Medical Leave - Benefits — The Bump
November 2015 Moms

Medical Leave - Benefits

I just found out that even though I can get up to 12 weeks of short term disability at 100% pay, I really get only 6 weeks after a "natural" (their word not mine) birth and 8 weeks after a C- Section to recover and bond with baby. Any additional time-off would have to be deemed medically necessary. I find this time frame to be crazy especially being a first time mom. It's like these rules are forcing you to quit your job.

What are your benefits for child birth and are you outraged right now?
CarrieOct15

Re: Medical Leave - Benefits

  • Yeah, those benefits are similar to mine. I get short term disability leave paid at 60% salary until my OB clears me to return to work, which in most cases is 6 weeks for vaginal and 8 weeks for cesarean. I'm fortunate enough to have the option to work from home for an additional 6 weeks after my leave ends, so I will be staying at home for a total of 12 weeks. 

    The sad part is, we're some of the lucky ones. Some women do not get ANY paid leave at all. It's not required by law. Only unpaid FMLA is, and that's if you've been working for your company for at least a year. The United States has some of THE crappiest maternity leave laws in the world. Whenever I see a debate pop up in social media, the number of ignorant responses astound me. "It's not the governments fault you had kids" "Why should taxpayers have to pay for you to take a longer vacation" etc etc. It's disgusting, and I don't see these laws changing any time soon.
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    tayzavVexedMommyjapostolovaLolo427
  • Yes unfortunately I am one of those ^ women.  I did not invest in short term disability at my job because I am 24 and we were not planning on starting a family just yet. Well, now I am expecting and it's too late to enlist in short term disability. I do receive 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave, however, I can use my paid time off days that I've accumulated during those 12 weeks.  It will be about 3 weeks that I have paid, which ends up being nothing really.  It definitely sucks, but I guess it is better than nothing!


    I've read that women in Canada and Australia get much better benefits when it comes to maternity leave.

    aabbaby
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  • I don't know where you live, but here in California you get 12 weeks. 6 weeks for natural birth, 8 weeks for c-section. Plus 6 more weeks for bonding with your baby.
    poupoule
  • LSRooLSRoo member
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    edited July 2015
    I get disability for 4 weeks prior to the birth and either 6 or 8 weeks after the birth. Then I have 12 weeks FMLA but only get partial payments for 6 out of those 12. I still haven't decided if I am even returning to work.
    ETA: NJ resident
    ks24119
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  • ash413ash413 member
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    I am taking 10weeks at 100% and then I think I might just do half days the first week or 2 back
            
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    Married 5/23/2011
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    BFP 8/30/2014 EDD: 5/10/2015- MC 10/2/2014
    BFP 3/16/2015 EDD: 11/22/2015
  • Our company's STD has a waiting period of 45 days before you can use it... so you can't use it for a vaginal birth, just a c-section for 2-ish weeks.  Wish I would have read the fine print before signing up for that crap.
    Me (28) + DH (28) = August 2016
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  • urby87urby87 member
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    edited July 2015
    I just have FMLA if nothing changes at my job between now and birth.  Six weeks unpaid, with any vacation time to be exhausted at the start of that time frame (for me, that means one week paid and five weeks unpaid).  I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the whole thing.  Do I take off a few days before my due date just in case, or cut it close and try to work up to my due date?  I don't want to take a week off before my due date and wind up with Baby coming two weeks late and only three weeks left of leave.  It's very stressful to think about...
    kesmeredith
  • kamekaW said:

    I just found out that even though I can get up to 12 weeks of short term disability at 100% pay, I really get only 6 weeks after a "natural" (their word not mine) birth and 8 weeks after a C- Section to recover and bond with baby. Any additional time-off would have to be deemed medically necessary. I find this time frame to be crazy especially being a first time mom. It's like these rules are forcing you to quit your job.

    What are your benefits for child birth and are you outraged right now?

