It’s not that uncommon for a pregnant woman to be unable to work for at least part of her pregnancy. Some mothers-to-be must be hospitalized or put on bed rest for conditions like toxemia, hyperemesis gravidarum, pre-eclampsia, or blood clots. At what point, though, will pregnancy qualify for disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? Will a pregnancy-related condition even be considered a disability, either by the federal government, state disability agencies, or private insurers?
Social Security Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both the SSDI and SSI programs. To qualify for either disability benefit, an applicant generally must have a medical condition that:
- prevents the employee from working, and
- has lasted for at least 12 months, is expected to last for 12 months, or will result in death.
Since it is unlikely that a pregnancy-related condition will last for 12 months, it is unlikely that Social Security disability benefits will cover pregnancy disability. Always talk to an attorney, though, because there may be some conditions that do qualify for benefits.
California State Disability Benefits
Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) may be offered to women with pregnancy-related disabilities. By law, a woman may take up to four months per pregnancy. However, employers are not required to pay an employee on PDL. The disabled employee may be able to use accrued paid time off. California residents have another option – State Disability Insurance.
Any employee who has paid into State Disability Insurance, including pregnant women, may receive partial wage replacement while suffering a pregnancy-related disability.
Some employers offer short-term disability. Depending on the employer and the insurer, a disabled pregnant woman may be entitled to benefits through private disability insurance.
Not Sure Whether You Qualify for Disability Benefits?
In addition to a determination of disability, you must have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. However, SSI is based on need, not your work credits.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.