FAQ: Maternity Leave Coverage
Get answers to questions about Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance programs for expectant and new mothers. For an overview on both wage replacement programs and how they work with job protection laws, click here (also available in Spanish).
Yes, an eligible birthing parent may be able to receive Temporary Disability benefits for pregnancy and childbirth recovery. They must meet the minimum earnings requirement in New Jersey covered employment. Wages earned for being a surrogate may not be considered covered employment. Click here to learn more about Temporary Disability benefits during pregnancy and childbirth recovery.
Yes, an eligible nonbirthing parent(s) may be able to receive Family Leave Insurance benefits to bond with a new child within the first year of birth. Learn more here.
Nonbirthing parent(s) may also be eligible to receive Family Leave insurance benefits to care for a surrogate during pregnancy and childbirth recovery if they are considered family. Learn more here.
Employers may be able to require employees to take paid time off (PTO) before Temporary Disability benefits. It depends on how they meet the requirements of the NJ Earned Sick Leave law. This law requires employers of all sizes to provide full-time, part-time, and temporary employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick time per year so they can care for themselves or a loved one.
Employers who separate NJ Earned Sick Leave from their PTO policy can require employees to take PTO before claiming Temporary Disability Insurance benefits. Employers cannot require them to take time accrued under the NJ Earned Sick Leave law.
Some employers use their PTO policy to follow the NJ Earned Sick Leave law. In this case, the employer may not require an employee to utilize any of their PTO prior to Temporary Disability benefits.
Check with your employer or HR professional to find out how they follow the NJ Earned Sick Leave law. If you believe your employer violates the Earned Sick Leave law, you may file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division at NJDOL. You may still file for Temporary Disability benefits.
This is explained in more detail on our employer information page here.
Eligibility for Temporary Disability Insurance benefits due to pregnancy is determined in the same way as any other disability. You must meet the wage requirements, and your medical provider must certify that you are disabled and unable to work due to your pregnancy.
File your application when you have stopped working and your medical provider certifies that you are unable to work due to your pregnancy.
Benefits are usually payable up to four weeks before the expected date of delivery, and up to six weeks after you give birth (or up to eight weeks for a Caesarean delivery). If your medical provider certifies that complications exist more than four weeks before your expected delivery date or longer than eight weeks after the birth, benefits may be payable for a longer period.
You may be eligible to receive benefits if you work in New Jersey, regardless of where you live.
We send you the FL2 after you or your healthcare provider tell us that you gave birth, whether it was a C-section or vaginal delivery, and confirm your delivery date. To notify us of your delivery information, complete the Request to Claimant for Continued Claim Information (Form P30). If you have not received the P30 in the mail yet, you can have your doctor complete Part C of the Temporary Disability Insurance application (Form DS-1). If you received state plan Temporary Disability Insurance benefits for your pregnancy, wait for us to mail you the New Mother Bonding Notice (FL2) to apply for Family Leave Insurance benefits. Don’t try to speed things up by sending in an application for Family Leave Insurance (FL-1) before you get the FL2. Doing so will significantly delay the payment of your Family Leave Insurance benefits.
If you are physically able to do your job, but you are exposed to environmental risks at the worksite (for example, X-rays, radiation, or chemicals), Temporary Disability Insurance benefits are not payable because you are not disabled. In this situation, you may qualify for Unemployment Insurance benefits.
To receive Temporary Disability Insurance benefits, you must be disabled. However, you may be able to apply for Family Leave Insurance benefits.
New Jersey Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance are partial wage-replacement programs. They do not guarantee employer-approved time off or job protection.
However, you may have job protection rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and/or the New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA), which require covered employers to provide employees with unpaid, job-protected leave for up to 12 weeks. You must apply for FMLA protection directly with your employer and give 30 days' notice if your need for leave is foreseeable. For NJFLA, you must generally give 30 days' notice if your need for leave is foreseeable. Learn more about job protection here.
You may be eligible for Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance benefits whether or not your job is protected under FMLA or NJFLA. Learn how paid leave and job protection work together here.
Typically, if your delivery date isn’t verified, we will pay you up to four weeks before and four weeks after your estimated due date. We know that estimated due dates aren't set in stone, so this period is designed to cover you until we receive confirmation of your delivery date.
Each airline has their own policy but 12 to 13 weeks before your estimated due date seems to be an average time span. You should speak to your Human Resources Representative before applying for benefits.
The general guideline is four weeks before the estimated due date per baby for a multiple pregnancy. For example, a woman carrying twins would be eligible for benefits eight weeks before her estimated due date; this would increase to 12 weeks for triplets, and so on.
However, mothers of multiples are not automatically eligible for extended Temporary Disability Insurance benefits after delivery, during the postpartum recovery period. This period of temporary disability can be only extended if the mother suffers a qualifying complication after the birth, documented by her medical provider.
If you have a pregnancy complication which affects your health in some way, including requiring bedrest, your medical provider must explain it when filling out their part of your Temporary Disability Insurance application. He or she cannot simply list “bedrest” as the reason, or name a complication or problem experienced only by the baby.
When we approve a Temporary Disability claim, we list your maximum benefit amount on the approval notice we send. You can also get this information online. Keep this dollar amount in mind if you experience complications that leave you unable to work starting very early in your pregnancy. If the complications persist, you may exhaust your Temporary Disability Insurance benefits before giving birth.
The good news: A mother who exhausts her maximum Temporary Disability Insurance benefit amount before giving birth still may be eligible for up to 12 weeks of Family Leave Insurance benefits after delivery.
Your medical provider may certify that you need time off work to physically recover from an abortion, miscarriage, or birth. You may be eligible for Temporary Disability benefits during your medical leave.
While bereavement is not specifically covered, your medical provider may certify that your mental health prevents you from working at this time. You may be eligible for Temporary Disability benefits during your medical leave. If your loved one needs to care for you, they may be eligible for Family Leave benefits.
You may also be eligible for job-protection under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act for a serious physical or mental health condition associated with an abortion, miscarriage, still birth, or loss of child. Learn more at dol.gov.
There is no limit to the number of times you may apply for and receive benefits, but you must meet the eligibility requirements and have medical documentation for each new claim.
If you become disabled while collecting Unemployment Insurance benefits, notify the Division of Unemployment Insurance immediately. The division can suspend your Unemployment Insurance claim while you are unable to work. Then you can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance benefits. Our Disability During Unemployment section will likely process your application if you haven't had recent employment.
You can change your address online by clicking here, or you can let us know in writing by mail or fax. Be sure to include your full name, your old address, your new address, your Social Security number, and sign and date the letter. Fax it to 609-984-4138, or mail to: Division of Temporary Disability Insurance P.O. Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387. Our customer service agents cannot accept address changes by phone.
If you filed online, you can access some forms online - click here for Temporary Disability Insurance forms, and click here for Family Leave Insurance forms. For everything else, call us at 609-292-7060 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to speak to a customer service agent who can have a new form sent to you.