April 25, 2016
Although the Social Security disability program does not offer payments for pregnancy, some states do. The Social Security professionals at Disability Associates, LLC. discuss everything you need to know.
It is often assumed that Social Security pays benefits to employees who are temporarily out of work as a result of pregnancy and/or childbirth. Social Security has a disability program, however, it is only applied to those who have long-term disabilities. The Social Security Administration will pay disability benefits to individuals who are unable to do their jobs, unable to adjust to other work due to impairment and/or have a disability that is expected to last for a year or result in death.
If a child is born with a disability or the birth has caused a disability, there may be options for payment from the Supplemental Security Income program. However, pregnancy or childbirth alone are not qualifying events for Social Security benefits.
Yet, there are some additional benefits for short-term disabilities, including pregnancies offered by certain states. An employer may have a short-term disability benefit program, and an employee may have the right to take time off under federal and state laws.
Short-Term Disability Benefits
A handful of states have state-mandated short-term disability programs including California, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky, Louisiana and the District of Columbia. Employees in these states may be eligible for benefits if they are temporarily unable to work due to a disability, including pregnancy. Benefits are typically paid from a state fund, which is backed by payroll withholding.
Some employers purchase short-term disability insurance for employees. If an employee is covered by this type of program, they should contact the human resources department or their benefits provider to discover more about the eligibility rules, benefits amounts, etc.
Maryland Family and Medical Leave
Maryland employers must follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which allows eligible employees to take unpaid leave, with the right to be reinstated for specified reasons. Maryland employees are eligible if for FMLA if:
- they have worked for the same company for at least one year
- they worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year, and
- they work at a location with at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius.
FMLA leave is accessible to those who need time off to:
- bond with a new child
- recuperate from a serious health condition
- care for a family member with a serious health condition
- handle qualifying exigencies arising out of a family member’s military service, or
- care for a family member who suffered a serious injury during active military duty.
Although maternity benefits are unavailable for Maryland residents under Social Security Disability, there are still options for expecting parents to take advantage of. For more information regarding options for you and your family, contact Disability Associates, LLC. today.