Short Term Disability and Maternity Leave? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone used short term disability insurance for their maternity leave?

I'm hoping to on maternity leave the end of next school year. We're signing up for next year's insurance options now. My school contract covers the first 6-8 weeks, but I have to come back once the the doctors gives the OKs, or stay off w/o pay. In the past I've always taken more, dispite the loss in pay. Would the disability insurance pick up after the 6weeks, or not? Is anyone familiar with this?

Thanks!
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#2 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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I think it depends on the plan/employer.

When I was off on maternity leave, the company's short-term disability didn't kick in until I was off for 20 consecutive working days - 4 weeks! It then picked up the difference between day 21 and day 30.

So the 6 week paid maternity leave that I was expecting was actually only two paid weeks. I was fortunate to have enough sick and vacation days to fill the gap.

Now that I am an employer, I have reviewed plans were short-term disability kicks in right away. It is much more expensive than the plans that have a waiting period. The length also varies between plans.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#3 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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They do not run consecutively, at least not in California.
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#4 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CandyApple View Post
Has anyone used short term disability insurance for their maternity leave?

I'm hoping to on maternity leave the end of next school year. We're signing up for next year's insurance options now. My school contract covers the first 6-8 weeks, but I have to come back once the the doctors gives the OKs, or stay off w/o pay. In the past I've always taken more, dispite the loss in pay. Would the disability insurance pick up after the 6weeks, or not? Is anyone familiar with this?

Thanks!
Mine doesn't. My disability policy covers the basic 6-8 weeks. I'm paid $25/day when receiving sick leave. After I use up my sick leave, I get 25% of my daily contracted salary. Anything after my doctor clears me to return to work is unpaid, both by disability policy and through my district.

I'm still glad I have the policy, though, because I don't have a ton of sick leave.
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#5 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CandyApple View Post
Has anyone used short term disability insurance for their maternity leave?

I'm hoping to on maternity leave the end of next school year. We're signing up for next year's insurance options now. My school contract covers the first 6-8 weeks, but I have to come back once the the doctors gives the OKs, or stay off w/o pay. In the past I've always taken more, dispite the loss in pay. Would the disability insurance pick up after the 6weeks, or not? Is anyone familiar with this?

Thanks!
Not in my state. Your 12 week family leave runs the same time as your disability. So I could take 12 week mat leave and 6 were paid. After that, it was unpaid.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I believe you have to actually check your own specific policy as they can differ. Normally, from what I've seen (in the US and Canada), you wouldn't qualify as "disabled" under the disability plan, (typically means you can't perform your or a comparable job) beyond the first 6-8 weeks.

Some companies have a "top up" plan that would provide pay during a maternity leave under the disability policy, but it would not be short term disability, (it would be the maternity leave top up under your STD policy) if that makes sense.

So - short answer - ask your HR dept if it's a company provided policy or check your policy if it's an individual one.
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#7 of 15 Old 05-27-2008, 10:51 PM
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I got pregnant before FMLA kicked in so all of my maternity leave was short term disability. I was paid at 65% of my salary for 3 months this way. Check your employment packet for details or talk to whoever is the school district equivalent of HR. -Maybe the teachers union?
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#8 of 15 Old 05-28-2008, 02:03 AM
 
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The thing about short term disability insurance is that it's not really designed as maternity leave -- it is covering your loss in salary while recuperating from the "disability" of pregnancy and childbirth . So it always begins and ends when the "disability" begins and ends as defined by the policy. For mine it is two weeks before expected due date to six weeks after for vaginal birth and eight weeks for c-section. And of course if you have additional complications preventing you from working and signed off by the dr this can be extended. Anything additional that is actually maternity leave would run concurrently to this coverage.

