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Can Short Term Disability Be Used For Maternity Leave

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Amount Of Money Youll Get From Maternity And Parental Benefits

Short-Term Disability for Expecting Mothers – Preview

EI maternity and parental benefits generally pay out only 55% of your income, up to a maximum amount.

The Quebec Parental Insurance Plan pays a maximum of 75% of your income, up to a maximum amount.

Youll need to pay tax on any benefits you get during maternity, parental or adoptive leave.

Understand Your Short Term Disability Coverage

Before you apply for Short Term Disability, its important that you understand your insurance coverage. If you are offered group disability coverage through your employer, contact your Plan The administrator or Human Resource staff to help understand the extent of the coverage, or consult your benefits booklet. In case your employer does provide this coverage, you will be required to make your claim through the group plan.

Although your employer does not offer short term disability coverage as part of their group plan, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance benefits. For more information on whether you qualify for EI, check out the government of Canadas website here.

Other elements of your coverage that are important to understanding are your coverage amounts, which relate to how much benefit you will receive and how often. You will also want to know when you will start receiving the benefit if the benefit is taxable, and if your plan covers the third party claims management service like the Disability Management Institute as do most plans at GroupHEALTH.

Family And Medical Leave Act

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 , an employee can take up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave for their own serious health condition or for parenting, among other things. Parenting leave must be taken within one year of the child’s birth. You can take up to 12 weeks off for all covered reasons. So, if you use three weeks of FMLA leave during your pregnancy, you will have nine weeks left to use for parenting.

The FMLA applies to both male and female employees. You are protected under the FMLA if you meet the following conditions:

  • You work for a business with 50 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. A business must count all employees on the payroll, including part-time employees and those on suspension or a leave of absence.
  • You have worked for the business for at least 12 months these months don’t have to be consecutive.
  • You have worked at least 1250 hours in the 12 months before your leave starts.

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor investigates violations of the FMLA.

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Paying For Health And Dental Benefits While On Parental Leave

Before you go on parental leave, find out:

  • how much health and dental coverage youll have while youre off work
  • if you have to pay premiums for health and dental benefits yourself
  • if your coverage or payments will change when you switch from individual to family coverage

If your employer doesnt cover health and dental benefits while youre on parental leave, you may be able to pay for these benefits yourself. Ask your employer for more information.

Remember to include any premiums you have to pay in your budget.

Coordinating insurance benefits

Coordinating your benefits with your spouse or partners insurance plan may allow you to claim up to 100% of your eligible expenses. Coordinated benefits allow you to submit one claim to your plan, and then submit a second claim to your spouse or partners plan to cover the rest of the expense.

Parental And Maternity Leave

Pregnancy Disability Insurance

The birth or adoption of a child is an exciting and life-changing experience. Its important for parents to have time to focus on caring for and bonding with their new child.

This page will help you understand the leave options available to you as a new parent, and link you to helpful resources for before and after your baby arrives.

You can print a one-sheet version of our maternity leave guide here.

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Is Your Job Protected While You Take Short

Unlike a leave of absence you might take under the Family and Medical Leave Act , short-term disability doesnt offer any direct job protection. Many people are surprised to hear that you can legally be fired from your job while on leave, and you also arent entitled to the exact same position when you return.

However, the Americans With Disabilities Act protects people who meet the ADAs definition of disability, and makes it far more challenging for companies who are covered by ADA to fire an employee due to their disability.

Before terminating an employee, the company must first determine whether or not there are any accommodations they could make that would allow the employee to adequately do their job.

The company must work with the employee to try several variations of accommodations in an effort to find something that works. If theres no reasonable way to enable that person to fulfill the essential responsibilities of their position, only then can the employer explore termination of the employee.

When Can Employees Take Leave For Personal Reasons

These are some instances that are protected by law and require you to administer a set amount of time for each one.

  • Jury duty
  • Voting
  • Military

If employees take a leave of absence thats not protected by law, then you have no obligation to return them to their position.

Ask them to try to provide as much notice as possible so you can prepare for their absence.

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Understand Your Recovery And Treatment Timelines

Work with your doctor to understand how much time you will be unable to work. Short term disability benefit terms depend on your insurance coverage, but commonly can provide you with income assistance for up to 6 months. If your doctor recommends that you remain off work for longer than 6 months, you may be required to apply for Long Term Disability benefits, if you have this coverage.

