39 answers

How Can I Extend My Maternity Leave So That I Can Still Get Paid?

I dont have disability insurance but people have told me that I can have my physician extend my leave under illness. What are some conditions that warrant an extended illness leave besides postpartum depression?

What can I do next?

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When I had my daughter (April 2006) I was able to take off until September 2006. I left in March 2006 for my initial 4 weeks before she was born, then my 6 weeks after her birth. Applied for the "family leave act" and got another 12 weeks to spend with her. This was the best time for me. I got to be with the new baby and have the summer with my oldest child (son, then age 7). Go to the California EDD website and all the info is there. You need to be employed for minimum one year in order to apply.

Best of luck! K.

If you have a cesarean, you will automatically get 10 weeks afterward, instead of 6. I don't recommend lying about an illness to get more time off.

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Don't lie. Get a new career.

2 moms found this helpful

i have a 2 and a 3 year old and wish i had done this...typically you'll get 6 weeks off (depending on your job), i got an extra 2 wks for a c-section. you have to have your doctor write a note for an illness, in my case with my first child i should've taken off longer for post-partum, but you will know after baby is born! it has to be a valid reason, though, for the doctor to excuse you for i believe up to 12 weeks (6 weeks extra paid by disability). anyone corrrect me if i'm wrong. hope this helps! good luck - there is nothing like motherhood! :)

you can get paid through state disability insurance for 6 wks after you give birth, then stay out of work and get paid for an additional 6 weeks through the Paid Family Leave Act. (I am currently in the last week of paid leave myself.)
call this # (877) 238-4373 it is the state office that handles all claims, or just google CA state disability insurance and it will give you a link. you will have to download a form from the website, get your doctor to fill it out for you and send it in. its really easy and you get paid your full pay, its not just a percentage!

Under CA State disability you will recieve about 6 weeks, but after that is completed they have Paid Family Leave that can be used as soon as that ends. It is 6 weeks that can be used any time during the first yr of babies life for bonding or illness whatever the case may be. It doesn't require anything from the dr, just is an application that gets sent automatically the day when your initial disability ends. Hope this helps, I am using it now, and very happy to have the extra time.

Under CA law, you should be entitled to FMLA which is paid leave up to 12 weeks and PFL, which is for baby bonding that allows you an additional 6 weeks through the state as well.
Your physician can extend your disability for as long as you tell them "you're not quite up to par" and you tell them how much longer you think you may need.
The PFL kicks in once you have been released to your normal job and can go back to work. You can take PFL up to 1 year after the birth of your child and is for dad's too.
Check out the EDD website for further information.

Where I work , our union allows us to take up to one year (includes 6-8 weeks maternity & then another few weeks for FMLA). The additional time falls under is care for a newborn/childcare. Check with your employer. Be advised though that you may have to pay for medical out of pocket after you leave time runs out.

With my son, I had a very difficult delivery. I had a Level 4 episiotomy. It did not heal weel or fast and I had pain and problems. So, I was actually on CA disability for 7 months. It may be worth checking into for you.

Sounds like there are some great legal ways to extend your maternity leave. So please, don't ask your doctor to lie, and don't deceive him/her to get false excuses to stay home. One lie always leads to another, and that's no way to start out your new life with a baby. Good luck and congratulations.

Hi K.,

A couple of the other moms were right on about Disability and PFL (Paid Family Leave). I used to handle the Human Resources at work before I choose to stay home with my child so I am fairly familiar with the above mentioned. California State Disability will pay you 6 weeks for vaginal and 8 weeks for C-section (I have had 2 c-section in the last 3 yrs so I'm positive on this). After your Disability is up EDD will automatically mail you a form to complete to start your PFL (Paid Family Leave) which pays you an "additional" 6 weeks to stay home for "Bonding" with your new child. (So you have a total of 12 weeks paid - or 14 if you have a c-section). Your babies father also qualifies for the "PFL" as long as he's employed (not self employed, government, etc...). PFL is for "bonding" with a new child and this is why the father can also take it. PFL fees were automatically being deducted from everyone's paycheck starting back a few years ago. You had no choice. It just comes out - so it's nothing you have to pay extra for. You can take the PFL for up to one year after the birthdate of your baby. You will get taxed in CA on the PFL but not the Disability. Please remember with Disability and PFL there is an unpaid 7 day waiting period. For more informtaion you can go to EDD's website: http://www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaimpfl.htm - this link will take you directly to the PFL page. Or you can just go to www.edd.gov I suggest on the PFL page you download the PFL brochure as it gives more info. Also your employer in the state of CA is REQUIRED by law to give the brochure to you. Make sure they do. And the HR person MUST help you with the paperwork process if needed. California law. And as for staying home even longer - I had major hip pain from my pregnancies. My body was producing so much "relaxin" that my hip joints were actually moving out of place because the tendons were so loose. That allowed me to go out 2 months before my son was born. Maybe it'll work afterwards too :) Good luck to you!!! I have heard of a lot of women being able to stay out as long as 6 months on Disability. You just have to find a doctor willing to keep you out. Also, please check EDD's website and look in to FMLA because I know certain laws state your employer does NOT have to guarantee you a job when you are ready to go back to work - or it may be that they don't have to guarantee the same position and pay. FMLA is UNPAID "Family Medical Leave of Absense." Good luck :) Do you know that in Germany the goverment pays moms for 2 yrs to stay home with their children. Why the heck hasn't the US realized this is a crucial time in the childrens live???? Hmmm....

