New Jersey Short-Term Disability and Pregnancy

New Jersey's temporary disability insurance (TDI) program provides some wage replacement to employees who are unable to work due to a non-work related disability, including pregnancy.

By , J.D. · UC Berkeley School of Law

New Jersey is one of the few states that has a temporary disability insurance (TDI) program (also sometimes called short-term disability). The state program is funded through salary deductions from employees and contributions by employers. Eligible employees can get temporary disability benefits through the state-run program or an employer's approved private short-term disability insurance plan.

New Jersey's TDI program covers disabilities (including pregnancy) that are not work-related. Injuries or illnesses suffered on the job are generally handled through New Jersey's workers' compensation program (although an employee might be eligible for TDI coverage if workers' comp benefits are denied or stopped).

Who Is Eligible for New Jersey Short-Term Disability Benefits?

New Jersey uses a quarterly base year to determine if you're eligible for TDI benefits. The state divides the year into calendar quarters:

  • January, February, and March
  • April, May, and June
  • July, August, and September, and
  • October, November, and December.

The base year for TDI benefits in New Jersey refers to the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters before you file a claim. For instance, if you file a short-term disability or TDI claim in April, your base year would be January through December (all four quarters) of the prior year. And if you file a claim this November, your base year would be July of last year through June of this year.

During the four quarters that make up your base year, to be eligible for TDI in New Jersey, you must have:

  • worked at least 20 calendar weeks and earned at least $283 per week, or
  • earned at least $14,200 total (no matter how many weeks you worked or how much you earned each week).

To qualify for short-term disability, you must have been working for a covered New Jersey employer for at least two weeks before becoming disabled. (If you weren't, you might qualify for benefits through a different program, which funds disability benefits during unemployment.)

What TDI Benefits Are Available in NJ?

If you're eligible, you'll receive 85% of your average weekly salary for your base year, up to a maximum amount set by law. The maximum TDI benefit amount generally changes every year; for 2024, it's $1,055 per week.

New Jersey determines your average weekly salary by dividing your total TDI base year earnings by the number of weeks you worked and earned the base amount ($283 in 2024). (Only weeks where you earned $283 or more are counted toward your base year earnings.)

How Long Do Short-Term Disability Benefits Last in NJ?

The number of weeks New Jersey's TDI benefits will cover depends on why you're getting them. Generally, for a disability caused by injury or illness, you can collect benefits for a maximum of 26 weeks per benefit year.

For a normal pregnancy, you can get benefits for up to four weeks before your child's birth and up to six weeks after. You might be able to get short-term disability benefits for a longer period if you have:

  • a Caesarian section
  • specific complications related to your pregnancy
  • another disability, or
  • you're otherwise physically unable to do your regular job.

When Should I File My TDI Claim?

To file for benefits, you must mail the claim form, Form DS-1, to New Jersey's TDI Disability Insurance Office in Trenton. The form has three parts. You're responsible for getting all three parts completed before submitting the form:

  1. You must complete Parts A and A1.
  2. Have your doctor complete Part B.
  3. Have your most recent employer complete Part C.

You must file your TDI claim within 30 days of becoming disabled. Delaying your application could put your temporary disability benefits at risk. If you miss the 30-day deadline, include an explanation of why you couldn't file on time.

Updated December 29, 2023

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