Working Moms

so I am pregnant and was laid off and collecting unemployment benefits what happens...

Ok so I have been trying to research this subject for quite sometime and can not find the answers hopefully one of you women can reach out. I am living in MA and found out I was pregnant shortly after getting laid off and I am concerned that I will lose my benefits when I give birth because technically you are not available for work which that I understand but can I reopen the claim when my doctor says it is ok for me to go back to work and look for work? I talked to one person over the phone who said if you are not eligible for work your benefits are cut no if ands or buts and you are done....but it just sounds awful I am having a newborn! and it hasnt been exactly easy to find a job with this obviously pregnant look I have going on. Please help if you can find any info! there must be something out there I just don't know where to look and I am overwhelmed.

Re: so I am pregnant and was laid off and collecting unemployment benefits what happens...

  • Ok, I have no experience, but I'll take a stab at it. You sound so stressed out.

    What do you mean by benefits? Are you thinking about health insurance? The government will cover your delivery and post partum visits. Also, talk with the hospital where you will be delivering. They offer payment plans as well as other discounts. Don't worry about the actual costs of delivering the baby.

    As far as unemployment, what kind of work do you do? Can you do some freelance work? I believe you can earn up to $200 and still collect unemployment. Try to earn something (anything!) and save it. 

    I also wouldn't write off looking for a job while very visibly pregnant. It shows you are very interested in the position, or else you wouldn't be applying. You can bring the subject of maternity leave up and reassure the employer that you are planning x weeks leave, but will definitely be returning to work. Visibly pregnant women definitely don't get anything held against them in my office.

    Talk about this with anyone you can. Your OB, your family, DH... The more you talk about it, the more advice you will get and stress relief. Hang in there. It will all work out.

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  • Oh, I shouldn't have phrased it that way by benefits I meant Iam currently collecting unemployment checks every week and working part time as well. Currently I am covered by MassHealth so I am not worried about that.
  • I was laid off at 36w with my first in NC.  I had 4w of severance and no disability pay.  I could not collect until my severance had run out, and by that point, i couldn't look for work either.  I started collecting when my DD was ~8w and I could truthfully answer that 1--I had looked for work and 2-- I was eligible for work. 

    My former employer did notify the unemployment agency that I was eligible as soon as I was laid off, so I did have to call and re-activate my claim.  Not sure if that would be the same as having a gap in service.

    I would keep looking for work and keep collecting unemployment and stop for those weeks until you can resume your claim.  I don't think they'll deny you, but what choice do you have?  You cannot take unemployment after just giving birth.

  • You have 2 options:

    Answer truthfully and get no benefits until you decide to are available to work OR lie and get benefits.

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  • In my state you are eligible for so many weeks of benefits per year.  So if I had not found a job, I would have stopped claiming for the time I was off with the baby and then restarted claiming when I was ready for work again.  You can call your unemployment office and talk to them - that's why they are there.  FWIW, I interviewed for a job four weeks before my son was born and not one of the five people who interviewed me noticed I was pregnant.  (I didn't hide it, but I didn't mention it either)  They offered me the job and I took it, and brought up the leave plans at that time.  They had no problems with me taking unpaid leave a month after I was hired.

    Good luck!

  • The answer to your question depends on the state in which you reside.  If you live in a state where you can earn disability through the state (funded by payroll deductions), you can claim disability for 6-8 weeks after you give birth.  Your payments will be determined by the last 4-12 months of earnings and your ability to work/look for work.  Following those 6-8 weeks, you can begin collecting your unemployement again.  GL!


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  • Ok I'm not totally getting what you are asking, but maybe relaying my story will help clarify your questions?

    In short, I was laid off January 15, 2010. I was 32 weeks pregnant. I was given 2 weeks severance and health insurance coverage through January 30 of that month.

    The night I was laid off, I filed for Unemployment. In PA, there is a one week waiting period before benefits can be collected. Add to that my severance, which I could not collect during that time. So, my first UE check was around February 7.

    I had my baby on March 15. From March 15 until roughly 5 weeks later, I could NOT legally collect UE, because I was not technically "available to work."

    Now I say this b/c you can get around it (illegally). I did all of my UE claims over the computer, every 2 weeks. The claims were broken out in two, 1-week increments. So, I would be asked if I was available to work week 1, yes or no; then week 2, yes or no. I did things legally and did not collect; however, I did have my doctor "sign" me back into work at 5 weeks so I could collect. (And considering I went on an interview 3 weeks post c-section, I didn't feel bad doing that.)

    All the time I did not collect, I just chose "no" when prompted with the question "Were you available to work." I didn't suspend my collections or anything. Once I was available again, I just went back to clicking "yes."

    In PA (and I think this is acorss the board), you have 26 weeks of UE that you can collect within the first year after your termination. So, I could collect 26 weeks of UE until January 15, 2011 (minus government extensions).

    Does this make sense and help you?

    ETA: You an work while collecting UE too, since you only collect 2/3 income on UE. Like, if I didn't have childcare to contend with, i would have worked at Hallmark or something. Just ask your UE office how much you are able to make without it affecting your UE collection. (For me, I would have been able to make $225/wk before it affected UE.)

    And as a PP mentioned, maybe you can freelance? Know the laws, though. In PA, anything I make freelancing under $600 a year, I don't have to claim on taxes/fill out a W-2. I'm a writer by trade, so when I was laid off, my DH and I established a business (in his name) and any work I did, I had paid out to the business name. That way I did everything legally, and it didn't affect my UE. (We have an accountant who helped us set up an LLC, as we wanted to make sure we did everything correctly.)

    Good luck!


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  • the problem is i work part time and it would be great if i could sit home and lie to the dua but if i go a consecutive 2 weeks with out working they call my part time job and they say oh ya she just had a baby then im screwed.
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