i just had my son last april, so here's what i know.

california disability will pay you for 6 weeks before your delivery and 6 weeks after, unless you have a c-section, then it's 8 after. california also has an extended leave act that will pay you for an additional 6 weeks for up to one year after the birth of your child. keep in mind that this additional 6 weeks is subject to taxes next year. they will send you a 1099 to claim the money. that being said your job is not guaranteed by the state. the fed fmla only protects your job if you company has more than 50 employees and does not provide any compensation for time off.

in order to get the state compensation you must have paid s.d.i. and the amount you get paid goes back a whole year. i was bummed because i'd received 2 raises in the year before my son was born and they didn't count. also, make sure you put your actual leave date on the form, unless you have take 2 weeks or more off due to vacation time that had to be used.

i didn't find the people at edd very helpful with this and ended up getting a check for a whopping $72 instead of $720, the first check because they gave me wrong information.

If you are talking about going beyond the Family leave alloted time for you to bond with your child then you may have an issue unless you have a c-section they get a bit more time. But you risk loss of employment if you extend beyond the recommened time set by the state for Family Leave . Also what is your policy at work, can you go back part- time and only work a few hours a week. If this will not be a burden on your finances or your marriage, then maybe you can work part time or not at all. Yes our children come first, I stopped working for one year and we cut back on expenses. There were tiems that we had to struggle and it caused some arguements, but then we had to remind ourselves this was a decision we BOTH made. If you go under illness your employer may need you to take a physical to ensure your ready to do your job if your employment is in the medical field, law enforcement or any other job that requires such stamina. Alo you will be asking your doctor to commit fraud if the state finds out that your are not ill. Both you and your physician could enter into conquences.Be careful. I have been in a position where we investigate unusual claims that don't make sense if the delivery was normal. I am a grandmother now and I no longer do that type of work. But I am in the medical field and out on the Paid Family leave for 90 days and can extend to another 1-2 months if needed.

I think you can extend for breastfeeding? Ask your doctor -my doctor mentioned it. You can take the California Family Leave Act, of course ...

The trick with Paid Family Leave and Disability is you HAVE TO BE WORKING FOR 1 YEAR prior to using it.

If you want to stay home with your baby, you can do what I did. I became a medical transcriptionist and I get paid for every line I type. I went to a 100% online course, so I never had to leave him with a sitter, and I never had to leave the house to attend class. I started working at home transcribing psychiatric reports within 2 days of getting my final results. You can get a free information packet at my website: www.homecareerinfo.com/0852. You can send me a message with any questions after you read the website and/or get your free information. It was the best thing I could do. I only wish I did it a lot sooner, when my girls were little too. I work when the baby sleeps, it is a perfect situation if you want to be a work at home mom.

I assume that you're in California, right? Well, you concurrently take the 6 weeks given under FMLA (Federal statute) and CFLA (California statute). If you combine the 2 you can be out a total of 3 months. YEs, your doctor would have to say that it was for medical reasons. Just ask them, they'll know how it works....

Good luck!

I haven't read the other responses so forgive me if this info was already provided. In CA you can get the 6 weeks of "disability" and then an additional 8 weeks under the Family Medical Leave Act. I belive your husband can take 8 weeks too under the FMLA. Most employers do not pay you at all... it's all state funded. And a lot of employers won't let you be gone longer than 4 months... check with your HR person about your company's policies and speak with the office manager at your ob/gyn.