Understanding your timeline can also involve making a transition plan for returning to work. You should consult with your doctor or treatment team and your employer to ensure that you have a safe and viable return-to-work plan. This can include returning to light duties or starting back to work on a part-time basis.

How Does Short Term Disability Work If I Also Qualify For Fmla

Asking the Experts: Can I take both Paid Family Leave and Short-term Disability?

If you qualify for FMLA, most employers will require that you take your FMLA leave concurrently with your short-term disability period. In other words, if you are not working for 6-8 weeks after the birth of your baby and you are covered by short-term disability insurance, you will receive benefits during that time and then another 6-4 weeks of unpaid leave under FMLA .

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What Evidence Do You Have To Provide To Collect Short

Your physician will need to sign off on your claim form before you even submit your application, to vouch for the fact that your injury or illness prevents you from working.

After you submit your claim, your employer or the insurance company who administers your short-term disability plan will request that you submit your medical records so that they can review them and verify that theyre consistent with your disability claim. Contact your healthcare providers office to find out the best way to send those records over.

It can feel a little invasive to hand over these types of private documents, but know that its a standard part of the benefits process.

What Is Short Term Disability Insurance

Short term disability insurance replaces a percentage of your income if you experience a temporary injury or illness that prevents you from working. It is ideal for disabling events that may limit the ability to work, but people generally recover from â such as a plumber breaking a hand, a pilot undergoing back surgery, or a pregnant teacher giving birth. Short term disability coverage can be obtained individually from a private insurance company or as a part of a group, typically through your employer.

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Short Term Disability Vs Workers’ Compensation

It’s important to remember that short term disability insurance is different from workers’ compensation insurance, which provides coverage for injuries that occur on the job. Nearly 90 percent of disabilities are not work-related. Therefore, they are not covered by workersâ compensation.

If an injury or illness that limits your ability to work was caused by something unrelated to your job, workers’ compensation will not cover your lost income. Likewise, if you are injured or get sick from performing your job, short term disability insurance likely will not provide benefits during your absence from work.

Making Pension Contributions While On Parental Leave

Can You Use Short Term Disability For Maternity Leave ...

If you stop making pension contributions while youre on leave, youll have less money from your pension in retirement.

If you contribute to your employers pension plan, find out:

  • how much money you’ll lose in pension contributions while on leave
  • how you can continue to make pension contributions while on leave
  • how you can make up for skipped pension contributions once you return to work

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What Are Your Options If Your Short

The first thing to do is to carefully read the correspondence thats saying its not being approved, advises Bartolic. That will tell the person a lot, and will tell them what to do if they disagree with the decision.

Most disability plans in America are covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act , which means claims are reviewed through the lens of this federal law.

If your plan is covered by ERISA, the law requires that the denied individual be presented with a right to appeal that decision. Its a mandatory feature of it, explains McDonald. That period of appeal is 180 days. During that time, you have perhaps your single best opportunity to give evidence to the insurer or plan administrator about why theyre wrong and why youre entitled to those benefits.

If you go through the appeal process and still are unable to convince them of your disability, then unfortunately youll have to initiate a lawsuit.

Does Maternity Leave Count As Short

Youve probably heard of circumstances where people use their short-term disability for pregnancy and maternity leave. Doing so is fairly common, but whether or not youre able to do so yourself is also dependent on your plan.

We actually see a lot of short-term disability policies that specifically address maternity leave, explains Bartolic. These plans also will explain how much time off is offered for maternity leave, which can vary based on things like whether the mother had a vaginal birth or a c-section.

Some employers exclude maternity leave from their short-term disability plan and have an entirely separate program to address paid leave for childbirth.

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How Much Paperwork Is Involved

The exact paperwork youll be required to complete is again dependent on your specific plan. But the process typically begins with a relatively straightforward claim form that requires some information from you , your employer , and validation from your doctor that your condition prevents you from working.

Fortunately, if you find yourself confused about any of the documents or applications, you can ask for helpwhether its from your companys own HR department or even people at your doctors office.

I actually found the team at my physicians office to be extremely helpful, says Tiernan, who admits her own leave process was slightly more complicated, as she took advantage of both short-term disability and FMLA for the birth of her child .

They have a whole team dedicated entirely to filling out forms and navigating this process, so I was on the phone with them a lot. They helped me figure out the best forms to fill out, what the dates would be, and any follow-ups that I needed. They even spoke to my HR team directly here at the office.

