Short Term Disability Vent - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 14 Old 10-28-2009, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am going over all of my FMLA and leave paperwork. I was planning on taking all 12 weeks of FMLA. I was only off 8 weeks with DD (which was a c/s) and it felt so short. Our company doesn't offer any paid leave for maternity leave but I am enrolled in short term disability. I was SOOOOOO looking forward to having 12 weeks off. Well, it turns out that our Short Term Dis. company, Unum Provident, only approves 6 weeks of disability for a vaginal birth (8 for c/s) and you have to wait 2 weeks of being out of work before you start getting paid. So basically, I will only be getting 60% of my paycheck for 4 weeks and after that, if I want to be off longer, I am totally unpaid. I am really upset. If I was to take the entire 12 weeks then I would be completely unpaid for the last 6 weeks. We cannot afford that. I want to be able to enjoy my time off with the baby, not stressing out about money the whole time. Gah!!!!!!!! Another reason I hate hate hate insurance companies.

freethinking mom to DD 4/2006 and DS 1/2010
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#2 of 14 Old 10-28-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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we use the same company at my work. our co also gives you 2 weeks sick pay before your due date and then i used my 2 weeks vacation after my 6 weeks. do you have any sick-pay or vaycation options?

i still ended up going 3 weeks w/ no check while i was oout and didn't get paid at all for the week btw my due date and the actual birth.

a word of advice.... be sure your company re-activates you in their computer as soon as you are off of disability. i didn't know i needed to do anything other than turn in my paperwork and i ended up having to get cash advances on my 1st 3 payhecks.

we had the baby aug 7, went back to work oct 2 and my paycheck still isn't right yet.
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#3 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We earn our sick time & vac time per pay period so since my due date is Jan 15, I will only have like 1 pay period of earned time which will only be like 1 whole day, maybe 2.

freethinking mom to DD 4/2006 and DS 1/2010
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#4 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 09:41 AM
 
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you are lucky you have disability at all. my friend gave birth to her daughter 2 weeks early and it was just a few days before the 1 yr anniversary of her disability insurance, so she didn't get anything. My work didn't even qualify for having to offer FMLA, so I had to go back to work after just 2 weeks to keep my income (though I negotiated only PT).

think of the positives of getting some pay! ((hugs))

~ Professor Mama to Gabito (July '07) & Danita (April '10) ~
A PhD = + +
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#5 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 09:49 AM
 
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I had the same disability benefit, but the 6 weeks kicks in after the first two off. So, it's two weeks unpaid (or vacation) followed by 6 weeks of disability followed by unpaid leave. Are you sure your six weeks includes those two unpaid? I would double check.

Mama to DS1 (2/08) and DS2 (9/10).
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#6 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 10:02 AM
 
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I think my company uses the same STD administrator. I remember freaking out when I called them from my hospital bed after the birth and they said, "you've been approved for six weeks of leave.". I had expected eight because that's what HR had told me. But like some of the PPs the deal was that my company paid two weeks as a separate benefit. I don't think it runs concurrently--I think you get the full six weeks paid after the two weeks unpaid. And then under FMLA you can take the additional 4 weeks unpaid or use vacation to meet the yearly total of 12 weeks. Can you carryover vacation or borrow against future accruals?

Sarah, with 3.5 yo DD Charlotte + brand new baby Eleanor Jane April 28, 2010
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#7 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 10:03 AM
 
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.

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#8 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 10:18 AM
 
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OP - I sooo feal your pain/frustration!

I had the same nasty surprise. I can't remember the name of the company my employer used. It was presented at 6 weeks of STD.

But you had to be off for 4 weeks before the benefit would kick in and you needed to use all your sick and vacation time during that waiting period.

Through a lucky and crazy set of circumstances relating to my hire date, changes in policy and the bank being acquired by another bank, I ended up with a large amount of sick and vacation time to use and I had my first 4 weeks covered.

STD covered 60% of the last 2 weeks of the supposed 6 weeks of STD period.

I had read the HR policy manual over and over again and asked a ton of questions. Somehow the 4 week waiting period escaped my attention and even after it was pointed out to me, the wording in the policy still seemed vague to me.

Needless to say, the STD benefit was not what I expected it to be.

