Short-Term Disability: An Introduction For Expecting Mothers

If you are like most women in the US, pregnancy will be an event in your life that happens at the same time you are holding a full-time employment position. Because being pregnant and having a baby can mean that you will be facing some time off of work, this can bring about a lot of questions. Thankfully, short-term disability insurance helps by paying you some of your lost wages while you have to be off. If you have short-term disability insurance through your employer and are expecting a child, you are bound to have a few questions. Here are a few of the more common questions about short-term disability insurance and the answers you will want to know.

Will the short-term disability insurance cover you if you have to take leave before you have the baby?

Short-term disability is designed to cover an employee's time off if they have a qualifying short-term disability. Even though this insurance coverage is most often viewed as something used to cover leave after you give birth, it can just as easily cover you if you have to take leave before you have the baby due to medical restrictions on your physical activity. However, short-term disability will only cover a number of weeks at once based on your specific plan. Therefore, if you use all concurrent weeks before the baby is due, you may have to switch to coverage under long-term disability insurance plans, which may not offer the same level of benefits.

What is the elimination period with short-term disability?

Pretty much every short-term disability plan will have some form of elimination, deductible, or waiting period in which you will not immediately be paid for your time off. This period starts on the first day that you claim your disability or illness and get approved and ends when you get your first short-term disability payment. This time frame varies based on your specific plan. Talk to your insurance provider to find out the average waiting time.

Will the short-term disability coverage pay for your usual insurance deductions?

This can vary depending on the type of coverage you have and what your employer offers. Some companies offer short-term disability plus coverage that pays you a portion of your wages and covers your part of insurance deductions while you are off. If your plan does not include this option, you will need to pay your employee part of insurance premiums with the checks that you receive while you are on maternity leave to ensure there are no lapses in your coverage.