For many, expecting the birth of a child is one of life’s most exciting and momentous occasions. It’s a life-changing experience, to say the least. While having a baby can be an exciting and highly anticipated event, it’s also an experience from which a mother needs time to recover following delivery, and potentially for some time after. Fortunately, for those who live in New York, there is assistance available to help families through this important life transition.
New York is one of the few states in the country that has a temporary disability insurance (TDI) program which requires that employers provide short-term disability insurance on behalf of their employees. Employers can either provide that coverage by purchasing insurance from the state or from a private carrier, or by self-insuring. This unique program recognizes the needs of new mothers and can be very helpful to provide the time and support needed following the baby’s arrival.
How Do I Know If I Am Eligible?
Generally, those who are pregnant are eligible for disability benefits for a period of four weeks before the due date and six weeks after giving birth, or eight weeks if the delivery was by Caesarian section. The benefits are generally only available to the birth mother – although other programs, like Paid Family Leave, can ensure time off for adoptive parents, fathers, or other caregivers, depending upon the circumstances involved.
To be eligible to receive the pregnancy-related disability benefits, pregnant individuals will need to submit a medical report from either their doctor, or a certified nurse midwife confirming the pregnancy-related disability, or that the disability is related to recovery from delivery and postpartum conditions.
There are a few other helpful things to keep in mind about New York’s pregnancy-related disability benefits, including:
- 1). In certain circumstances, additional disability benefits may be available for up to a maximum of 26 weeks with documentation from a medical provider.
- 2). Pregnancy-related disability benefits are generally not available for any period that an individual is unable to work as a result of an elective surgery, such as a sterilization procedure.
- 3). Those who wish to apply for New York’s short-term disability benefits for pregnancy will need to complete appropriate paperwork, provide medical evidence, and submit that documentation to the appropriate designated state authorities. Consulting with an attorney to be certain you have completed this application thoroughly and provided sufficient medical proof can always be helpful.
- 4). Generally, an individual collecting pregnancy-related disability benefits cannot collect the disability benefits and Paid Family Leave benefits simultaneously.
This latter point is one that many individuals often wonder about, and it is important to have a clear understanding of how these two programs work together. Understanding The Distinction Between Disability Benefits And Paid Family Leave.
First and foremost, it’s essential to keep in mind that while disability benefits and paid family leave generally cannot be taken at the same time, eligible individuals can plan for how they will use both programs to best support the needs of their families.
As pregnant individuals consider their options, it is important to remember that New York’s short-term pregnancy disability benefits pay out at around a maximum of $170 per week, or 50% of the applicant’s income, whichever is less when the individual stops working before the birth of the baby.
Prior to birth, temporary disability (or short-term disability that an individual privately pays for) is the only option, as Paid Family Leave program is intended to address the care of family members, not a particular medical condition. Following a birth, Paid Family Leave is generally also available, not only for the birth mother but for other family members and caregivers as well, depending upon the circumstances.
Generally, an individual can use both temporary disability and Paid Family Leave in the same year, provided they do not take more than 26 weeks of combined benefits in a 52-week period. If an individual plans to use both types of benefits, they must complete a separate request for each, as they are distinct programs. Ultimately, determining which benefits to use and when is a decision best made by a family after consideration of their particular circumstances, and, if desired, in consultation with an attorney who knows and understands disability law.
Call London Disability Today
If you find yourself in need of disability benefits, you don’t need to worry or wait any longer. Today, you can take the first step toward pursuing the benefits you need and deserve by calling the talented and experienced legal team at London Disability. We know and understand every aspect of the process of applying for disability benefits, and we will pursue the best legal strategies on your behalf. If you’re ready to get started, we’re here to help. We look forward to speaking with you soon.