Recommendations For Maternity Leave:

About Pregnancy Disability Insurance : Insurance Questions

There are a number of things you can do to make your maternity leave the best possible for both you and your employer:

  • Check-in with your human resources department to find out the details about your maternity leave options. This will help you plan for your best maternity leave options.
  • Sit down with your partner and evaluate what time you can afford to take. It is better for you and your employer to know the plan ahead of schedule.
  • After completing your first trimester, start the communication with human resources and those affected by your leave to help all parties prepare. Some employers are less friendly to pregnancy than others. You may need to evaluate the best time to share the news based on previous experiences you have witnessed in the office.
  • Provide your boss with suggestions and strategies to address your duties while you are gone, insights on what projects you are working on, and suggested co-workers to meet your responsibilities while on leave. This can help overcome the potential concerns noted above.

For Additional Information:U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division 200 Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC 20210 1-866-487-9243

Compiled using information from the following sources:

1. U.S. Department of Labor

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How Does Fmla Leave Intersect With The University’s Parental Leave Policy

The University of Colorado also has a Parental Leave policy that provides leave for faculty and university staff which runs concurrent with and may exceed the leave guaranteed by the FMLA.

  • The provisions of the Parental Leave Policy are intended to be interpreted in conjunction with the FMLA. Thus, leave taken under the Parental Leave Policy counts as part of, and is not in addition to, the twelve weeks of leave guaranteed by the FMLA.
  • Employees are entitled to six months of parental leave during which time they may use their accrued sick and vacation leave.
  • Employees shall inform the appropriate supervisor as early as possible of the intent to use parental leave.

Should I Stop Paying Into My Ltd Plan While On Maternity Leave

Leanne GoldsteinHome

Itis not uncommon for employers to provide employees with the option ofcancelling coverage for long term disability benefits when they go on maternityleave. While it might seem like a financial relief not to have to pay premiumsfor benefits while off on maternity leave, failing to pay those premiums comeswith several risks.

Manywomen experience pregnancy and childbirth without complication,however for some women, pregnancy and childbirth can wreak havoc on theirphysical and mental health. Patent and latent medical conditions, which may betriggered or aggravated by pregnancy, can significantly complicate pregnancyand post-pregnancy recovery.

Although certain pregnancy complications may be limited to the gestational period such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, cholestasis of pregnancy and anemia, other health issues might continue post-delivery. Postpartum depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from a traumatic birth experience, back pain related to or exacerbated by pregnancy, thyroid issues, deep vein thrombosis, urinary and cardiac issues are some of the post-pregnancy conditions that we have seen in our disability law practice.

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How To Apply For Short

If youre wondering how to get short-term disability approved while pregnant, the process begins by talking with your human resources department to know exactly what your coverage options are.

Youll want to find out if there is a state mandate for family leave time and if FMLA is available. Benefits may also depend on whether this is your first or second birth.

You should also ask questions about any policies and restrictions for using vacation or sick time along with unpaid time. Many companies require employees to use vacation or sick time before unpaid leave kicks in. Finally, you will also want to find out who pays your premiums when you take leave. You want a clear sense of what happens to your benefits while youre on leave, regardless of whether anything changes in your employment status.

Here are some more suggestions for making your parental leave the best it possibly can be:

Remember that you want to discuss short-term disability before youre pregnant, not after delivery. The earlier you can reasonably begin planning, the better.

Check Your Employer Plan

Maternity leave: The basics

There are two main types of disability insurance: long- and short-term policies. If a sickness or injury prevents you from working, long-term disability will replace a portion of your income for many years or all the way to retirement . Short-term disability insurance, as you may have guessed, covers lost income for weeks or up to two years â a temporary injury or sickness. Short-term disability is what youâll lean on during a part of your maternity leave.

Many employers offer both short- and long-term disability coverage as part of a benefits package. So, as a first step, pull out your work benefits folder to see what, if any, kind of short-term disability coverage you have through work. There are several pieces of information youâll want to gather about the policy:

  • Elimination Period: This is how long you need to be out of work before your benefits begin. Some policies pay immediately while others donât pay until you are out of work for a certain number of days. You may need to use vacation or sick days if you have a long elimination period.
  • Benefit Period: This is how long you can claim payments while you are unable to work.
  • Benefit Amount: This is how much youâll receive, based on a percentage of your income .

Ready to take the next step?A financial advisor can help you build a financial plan for your growing family.

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