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Does Individual Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance Cover Maternity Leave?

Individual disability insurance products will cover complications from pregnancy, for example a C-Section,  but will NOT extend coverage for simple maternity leave. Maternity leave coverage is often included within employee benefits provided through your employer’s short term disability insurance program. Individual Short Term Disability insurance will operate under a different expectation of coverage.

Under most employer provided or sponsored short term disability maternity leave coverage is generally provided for up to 6 to 8 weeks unless for complications. This coverage is generally provided without medical evidence through your employer’s benefits package.

With individual short term disability medical underwriting is required. If you are currently pregnant prior to your third trimester before purchasing an individual short or long term disability insurance policy the pregnancy will be considered a pre-existing condition and not covered even for complications. If applying after the third trimester the insurance carrier will generally not issue a policy until you have recovered and returned to full time work. Once returning to work without residual effects, you may be covered for future pregnancies under the complications from pregnancy section of the policy. Again, your general maternity leave will not be considered a disabling event under the policy.

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