Can I qualify for pregnancy disability after working temp jobs?

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Question:

I am working a temporary job that ends eight weeks before my due date. Will I still qualify for pregnancy disability/paid family leave? I think it starts six weeks before the due date. I live in California.

Answer:

In California, you can get SDI (state disability insurance) before your baby is born, and paid family leave after your baby is born.

SDI pays short-term disability benefits. For a normal pregnancy, the usual disability period is up to four weeks before the expected delivery date and up to six weeks after the actual delivery. Paid family leave kicks in after that, but you have to file a separate application.

Paid family leave is part of the SDI program and is for bonding with a new baby or taking care of an ill family member (not for during pregnancy). You can get paid family leave for up to six weeks after your baby is born (and after your SDI benefits end).

As long as you are looking for work at the time your disability begins (I'll assume your doctor will say your disability will begin four weeks before your due date), you can be eligible for SDI benefits and paid family leave benefits.

However, SDI and paid family leave benefits are based on the wages you made about six to 18 months before your disability. If you didn't make at least $300 during that time period, you won't receive benefits.

If you do qualify for SDI and paid family leave, your benefits will be about 55% of your average wages during your based period (6 to 18 months before your disability starts). You can check the EDD's chart to see what your weekly benefit amount will be -- you use the amount of wages you made in your highest paid quarter of work in between six months ago and 18 months ago. (For instance, if you made $6,000 in the highest paid quarter, your weekly benefit would be $254.)

Note that SDI benefits are not taxed by the IRS or the State of California, but paid family leave is taxed by the IRS.

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