    Mine is pretty much the same. I can take the full 12 weeks but only 6 or 8 weeks are paid at 60%, unless my doctor writes me out for longer and insurance agrees.
    I will use sick and vacation time to cover what in an of the rest and then be unpaid.
    It sucks so much. We have no protection in the U.S. It's very sad.
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  • I am in a similar boat to most of you ladies. Short term disability for 6 or 8 weeks depending on delivery at 60% pay (I'm in Texas). I am due 11/29 and have just decided to work up until my due date or past it depending on how the doctors visits are going. Luckily, I work from home about 80% of the time which will make it much easier towards the end. If I worked in an office I would probably opt to have a more set maternity leave date. I will also be using my 9 days of vacation left and combing it with the 6-8 weeks and then possibly take 1-2 more weeks unpaid (even though I hate the idea of that). Ideally I want to take a total of 8-10 weeks. I can't even imagine going back 6 weeks after birth, that is so heart wrenching!
  • You should be able to take the rest of the 12 weeks unpaid though if you want to or use your leave for them to be paid. I was able to all of my pregnancies. Also, in WA there is an additional family medical leave act so I could take another 6 weeks leave, to total 18 weeks off. However they don't have to pay you for all of this time if your don't have that much leave. I used what I had then took leave without pay. I still got benefits and stuff.
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  • I am very fortunate. I will get 16 total weeks off. The first 6-8 will be paid at 60% by STD (but there is a two week waiting window so it's really only paid for 4-6 weeks). Then my employer will pay two additional months at 100%-  I worked it so this is in exchange for my Christmas Bonus. 

    I was approached with a different job that would allow me to work from home for a significant raise but their maternity leave is 12 weeks unpaid. I know I should think long term but that extra month was crucial to my healing and breastfeeding last time- so now I am trying to decide what I should do. 

    Either way I will get at least 12 weeks off :)
  • Canadian representing here. I get 6 weeks on short term disability (70%), paid for by my company. For every year you've worked for the company, they will top you up to 100% for a week/year.
    When that six weeks is up, the parents can decide who will take the 37 weeks for parental leave. That parent is then permitted to go on unemployment insurance (government paid) without it negatively affecting their work record. Unemployment is 60% of your pay or a dollar amount, whichever is the lessor. I believe the dollar amount is roughly $2,000/month. Which where I live, Alberta, is a lot less than most people make per month here. It's less than one paycheque for me. I'll be going back to work before the year is up and DH will take no leave.
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  • I live in GA.  I do not have short term disability and have no vacation days with my job as a contractor.  My employer does not offer short term disability. (I can't bring myself to shorten it to STD, it makes me giggle.  lol)  I will be out for approximately 8 weeks unpaid.  About 3 of those weeks are company holidays which I would not have been paid for anyway. 
    If there's something strange underneath the hood.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  If there's something weird and it don't look good.  Who you gonna call?  Your Doctor.  Immediately.  If it's new, painful, and possibly pregnancy related get your ass off the internet and call your doctor.  It's for your health and your child's. 




  • I work two part time jobs, neither with enough hours to get any benefits. The only option for me would be FMLA, which would actually only be available through one of my jobs as the other doesn't have enough employees. Thankfully, DH got a promotion this year which had a significant raise in salary, and then received additional performance-based raise. We've crunched the numbers, and we're better off financially if I don't go back to work when we take into account the savings of not having to pay for afterschool care for kiddo1.0 if I stay home. It's a ridiculous situation to be in, and it is one of the things about living in the US that makes me stabby. The USA is one of only two developed countries IN THE WORLD not to mandate paid leave after the birth of a child. The other is Papua New Guinea. 
    VexedMommyCarrieOct15logarithm3Lolo427
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  • I am able to take a 2 week "nesting period" before my due date that is paid at 66%. Then 6 or 8 weeks at 66% depending on delivery. I also get a "bonding period" unpaid after that of either 2 or 4 weeks (depending on the delivery) to round it out to 12 weeks total.
  • You should be able to take the rest of the 12 weeks unpaid though if you want to or use your leave for them to be paid. I was able to all of my pregnancies. Also, in WA there is an additional family medical leave act so I could take another 6 weeks leave, to total 18 weeks off. However they don't have to pay you for all of this time if your don't have that much leave. I used what I had then took leave without pay. I still got benefits and stuff.

