How long can you pay your bills on $170 per week - before taxes? The New York area has the nation's highest cost of living, and some of the highest incomes to help pay those bills. While the New York State Short Term Disability Insurance is good to have should you miss work, it does not replace a significant percentage of most New Yorker's income.
New York Disability Benefits May Fall Short
Who feels this the most? New York women preparing for maternity leave. They are expecting to be out of work for six to eight weeks for normal delivery, and may be shocked to discover how little income replacement they will get.
For example, a woman earning $52,000 per year earns about $1,000 per week. Her New York State Short Term Disability payout equates to only 17% of her normal income. That's equivalent to an 87% pay cut!
Many women can't afford an 87% pay cut for eight weeks, much less if she is disabled longer. What will happen if she is also out of work prior to delivery because of pregnancy complications? Or if she experiences complications during delivery and needs additional time to heal before returning to work? Or if she has an accident or illness that prevents her from working?
Increase your Level of Disability Coverage
Women can increase their maternity leave pay by applying for supplemental short term disability before conception. An individual short term disability insurance policy can replace up to 2/3 of income, and will be paid in addition to the NY State Disability benefit. The benefit can be paid free of any tax consequences, bringing take-home-income replacement very close to 100%.
Supplemental Short Term Disability can create maternity leave income, while also protecting your family in case of pregnancy complications, delivery complications, premature birth, accidents, and illnesses. It covers your maternity leave for normal delivery, plus pays benefits for the unexpected medical events that cause you to miss work.
Other Possible Gaps In Coverage
Short Term Disability in New York has other limitations and gaps that women with a growing family should know.
- The benefits end after 26 weeks - What if you are disabled for a year? Can you continue to pay your bills?
- The benefits are taxable - Depending upon your state, federal, and FICA tax rates, your take home pay could be considerably less.
- Government workers are exempt - If you work for a state, county, city, township, or boro entity you may not have coverage.
- Teachers are Government workers - You may not have coverage if your union did not request this benefit.
Get the right amount of coverage for your pregnancy and maternity leave by applying for short term disability insurance before getting pregnant.