I received an email today that should never have been sent. The reason has nothing to do with gravity of the author’s situation: her circumstances are real and the consequences appear dire. She could have avoided her current dilemma by requesting maternity leave pay before getting pregnant. Below is her message:
I was just diagnosed with Placenta Previa and my doctor required that I take a leave of absence from work. I am wondering if there were any programs to where I could get some help because I am in fear of losing my home. Could you please check into this matter for me and notify me of any information you may have. Thank you very much.
My response was that there was nothing I could do to help her replace her income now that she is already pregnant. I could have added that her medical condition also prevented me from helping, but there was no point in doing so.
If she had requested maternity leave pay before getting pregnant she could have avoided many of her current financial consequences. That may sound very odd, but it highlights why I write so many articles on this topic.
Short term disability insurance, when bought before getting pregnant helps you create maternity leave pay. Your normal labor and delivery is a covered benefit, and this benefit may greatly exceed the premium you pay over time.
But most importantly, and most directly related to this woman’s situation, is that short term disability will also replace two-thirds of your income should you experience pregnancy complications and miss work prior to your delivery. This extra benefit comes at no additional cost beyond what you pay to generate your benefit for normal labor and delivery.