Getting pregnant while on Social Security Disability

By Michelle Shvarts
Principal Attorney

Family leaves or maternity/paternity benefits allow to take off from work and take care of yourself and your newborn without worrying about losing your job or winning bread during those days.

Childbirth and pregnancy are beautiful things nature has bestowed upon human beings and are in most cases truly rewarding experiences. In some cases, the pregnancy may result in complications that may cause temporary or permanent disabilities. The social security disability provides benefits to people with disabilities who qualify for disability in the Blue Book. Routine pregnancy may not qualify you for disability benefits.

Being pregnant may prevent you from doing some types of routine work or cause temporary disabilities lasting less than 5 months period. The SSA, however, defines disabilities through many vigorous criteria. (provide link) Unless giving birth causes a disability or if the child is born with disability, your pregnancy and childbirth may not qualify under SSDI. You may still be eligible for supplemental security income benefits, SSI.

The US has two federal laws that cater for the maternity benefits for working women.

Family and Maternity Leave Act, FMLA

Pregnancy Discrimination Act, PDA

Short term disability benefits

Short term disability, STD is also known as an insurance term describing any condition that may prevent you from going to work, for a short period of time if you have already used your sick leave. Some states including California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have working STD programs. An employee, will have to file a case and if you got a short term disability due to pregnancy or childbirth preventing you from going to work between 9 – 52 weeks, you may become eligible for STD benefits. You will receive a percent of your usual wages (55% to 60%) until you are able to go back to work.

The STD will not provide you continued benefits once you are able to go back to work. But the good news is, California and New Jersey have paid parental leave programs that are run through the state disability insurance office.

Many States have passed their own FMLA which allows sometimes even greater benefits to the qualified employees. A handful of States pay better than the federal gov including California, D.C., Hawaii, Washington, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island etc..

California Short-term disability during pregnancy

California’s short term disability program provides mothers with eight to ten weeks of paid leave for normal pregnancy and childbirth. The paid family leave also provides you up to six weeks of paid leave to the qualifying employees.

A few States also offer paid family maternity benefits to allow you to take care of your child and yourself without worrying about the finances.

If you need more information about paid maternity benefits, you may contact a social security attorney at DAG directly.

About the Author
Ms. Shvarts is the managing attorney for Disability Advocates Group. She opened Disability Advocates Group to assist individuals who became disabled and unable to work to obtain the benefits they need and deserve.  Ms. Shvarts and the rest of the team at Disability Advocates Group are dedicated to assisting individuals obtain Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.