I think the entire concept is rather ridiculous but hey it's better than no pay which is what I would get otherwise. Before I went off BC I was sure to change my coverage from 30-day waiting period to 7-day waiting period. The premiums are only slightly higher and I'll get a lot more pay when my leave starts. It only pays 70% of my salary though : and our university thinks its so family friendly, yeah 7 weeks at 70% salary who could ask for more? :

Oh yeah, also check to see if you are obligated to exhaust your sick time before short term disability coverage starts. I have to use ALL my sick time first, even if I have more than is needed to cover the 7-day waiting period. Of course the mother of a newborn has no need for sick time right? : :

I guess the point of my rant is that short-term disability insurance is a very poor substitute for actual paid maternity leave,
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#9 of 15 Old 05-28-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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Me too. I had to use all my sick days - then six weeks "disability" - both of which were considered part of the 90 day FMLA. The remainder of the 90 days are unpaid. I really wish FMLA was separate. I'd have loved the option to take a 3 month leave of absence once disability ended, rather than just an additional six weeks.

Keep in mind that the amount of time you get for disability (I think 6 weeks vaginal / 8 weeks c-section) is standard, and is based on your insurance holder's policy - does not come from your doctor.
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#10 of 15 Old 05-28-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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Depends on how your STD plan is written. Our plan pays concurrently with any PTO you use during FMLA (our FMLA company policy requires that you use your PTO while on FMLA). So, its gravy if you have enough PTO saved to cover your leave. And like others, it has a defined benefit for childbirth - 6 or 8 weeks.

I've looked at other plans which don't pay out until your PTO is gone. Most every STD plan is going to have an exlusionary period, usually 5-8 days before benefits kick in.
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#11 of 15 Old 05-28-2008, 06:21 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Caneel;11327070]I think it depends on the plan/employer.

When I was off on maternity leave, the company's short-term disability didn't kick in until I was off for 20 consecutive working days - 4 weeks! It then picked up the difference between day 21 and day 30.

So the 6 week paid maternity leave that I was expecting was actually only two paid weeks. I was fortunate to have enough sick and vacation days to fill the gap.

QUOTE]


That was exactly how it was for me. I felt so ripped off! I think the key is saving as much vacation/sick time as humanly possible to fill in the gap.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
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#12 of 15 Old 05-29-2008, 08:19 AM
 
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It really depends on your plan. The company I used to work for didn't have a maternity leave, but you were covered under the disability plan, and they also had you use FMLA concurrently with your disability. They would only cover 6 weeks for a vaginal birth, but i had other issues which extended it.

Talk to your HR person and good luck!
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#13 of 15 Old 05-29-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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Our plan has a 2 week waiting period, then pays 66% up to 16 weeks or until your Dr. releases you to go back to work, and it doesn't make a distinction between childbirth or any other illness/injury/recovery. When we decided to TTC, it was time for my annual gyn visit and I asked if he was a stickler for releasing people back to work or if he could work with me on the STD, and he said he would release me to work whatever day I wanted him to. I'll use PTO to cover the 2 week waiting period.
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#14 of 15 Old 05-30-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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my plan paid me for 6 weeks of work (based on my salary at a reduced rate, of course). If I had had a C-section, I would have gotten 8 weeks of money. It was so confusing, though! Before my leave I had no idea what to plan for. I ended up taking all of my sick days from work, which got me about a month, and I got paid the disability for the first six weeks. Then I had unpaid FMLA for another six weeks.
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#15 of 15 Old 06-02-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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This is a sore issue with me. I really dislike the way that maternity "leave" is handled in the US. Every company is different, but most do not offer maternity leave at all (just short term disability, and not all companies offer that either). It's times like these that I really wish I lived in Europe where they give decent/appropriate maternity leave.

My current company offers 6 weeks of short term disability (STD), at 65% pay. However, I cannot take STD until I have taken 1 full week of my own sick leave first. Because my company has over 50 employees, I am also eligible for the Federal FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), but that only assures that my company can't fire me during the extended (but unpaid) leave of absence. If I do decide to take the full FMLA amount, it is 90 days minus the 1 week of my own leave, and minus the 6 weeks of STD.

Christine, Perpetually Sleep-Deprived Mama to Sylvia (01/2005) and Stefan (07/2008)
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