How STD works with maternity leave?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:18

My friend is in her first trimester and is still working. Her employer offers STD, and she's worried about how it'll work ? She hasn't used up her maternity leave yet. We're in NJ.

Posted: 17 Jan 2013 02:49 Post Subject:

she's worried about how it'll work


Unless pregnancy is an excluded condition, short term disability will begin paying a benefit after a certain number of days of disability -- the "elimination period" -- according to a definition of either "any occupation" or "own occupation." Typically, an employer-sponsored plan will use the "own occupation" definition, and have a relatively short elimination period, such as 7-14 days.

Your friend needs to ask her HR department for the details of the plan or call the insurance company directly and ask them.

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 10:47 Post Subject:

I have heard that STD doesn't come into play till the maternity leave is used up. Is that true?

Posted: 18 Jan 2013 04:40 Post Subject:

Well, if someone is being paid their full salary for their time off, then they don't need a disability benefit, do they?

Or are you confusing the 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) with "maternity leave"?

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 12:50 Post Subject:

Yeah, so it seems. Will you please explain ?

12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)



She needs that STD benefit and how this FMLA leave will affect the benefits?

Posted: 21 Jan 2013 03:12 Post Subject:

FMLA is UNPAID leave. A few states, such as California, now permit persons eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA to use the state's short term disability benefit to pay for the unpaid time off -- but this creates a taxable event when using what would be non-taxable money in the event of a personal disability. The benefit is based on one's income, but will be unlikely to replace 100% of aftertax wages.

While FMLA leave can be used in conjuction with a pregnancy, short term disability would, according to the "own" or "any" definition of disability, typically begin to provide 60% to 70% of a worker's pretax wage (which should be close to one's take home pay) after a certain "elimination" period, which could be as little as 3-7 days or as long as 6 months. Most "employer-sponsored" short term disability plans have an elimination period of not more than 30 days. Pregnancy may or may not be an exclusion.

If your friend is in her first trimester, she is probably not on maternity leave yet. So, as was previously stated, for a proper answer, she needs to ask the HR person where she works what is and is not covered, and when coverage begins. For anyone here to give an answer is speculation -- the best we can do is give general information about the nature of the benefits.

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