    You're right. Short term disability covers me from losing my job for up to 12 weeks but it is only with the 60% pay for the time your doctor allots you
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  • NJ here, I'm out 4 weeks befor delivery and 6-8 weeks after birth (paid short term disability from work), then out for another 12 weeks (6 will be paid at 2/3 salary and 1/3 not paid), I do get an extra week unpaid because my college is closed during the holidays. At first I was pretty unhappy that work didn't go beyond my states FMLA and short term disability, but at least it's something

    LSRoo
  • Hearing about your benefits makes me feel kinda "lucky" I suppose. Other ladies seem to have no paid time, which saddens me. There's no way I can go back to work in 6-8 weeks after birth. My god, I would have just delivered a tiny human being, for Christ sake! I need to rework some numbers and find out from HR how my other benefits would work if I take unpaid time.
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  • LSRooLSRoo member
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    ks24119 said:

    NJ here, I'm out 4 weeks befor delivery and 6-8 weeks after birth (paid short term disability from work), then out for another 12 weeks (6 will be paid at 2/3 salary and 1/3 not paid), I do get an extra week unpaid because my college is closed during the holidays. At first I was pretty unhappy that work didn't go beyond my states FMLA and short term disability, but at least it's something

    I am so thankful they let us use out FLA and FMLA separate and don't run the clocks together!
  • I'm pretty lucky. I get 3 months paid leave so I really can't complain.
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  • jenifer228jenifer228 member
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    edited July 2015
    ks24119 said:

    NJ here, I'm out 4 weeks befor delivery and 6-8 weeks after birth (paid short term disability from work), then out for another 12 weeks (6 will be paid at 2/3 salary and 1/3 not paid), I do get an extra week unpaid because my college is closed during the holidays. At first I was pretty unhappy that work didn't go beyond my states FMLA and short term disability, but at least it's something

    I'm also in NJ and my company offers a benefit greater than the state. I'll get 100% of pay 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after. Then I get 3 weeks of paid parental leave and I can put that towards getting my full pay for the additional 6 weeks for bonding you get in NJ. So, I total I'll get 4 months fully paid for an uncomplicated birth.

    Question @ks24119 - do you know what happens if you go past your due date?
  • I'm in California and we get up to 24 weeks ( 12 weeks fmla & up to 12 more under cfra), 10-12 weeks of that is paid at 55%. I think the paid portion covers 4 weeks pre-birth and 6 post if not a c section. It's better than many, but I agree there needs to be huge reform in this area. It's sad.
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  • In Fl- with the first baby I did 12 weeks unpaid. Fortunately or unfortunately my job really depends on me and had me working from home as much as I could (15-20 hours a week) after the 1st week of delivery during my "leave" bc they really needed me so I got paid for that. This time around I have about 1 week of PTO that I'll take paid, + 12 weeks FMLA ( 6 weeks paid at 60% for vaginal and 8 weeks paid at 60% for c section). I'm counting on a bonus I'll be getting in October that will also hold me over a little. Besides that, I have gap insurance which will pay me $2500 for being at the hospital. Overall, after getting the bare minimum the first time around I learned my lesson. This time I had signed up for gap insurance & STD pay.
  • I also have disability that will cover the same, 6 weeks vaginal 8 csection, only longer if doctor medically deems. I get about 3/4 pay. FMLA protects my job for 12 weeks I plan to take 10 weeks as that was what age my son started daycare. I teach so the two weeks of Christmas break gives me a free week due to already built in holiday pay.
    image
    image
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  • I would consider most of these scenarios lucky with some payment during time off. I do not have short term disability to pay for any of my leave. I do receive 12 weeks unpaid position hold from FMLA. I could use my accumulative sick leave but I only have about 20 days and it makes me nervous to use them all for maternity since babies tend to get sick and I'll need that time when I do return to work. My husband and I have been budgeting and saving so we can afford for me to stay at home for the 12 weeks.
  • I work for a very small company, so not covered by FMLA, no short term disability, etc. I'm lucky in the sense that they value me enough as an employee that they want me to come back when I'm ready. So I can pretty much take as much time as I want, all of it unpaid, then come back part time in the beginning. 

