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Maternity Disability – How Moms Can Protect Their Income During and After Delivery

Extended absences from work due to disability during and after maternity have become an ever-increasing occurrence. According to a 2002 study, 29% of short term disabilities (180 days or less) and 12% of long-term disabilities are due to pregnancy. Pregnancy disability can turn a wonderful, life-changing experience into a serious financial challenge when Mom is out of work for months before and/or after the maternity period. Disability Income insurance can provide needed cash in the absence or a regular work scheduled because of a maternity disability.

Many corporations offer paid leave benefits to employees that provide full pay for up to 3 months after delivery. Complications that cause the employee to be out of work before delivery or beyond the maternity leave period after delivery can cause the household to lose cash flow for months or longer.

Maternity disability can be planned for with individual short term disability insurance that can commonly provide up to 70% of regular income while Mom is not able to work due to illness or injury for 3-6 months. Long-term disability insurance kicks in after the short-term benefits expire and can provide income protection for up to five years or longer. In fact, long term disability insurance policies commonly pay benefits until age 65 to ensure income in the event of a permanent disability such as if a dentist was to lose the use of a hand or eye.

Future Moms often rely on employee-sponsored group disability insurance. Group disability can provide benefits up to 60% of regular income. However, benefits from group policies are taxed as regular income, reducing actual benefits to roughly 42% income. Employer policies also commonly come with a bevy of exceptions and limitations that can reduce or eliminate benefits altogether.

Group disability insurance is a great start toward income protection but it’s not the complete answer. A very affordable supplemental disability insurance policy can very affordably plug the holes in group coverage and provide a formidable shield against income loss due to a maternity disability. Income protection can be extended to 100% or regular income with supplemental coverage. Additionally, benefits paid via a supplemental policy are not taxed as income.

Women with a family history of challenges during maternity may also consider catastrophic disability insurance. CDI covers costs associated with extended at-home or facility care. For instance, if Mom’s doctor orders her to bed for months before or after delivery, CDI can cover the expense of a day or live-in nurse to assist with the needs of day-to-day living. Such care is generally very expensive and is not covered by any other type of insurance. CDI covers up to a specified daily amount ($120, for instance) and policies can be purchased with a daily benefit that increases annually with inflation.

The solution to protecting a new Mom’s income during and after maternity is to acquire individual or supplemental disability insurance before becoming pregnant. Once pregnant, Moms find that additional disability insurance is no longer available.

“This is a common mistake we see almost every day,” notes Rene Apack, President of Insure Your Future, the nation’s leading independent disability insurance brokerage. “We get calls from pregnant women that have suddenly realized they may miss work due to a maternity disability. They are terrified of losing their income while out of work. Unfortunately, insurance carriers don’t offer new coverage during the 9 month maternity period.”

Future moms can protect their income from a long-term or short-term pregnancy disability. With this coverage, families can avoid the risk of losing a good portion of their household income for months, if not longer. Whether participating in an employer-sponsored group plan or not, maternity disability can affordably be planned for to ensure a truly safe pregnancy where a solid cash flow is maintained throughout the maternity period.

Please visit us at with any questions or to find further information regarding the protection of your income from a maternity disability.

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