3rd Trimester

Difference between FMLA and short term disability.

Someone at work just asked me why I didn't take short term disability instead of FMLA because you get paid 60% of your pay check when your on STD. My husband is between jobs right now so we are living on my paycheck which has been fine so far. If I randomly get put on bed rest for some reason we are screwed though. My work does not give PAID maternity leave so I have a specific amt of vacation/sick time that I plan on depleating to stay home for 8 weeks. I didnt' know a pregnancy could be with short term disability since it's not an "illness" . I really don't know much about it at all and what the rules are. Its too late now I'm sure but I was just curious if anyone knows more about it. I would think a lot more women would opt for getting paid a small pay check while they are on maternity leave if they could so their must be a reason why more women aren't on it for their pregnancy's.

Re: Difference between FMLA and short term disability.

  • FMLA is a LAW for companies of a certain size, they have to hold your job for up to 12w.  STD is a program that some employers offer (or maybe you can even buy it independently) that will pay you while you're out of work.  If you're collecting STD, then most likely you're also using FMLA (only reason you wouldn't be is because it's too small of a company or there's another reason they're not held to FMLA).  It's not a "one or the other" type of deal.
  • I think STD rules vary state to state In NJ you can apply up to a month after begining your leave.  STD usually will pay 4 weeks before delivery 6 weeks after vaginal 8 weeks after c-section. Your HR should have given you paperwork on it our you can look on your states website.
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  • Oh ok so why doesn't everyone choose to use their STD to get 60% of their pay check instead of getting nothing while their on maternity leave? I guess I can't sign up for it now. It would have had to be at the beginning of my pregnancy right?
  • If you have STD already, it is not too late... talk to HR to get information.  My STD pays 66% for 6-8 weeks.  FMLA gives me 12 weeks unpaid so I would have the option of taking an additional 6-4 weeks upaid.  Unfortunately if you don't have it I would assume it is too late.

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  • image Aussie*s_Mom:
    FMLA is a LAW for companies of a certain size, they have to hold your job for up to 12w.  STD is a program that some employers offer (or maybe you can even buy it independently) that will pay you while you're out of work.  If you're collecting STD, then most likely you're also using FMLA (only reason you wouldn't be is because it's too small of a company or there's another reason they're not held to FMLA).  It's not a "one or the other" type of deal.

    This. When I go on maternity leave, I'll use FMLA to be absent from work for 12 weeks. I'll use STD to get paid for 6 weeks during that time.

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  • Cool. I will call my HR dept today and ask what our policy is. If I could get paid while I'm on maternity leave that would be awesome.

  • image Aussie*s_Mom:
    FMLA is a LAW for companies of a certain size, they have to hold your job for up to 12w.  STD is a program that some employers offer (or maybe you can even buy it independently) that will pay you while you're out of work.  If you're collecting STD, then most likely you're also using FMLA (only reason you wouldn't be is because it's too small of a company or there's another reason they're not held to FMLA).  It's not a "one or the other" type of deal.

    This.  Some employers offer STD as part of your benefits package, some do not.  At my old job, I had to pay into STD.  STD only covered pregnancy if you purchased it BEFORE you got pg, or it was considered a pre-existing condition. At my current job, I get STD pay for as long as I'm considered out for "medical leave" (in my case, would be 6 weeks for vaginal delivery).  Check with your HR department to see if you qualify for some paid leave.

    You can take medical leave, as prescribed by your doctor, for 6 weeks for a vaginal delivery and 8 weeks for a c-section.  Under FMLA, you can take up to 12 weeks leave (if you qualify based on the parameters under the law) and are guaranteed to have your job waiting for you when you get back.  The 12 weeks is TOTAL, so it's not in addition to medical leave.  Make sense?

  • Also mine is a free benefit, not something I had to sign up for...
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  • alot of companies do not offer it, also you have to be on STD before you are pregnant, you can not get pregnant then go onto STD. So that might be why some people do not have it
  • I could not submit my STD app until i started my leave so I would say its not too late.
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  • image Aussie*s_Mom:
    FMLA is a LAW for companies of a certain size, they have to hold your job for up to 12w.  STD is a program that some employers offer (or maybe you can even buy it independently) that will pay you while you're out of work.  If you're collecting STD, then most likely you're also using FMLA (only reason you wouldn't be is because it's too small of a company or there's another reason they're not held to FMLA).  It's not a "one or the other" type of deal.

    This exactly!  All FMLA does is guarantee that you have a job to come back to.  STD is completely separate and can be used at the same time as FMLA.

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  • image sawyer2:
    alot of companies do not offer it, also you have to be on STD before you are pregnant, you can not get pregnant then go onto STD. So that might be why some people do not have it

    This. If I wanted STD, I had to sign up and start paying into it prior to becoming pregnant. It's typically not just a free partial paycheck.

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  • But you might find when you talk to HR (at least this is true where I work) that you have to use up all your vacation and sick time before they will allow you to use STD...so if you have 8 wks of pd time off already banked, then you can't do 6-8 wks of STD and THEN take your vacation...every place is different so it definately doesn't hurt to ask.  And like the pp said, they won't let you apply for STD until you are already out for the delivery so it is not too late in anyway. 
  • image Sassystace:
    But you might find when you talk to HR (at least this is true where I work) that you have to use up all your vacation and sick time before they will allow you to use STD...so if you have 8 wks of pd time off already banked, then you can't do 6-8 wks of STD and THEN take your vacation...every place is different so it definately doesn't hurt to ask.  And like the pp said, they won't let you apply for STD until you are already out for the delivery so it is not too late in anyway. 

    This.  I have this situation where I work.  STD insurance is part of our benefits package at no cost to us, but I have to take my sick leave/accured vacation prior. In my case (and I know I'm fortunate), I've banked enough time that I'll have more sick/vacation time than I need to cover a full FMLA leave of 12 weeks, so I won't be using the STD coverage. A note about STD if it's available to you--in many cases, there is a waiting period of about 7 days before STD kicks in and starts paying out, but if it's available to you, you should check into it & take it if possible.  Good luck!

  • I just picked up my STD forms today, so I don't see why it would be too late for you!  I have to fill it out now so they can start to process it, and once my baby is born, it should start.  Maybe more don't use STD because they don't know about it.  I was almost clueless about it until a coworker told me to check into it.  My school has it included in the benefits, so I don't pay anything for it.
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