Unemployment Benefits During Maternity Leave

Updated : June 11th, 2019 receives an assortment of queries on applying for unemployment insurance during pregnancy. Anxious readers and patrons are often muddled, especially the female working class as they don’t know where to look for answers. The editorial team are constantly scouting for common issues faced through various forums. We believe in value add articles that will guide our readers during times of unemployment. If you are a working woman expecting a baby or planning to have one, it’s very important that you are well acquainted with labour laws specific to pregnancy in your state and also maintain basic awareness of the company policy in this regard. You can get in touch with the customer service of the labour department via phone or search their website for specific guidelines. Your HR S.P.O.C will be the right person to give you information on company rules.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

You may have heard this term before or it may be your first time. FMLA lays down rules and is the guiding principle for maternity leave and allied benefits. While some employers are legally obligated to provide employees with time off from work for maternity leave, this is not always the case. In most U.S. states, only those companies that fall under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guidelines are required to provide leave specifically related to becoming a parent, or for any other kind of illness. You must be aware that both parents are eligible for certain days of leave at time of pregnancy and  post delivery of the baby. This type of leave is provided during childbirth, adoption & foster situations.

 Unemployment Benefits during Maternity Leave

The most painful drawback about availing leave during pregnancy is that they are unpaid. Rarely do companies in the US offer a compensated maternity leave. This period can be significantly long which can range from the standard 12 weeks up to a year or even more in case you decide to devote more time towards the upbringing of the child.

The Critical Time

It can be quite a challenge to lead life during this time, especially if you were dependent on your job to meet financial obligations, wholly or partly. You may look forward to various state sponsored schemes such as unemployment insurance that offers weekly monetary compensation for the unemployed. But then, are you really unemployed?  Isn’t this just a provisional period? You’re still on rolls of your employer. Unemployment benefits are only extended to those who become jobless for involuntary reasons. Citizens who are able to and available for work are considered for UI compensation. Your pregnancy will put you in a phase of inactivity from a work point of view unless you have some kind of alternate arrangement with your employer. Therefore, you will not qualify to receive unemployment compensation. If you’re currently unemployed and are generally reading this article,please click on benefits by state to be acquainted with the unemployment benefits available in your state.

Short Term Disability Insurance

You don’t have to be really upset. Many companies as an option or under legal obligation may have you covered you under disability insurance. Many short-term disability (STD) insurance plans provide income protection for time lost from work due to childbirth. If you are enrolled in your company’s short-term disability insurance plan, chances are that you will be able to apply for benefits during the time you are off from work. While these policies don’t provide 100 percent income coverage and typically don’t start until you have been unable to work for a few weeks, the funds they do provide can be helpful. You can also learn more about additional benefits that may be available in your state which are specific in nature. Speak to your supervisor or the H.R rep well in advance to make best use of available schemes and welfares offered by both the government and employer before you start the maternity leave. We wish you nothing but the best during this time which should rather be seen as a happy phase of life. Feel free to discuss more on this topic inside our unemployment community forum.

  1. I have worked for 32+ years and recently have become unable to work due to health reasons, so I have had to resign from my job. I have contacted SS and will be able to apply for disability but it will take awhile to process. Can I apply for unemployment benefits? I live in WV.

    1. Sandra,

      UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose their employment due to involuntary reasons. Please reach out to the Unemployment Office for more.

  2. I had to quit my job at Walmart in Fairmont West Virginia and moved back to my home state ky, I’ve got a son with drug problems and 3 older sisters that are not doing so well in health cause of their age. I didn’t understand about the transfer part they had at Walmart that I could put a date when I could start back because of my car problems I thought when I left I had to go in like in s few days, I’ve applied here at Walmart in Winchester ky 40391 two times already plus dollar store, speedway, truck stop, bp, a few other places it’s been going on 7 months without a job I live with my son and its getting harder on him paying rent and utilities and food, not to mention our personal hygiene stuff I really need help I have no income coming in to help him and his wife out I get foodstamps and Medicaid I was praying I could qualify for unemployment PLEASE HELP!!!

    1. Vicky,

      I can understand your situation. Unfortunately, UI benefits are only extended to claimants who lose employment due to involuntary reasons. Please call the Unemployment Office for further clarification.

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