That was my due date last year, congrats! C section or just tell your doc you're not feeling well, can't be on your feet, still bleeding a lot... Are you having to go to work? My vote, stay home and raise your beautiful child yourself.

Well, I know if you have a c-section you get an extra two weeks and the Dr can give you more time if he deems it necessary for you to heal or you have a very physical job. Not that you should opt for a c-section just to get the two weeks. There is a reason they give you the extra time - it is magor surgery.


Talk to your HR dept. In the state of CA you get 6 weeks maternity leave (Short Term Disability-SDI) provided you've been at your job for more than a year. For C Section you get 8 weeks. You can also take an additional 6 weeks of Paid Family Leave where you get 51% of your salary from the previous year-this is paid by the state only. Under CA law your job is protected for 18 weeks-so you can take an additional 6 weeks unpaid. The exception to this is if you are in the top 10% paid salary in your company and you are are pretty high up-that might not get approved. I speak from expericence and to take as much time as you can-especially if you plan on breastfeeding. I went back to work after 12 weeks and although have a flexible schedule it was still difficult. I pushed through and was able to breast feed my daughter for the first 13 months.

Good luck and congratulations.

Well, you get a total of 12 weeks paid, without having to lie about anything. You get 6 weeks paid disability from the state, and after that runs out you can then apply to get another 6 weeks as Paid Family Leave, also through the state. The website for EDD is http://www.edd.ca.gov/ and if you look on the left, under "How To:" there are links for both where you can read up on them. If I'm not mistaken, you and your husband are entitled to the same benefits, so you could both be off the same 12 weeks, or you could be off alternating 12 weeks.

The FMLA thing that everyone is talking about is unpaid time off that your employer is obligated to give you, if you request it and if you submit the forms properly. You can take up to 12 weeks unpaid, if you meet the conditions (i.e. - have worked there for a year, etc.) I wouldn't jump to do that though, unless it's really necessary. First, you don't get paid for that time. Second, the employer is not obligated to hold your job for you. They are obligated to offer you a job when you get back, but it doesn't necessarily have to be the same job. You can read more about that on http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/. Plus, once you use that 12 weeks, you can't have it again for another year. If (God Forbid) there were anything to happen to ANYONE in your family that you needed to take that time off for, you wouldn't be able to do so again.

When I had my daughter I had just started a job 6 months prior and did not qualify for anything more than 6 weeks because I did not qualify for FMLA. Devastated, I researched every way to find out how I could get more paid time off. Most people have no idea that they can take 6 more weeks paid per the Paid Family Leave Act. It is paid for by the state and not your job. The only difference between this and FMLA is that your employer does not have to hold your job for you until you get back. You would have to speak to them to see if they are willing to do this. Most will, because of the situation. My job just put me on a discretionary leave at the time. You end up getting paid more $$ through this than the 6 or 8 weeks of disability pay. Contact me if you have any more questions and check out this webpage for more info. I hope this helps you. I was a huge relief for me.

If you have a job, then you should have disability insurance, unless you had no income last year. To my understanding, California State Disablity will cover you for 6 wks with a natural childbirth and 12 wks with a ceserean. I have a friend however who some how got paid by the state for 6 months after having her child. She said she called around and then got approved for something, maybe Paid Family Leave???

Dear K., Unfortunately- to extend your leave-at all-
I beleive it would mean that everything did not go as well as hoped- for you only. That would be a shame!!!!
Thank The Lord for Your Health!!
Otherwise, there is an "Amneotic Embelisym" where the placenta
shoots straight up to the heart, and turns it off!
My Best Friend had this happen. She died in my arms!!!
The Medical Staff over at Mary Birch were fast to PEEL me off of holding her! They went to a "Code Blue" and hit her with the paddles. They saved her life-Thank God!!!
Only 1 in 225,000 mothers have this occur.
If you have hemmoraging problems is yet another way. But, again---You will be suffering from extenuating circumstances!
If by chance you do get an extention on any leave, it would probably be without pay.
Good Luck to You,
C. S.

Dear K.

Congratulations! I know exactly what you going thru. I want to tell what I did so I can be with my baby for almost 6 months and getting paid. Just before the expiration of my maternity leave, I went to see a Chiroprachtor because my back was "hurting", so he extended my time. He said that maybe was the weight that I carried for 9 months, or the weight of my big breast. They really hurt a little, but I kind of "faked" the pain more. Good Luck!