    My husband owns his own company and his income is up and down. I'm pretty stressed out about what our financial situation is going to look like when the baby comes and I'm not working, I've been trying to squirrel away some money now and only buying the bare minimum baby stuff. 
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  • I guess I'm one of the more unfortunate ones. Not only does my job not have maternity leave but I'm not even sure if I can take fmla since I had to take it about a year ago for a surgical proceedure that did not quite go as planned. I will have some time accrued but like others have mentioned babies do get sick and if I use all my time after the birth then if baby gets sick I won't have anything. I will be taking 6 weeks of unpaid none the less and praying that that will be enough time for my body to recover because I am a police officer and will be returning to full duty when I come back to work. So those that do have coverage be thankful. As great as the U.S. Is there are some things that still amaze me.
    aabbaby
  • ks24119 said:

    NJ here, I'm out 4 weeks befor delivery and 6-8 weeks after birth (paid short term disability from work), then out for another 12 weeks (6 will be paid at 2/3 salary and 1/3 not paid), I do get an extra week unpaid because my college is closed during the holidays. At first I was pretty unhappy that work didn't go beyond my states FMLA and short term disability, but at least it's something

    I'm also in NJ and my company offers a benefit greater than the state. I'll get 100% of pay 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after. Then I get 3 weeks of paid parental leave and I can put that towards getting my full pay for the additional 6 weeks for bonding you get in NJ. So, I total I'll get 4 months fully paid for an uncomplicated birth.

    Question @ks24119 - do you know what happens if you go past your due date?
    As I understand it, that time is still considered under disability. So short term disability would be extended until you give birth. Then FMLA kicks in after birth (the up to 12 weeks)

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  • LSRoo said:

    ks24119 said:

    NJ here, I'm out 4 weeks befor delivery and 6-8 weeks after birth (paid short term disability from work), then out for another 12 weeks (6 will be paid at 2/3 salary and 1/3 not paid), I do get an extra week unpaid because my college is closed during the holidays. At first I was pretty unhappy that work didn't go beyond my states FMLA and short term disability, but at least it's something

    I am so thankful they let us use out FLA and FMLA separate and don't run the clocks together!
    Me too! I really wish I could have the option of using the 4 weeks prior to birth for after though!

    jenifer228
  • In PA teaching, I can take 60 work days of FMLA & get insurance, but no pay. I can take Maternity Leave for as long as I want (up to 2 or 3 yrs I think?) with no pay or insurance, but they will keep a position for me. Thanks to Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, the 60 gets me to the end of Feb, and it's tight but we can live on my husband's income while I am out. I agree, the US could use some help here, and get father's some time to bond with baby too.
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  • For my job I have to use all of my own leave first which is ok. I have been doing a little planning so I can make sure I have enough for 10 weeks without shorting my other kid on summer vacation this year. With my first I wasn't even cleared for work until 8 weeks. My job is more physical so I have to be able to do it when I go back. I won't take all my leave so I have some just in case for after. If for some reason I have an issue that requires me to be out longer, my department allows for leave donations from other employees and I'm in the catastrophic leave bank which they now allow you to request with pregnancy. That gives like 160 hours if needed. I don't want to have to do all that so staying conservative with my leave as I can.
  • Ugh, I only get 40% of my pay for 2 weeks after a "natural" delivery and 6 weeks if I have a c-section. And that's AFTER I use all of my PTO. I've been saving money like crazy :-/
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  • In Arizona where I am you do not receive any pay when you go on leave. You only get continued benefits so I would count yourself lucky that you get full paid leave for six weeks I don't even get that. I will have to go back in five and a half weeks of all goes well because of the fact that giving birth does not fall under any disability benefits here and we can not afford to be without the money. So if count your starts you get what you do
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