I know something is better than nothing but it really p-ed me off as I felt that me, who thought she was hyper-informed was taken by surprise, what a very unpleasant surprise someone who was more trusting would experience.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#9 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Just went through the exact same shock with a different company (Colonial Life). I didn't have any coverage when I was out with dd-- took 8 wks unpaid and it was very, very difficult financially and I was not ready to come back. I was so excited when my new company offered 12-week STD and signed up as soon as I could-- even SAT DOWN WITH THE REP and worked out hard numbers re: the coverage, what to budget for during maternity leave, etc. when open enrollment came around again (and I renewed my policy) this past August.

NEVER ONCE did she mention that while most "disabilities" are covered for 12 weeks, a "normal" delivery is only covered for six. I am certain that was not presented to me-- it is not mentioned in ANY of the print materials I have, only the downloadable claim form-- or I probably would not have even signed up for the coverage, considering at this point I have paid in nearly as much as I would have taken out... could have set up my own savings plan and probably been far better prepared.

I called and griped at the rep who didn't have much to say. Live and learn... too bad you have to learn from the claim form instead of from the kindly salesfolks.

Mother, Wife, Worker Bee. Mama to Clara (10/05) and Ophelia (12/09)
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#10 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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I get a pretty decent maternity leave for being in the US. I get 6 weeks STD as well, with the first week as a waiting period where I use PTO. I will be able to get 100% pay for those 6 weeks. My HR was very clear every time I called so I knew exactly what to expect, which was really nice. I'm glad I didn't have to deal with any surprises right after delivery. I get 12 weeks unpaid FMLA after my disability ends from my employer, but since I am in CA the first 6 weeks I'm partially paid through the state (I think maybe 60%?). The last six weeks are completely unpaid, but I can always go back to work if I need to then.

Kirsten, mama to Monkey since May 2007 and Bean born 11/7/09
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#11 of 14 Old 10-29-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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I have to say that I am glad my current job even offers STD. At my last one when DD was born I had to use all of my sick and vacation time and then had to go back to work at 5 weeks pp with NO sick or vaca time left. I am very thankful that there was a VERY nice coworker who asked if she could donate a week of sick time to me as I was having some really bad problems with mastitis and abcesses. Otherwise I would have been screwed. Oh yeah, this was February when I went back so I had a whole year to deal with no vaca time and a new baby. Gahh. I hated those days. And we wonder why so many moms are dealing with PPD...
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#12 of 14 Old 10-30-2009, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the commissering. : )

I triple checked all the policy info today with my HR person. The STD company only approves 6 weeks which includes the 2 week unpaid period. I'm thankful that I will have 4 weeks of pay (60% pay, that is) but I guess I feel like they are very misleading since like a PP said, when they do the benefits meetings they say that STD provides you with income for 12 weeks of disability.

I will be able to afford those first 2 weeks unpaid. Our company doesn't roll over any sick or vac time and they won't allow you to borrow any in case you don't come back after your leave, etc. But that's fine anyway because I want to make sure I have plenty of time left for the rest of the year to take off. I just have to get used to the idea now that I'm only taking 6 weeks off instead of 12. I was realllllllly looking forward to those long 12 weeks.

I am so glad I have never had an urge to work in the insurance industry. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

freethinking mom to DD 4/2006 and DS 1/2010
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#13 of 14 Old 10-31-2009, 01:30 PM
 
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I hear you, hon. It SUCKS in the US. Is there any way you can go back part-time for a few weeks? Then you would have some money coming in but still get a little time at home. I had the same thing the last time I was pregnant. Six weeks @ 60%. This time I will get 8 weeks paid after using 1 week vacation. Then I'll take 4 weeks unpaid. Then DH will take 8 (or so) weeks unpaid and the baby will go to daycare. We're very fortunate that we can take this time. I'm encouraging DH to take all 12 FMLA unpaid but he's just too nervous about the money. It would be tight, but it wouldn't kill us.

And my HR was like totally clueless about the actual benefit last time. It was ridiculous. I read over all of the info and thought one thing, boss read it over and thought something different and HR told all of us a third thing! I didn't get what HR said I would, so I complained to the boss. He complained and 3 paychecks and 6 weeks AFTER I came back, it was still wrong, but I was ahead so boss said Forget IT!

Third generation WOHM. I work by choice.
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#14 of 14 Old 10-31-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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ya, it's a total ripoff.
I was told that the "disability" part of beig out with a newborn is just the first 6 weeks, since that is the medical leave portion of beign out, and the 2nd 6 weeks is considered "family" leave, which isn't that you are physically unable to work, but choosing to not work for family reasons.

CPST
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