insurance. 

pregnancy disability insuranceWhat types of insurance options are there for expecting parents? 

There are two variations of disability insurance in general: short-term and long-term. Each plan varies in how long you receive benefits for, and the plan that’s right for you depends on your unique situation. For example, a short-term plan provides some sort of paid benefits during and after pregnancy, where a long-term plan might be better suited for a mother who is experiencing long-term complications from the pregnancy. Any insurance plan you receive outside of your business provided plan is called an individual insurance policy. What’s right for you depends on the coverage your employer provides, as you may need an additional individual policy on top of your existing employer plan.

How do short-term disability insurance policies work for expecting parents? 

Luckily, giving birth is considered pregnancy disability insurance in a short-term disability insurance policy. Short term disability payments typically last for six weeks after a normal delivery, and eight weeks for a C-section. In some cases, policies can also provide eight weeks of benefits if you’re giving birth to twins or triplets.

If you’re worried about complications affecting your short-term disability plan, there’s no need to worry. Complications from delivery can extend benefits beyond the normal length. The creators of these policies are aware that one in four pregnancies have complications, and this can result in additional time taken off from work. In addition, 15% of pregnancies can result in postpartum depression, in which case short-term disability might be a must-have. 

The start of your disability period begins on the day you give birth. However if you need to leave work before delivery, the insurance company will consider you disabled when you’re unable to perform the main duties of your job. It’s important to note though that while disability can start before the day you give birth, most policies say that you can’t start disability payments earlier than four weeks before your due date.

How do long-term disability insurance policies work for expecting parents? 

The biggest difference with a long-term disability policy is that it doesn’t provide benefits for the birth itself, or a C-section. However this policy certainly comes in handy if you’re experiencing long-term complications as a result of the pregnancy. Another important thing to keep in mind is that a long-term disability insurance policy has what’s called an elimination period, which is the period of time when a disability occurs and when the benefits are paid. These periods typically last from 30 days to a year, although a typical length is between 60-90 days. 

We hope this information will help point any expecting parents in the right direction! If you have questions on whether or not you should hire a disability lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact us today.