Hi K.,

Congrats on your first baby! It's such an exciting time and I know how hard it is to go back to work afterwards. My youngest of two children just turned 18 years old this month so it's been awhile since I've had to deal with maternity leave and disability, but I'm sure if you let your doc know you are still not feeling well at the end of your leave, he/she may be able to extend your leave some. Just be careful about too much time as your employer may not be able to hold your job for you.

Have you ever thought of starting a home business and working from home? I no longer work outside the home due to having Fibromyalgia, so I now work from home with an Inc. 500 Wellness Company. I'd be happy to help you get some more info if you feel that this might be a solution to you staying home after your baby is born.

I really wish I had know about this company when my two children were babies, it would have been so much easier on all of us.

Best of health to you and your new family,


Do you live in California? If so, you'll definitely want to look into Paid Family Leave. This extends your maternity disability leave by (I think) 6 weeks. Not sure of other medical needs which qualify you for an extension...hope some other mommies can help. Congratulations, and good luck! It could be any day now...


Do you work in the public or private sector? I work for the county so in my case, I don't pay into state disability, so I couldn't claim it through the state. I did have enough time saved to take almost six months off paid. By law your employer has to give you 18 weeks total. 12 through FMLA and 6 through California disability. Good luck!
p.s. Do you have anything like AFLAC? That also would be helpful...but they won't cover that if you get the policy after your prego.

Definitely take advantage of the paid family leave through EDD after you're maternity leave is up. Also, if you are married, your husband can take off 6 weeks under the paid family leave as well, right after you have the baby, which is a lot of help!

If you pay in to disabilty via work, you are also eligible for Paid Family Leave (a government pay program not a leave program). You can check it out at http://www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaimpfl.htm

If you have a cesarean, you will automatically get 10 weeks afterward, instead of 6. I don't recommend lying about an illness to get more time off.

I'm in the same boat, I don't qualify for the state disability insurance because my husband and I just moved to California in January and I'm due in the middle of May, so I don't meet the 6 month requirement but once I go back to work for about a month after I take my 6 weeks(unpaid time off) I will qualify for bonding time. Have you checked out the bonding time? I went to the http://www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaimpfl.htm for paid family leave. Hope this helps!

the state will offer you 6 additional weeks for family bonding once regular leave expires

There is FMLA - it gives you 6 weeks of additional disability.

Sometimes, the doctor will just extend your leave by a week or two if you ask. Mine did.
Free weekly giveaways. http://gagazine.com/category/giveaways/

Also check out the California Right Acts. You can use 12 weeks for bonding with a child. I think you can combine family plan act with CA rights act. 12 weeks each.

you should check into family leave it gives you some extra time after maternity leave runs out


You can try going to the chiropractor and he can put you out for a few extra weeks with state disability pay. You know those babies weight a lot in their car seats and now your back is really sore :)

When I had my daughter (April 2006) I was able to take off until September 2006. I left in March 2006 for my initial 4 weeks before she was born, then my 6 weeks after her birth. Applied for the "family leave act" and got another 12 weeks to spend with her. This was the best time for me. I got to be with the new baby and have the summer with my oldest child (son, then age 7). Go to the California EDD website and all the info is there. You need to be employed for minimum one year in order to apply.

Best of luck! K.

GO on the edd website and you can get disability insurance. It is easy. I think i got $700 a week. Then I did the family leave act for a few weeks. Any one can get it. And its not too late.

From what I understand, materinity leave is defined in an employee handbook and varies from company to company and also varies depending on your employment status. I believe what people are talking about is different from maternity leave, and actually can protect the position you have for 6 months and this does not mean it is leave with pay. I would review your employee handbook if one is available and contact your insurance company. You can also look up the Family Medical Leave Act online to get more information.....Hope this helps.....Good Luck and Congratulations on your new baby!

your ob/gyn should have you fill out state disability paper work before your leave starts so it is in progress by the time you start your leave. ask your dr what you can do for an extended leave so you can get paid. if your dr stands behind you 100% then all you have to tell him is that you dont feel you are ready to go back to work. i took an extra 6 weeks off after my daughter was born (i left work in feb. and returned to work in may) my dr. asked how i was feeling and if i was ready to return to work at my 6 week check up (he knows that my boss gave me problems through my pregnancy) and all i had to say was well i just dont think i am ready to go back (and i checked out ok) so with my ob/gyn it was as easy as that. most drs will not send you back to work if you say your not ready. well i hope this is helpful to you.

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