No Company Maternity Leave and I Am on Medicare. Any Advice on Social Security?

Updated on July 27, 2010
S.S. asks from Decatur, GA
9 answers

Due to a layoff and a gap between medical coverage (and getting pregnant during that gap!) I am currently on Medicaid. Yikes, I know. My husband and I are barley making ends meet and any help from social security would help. Does social security cover any thing? Any one want to share how they got through their maternity leave with no income?

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So What Happened?

Just to clarify this wasn't an "oops' pregnancy. We had infertility problems. This is was a blessing no matter what the job market is like and I am on Medicaid because I CAN NOT get insurance - being pregnant is is considered pre-existing, trust me, I tried. The rest of my family has private insurance.

FMLA guarantees someone their old employment position (or comparible) IF the company has over 50 people which my company does not. If I knew I could return to my old job, I might be able to get a good nights rest. Say a prayer for me. These are interesting times.

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answers from Gainesville on

You can't get SSI for pregnancy. But since you do qualify for Medicaid you should also be able to qualify for WIC and food stamps. They are separate entities so you will have to apply for both. Your doctor's office should be able to help you with WIC and check to see if you can apply for food stamp benefits on-line or if not you will need to locate a service center to go apply. Medicaid will completely cover the prenatal care, the birth and post-pardum follow up visit for you so you don't need to look at making any changes there.

And you get thru it by cutting major corners, drop all the non-essentials like cable tv, internet (you can use the internet at the library for free), cell phones, eating out/eating fast food, you use coupons, cook at home, don't buy any non-essentials-no new clothes, etc. Look at where you are spending money now and see what you can cut. My husband was in school forever so I cut corners everywhere I could to make it.

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answers from Indianapolis on

SS is not designed to help with maternity care - it's for unpreventable and/or major medical disability, not for "oops, we didn't use birth control correctly".
You can save money by having a homebirth with a CNM. Check with everyone's insurance, pregnancy is NOT considered a pre-existing condition with most plans, so you may be able to be added to an insurance plan after all. But there's nothing you can do to get any after-birth money or time except go back to work.
I'm sure you can get WIC.
Good Luck:)

There are restrictions to the FMLA. There have to be a minimum number of employees and I think they can require that you've been there a minimum time before you qualify, but I could be wrong about that.

The suggestion to get rid of everything non-essential is a good one. I have to admit, it's a real peeve of mine to know that a friend of mine gets WIC and medicaid and food stamps, yet she has a cell phone and internet. If you can afford things like cable and a cell phone, you don't need government assistance. Stop eating out, end internet access, cable, cell phones, etc...If things are on contract, ask if they can suspend the contract for a few months. I know Direct TV does this, don't know about other things.

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answers from Huntsville on

I don't know anything about Social Security, but you might qualify for WIC. I had Medicaid and WIC when I was pregnant. It was a great help!



answers from Myrtle Beach on

Medicaid will cover the pregnancy care, delivery and post-partum care. Then your baby automatically qualifies for medicaid for the first year, so it is covered as well. After that you have to re-apply each year for the child. At least this is how it works in NC, where I am. There are levels, so you may qualify for state health insurance, even with higher income. It is good insurance and your payments are very small. This does not cover you unless it is pregnancy related. So, if you have to go to the doctor for anything else you are stuck. Look into health insurance that doesn't have a pregnancy rider. In other words they cover everything except pregnancy. This is what I have because I know I qualify for medicaid and can get that if needed. With my 4th, I had medicaid, but only had it as a back-up as we were having a midwife and a homebirth and medicaid would not pay for that, so we paid for it out of pocket. However, it was nice to know that if we had an emergency and had to make a run to the hospital that it would be covered.

In our state, if you have medicaid you automatically qualify for WIC. That helps with a few essential groceries. You get a certain number of milk, juice, bread, cereal, peanut butter, cheese, beans, rice, etc. Each month. You can also get formula on WIC, which can be a big help for some, though I am a big advocate for using the free and better option and breastfeeding.

I don't know anything about food stamps. I don't think I qualify, though I've never checked. I think I've been unable to swallow my pride enough to go there. We manage to buy food OK. :) I know my sister gets them though, as she has 2 children, is unemployed, and going through a divorce so her only income is what her husband chooses to give her. Bad situation there.

And Sarah D that was pretty condescending. People get pregnant even using BC perfectly. It's happened to me twice, so lay off. lol.



answers from Spartanburg on

flea markets, sell your junk, sell your relatives junk. Clean repo's and foreclosures. Thank God for medicaid.and Food stamps. You can also apply for an assistance check.with you being pregnant.



answers from Atlanta on

Medicaid will pay for your medical costs, labor and delivery. I have a friend who was pregnant and had her baby on Medicaid. However, you should check into what happens insurance-wise once you're no longer pregnant and for the new baby -can you immediately hop on your family's private insurance?

Social Security only pays to people who are past retirement age and those who are disabled and can't work or only work in a limited capacity.

Most people I know who have no paid maternity leave just have to tough it out somehow. My best friend is currently on non-paid maternity leave, so they have been saving for it and it meant no vacation this year and no extras for the rest of the year. Buy store-brand everything and hit the consignment sales for clothes for everybody! The Glenn School over by Emory has a FANTASTIC consignment sale for babies and kids! Maybe if you're really in dire straits, your husband could take a second job waiting tables at night or working at Home Depot for some fast cash over the 6 weeks that you're on leave. I know others who have done that.



answers from Hartford on

You would only be able to get Social Security disability if you were going to be disabled for a minimum of one year and it is often very difficult to get even if you are severely disabled, sorry but it doesn't cover pregnancy. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to get paid maternity, you could apply to see if you qualify for state aid or food stamps.



answers from Indianapolis on

You need to contact both your state's departments of Labor and Health to really understand the benefits for someone in your position.

Each state runs Medicaid independently, so there will be subtle changes from one state to the next in terms of what's covered and how you qualify.

Maternity leave doesn't need to be paid, but the federal government did enact FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) in the 1990s ensuring you have up to 12 weeks leave available to you.

Good luck.



answers from Kansas City on

I don't have much advice for you, but I just went through the disability process, and was told that the best way to deal with Social Security was to go talk to them in person at your local SS office. You might try going to the closest branch and asking what's available for you. Somtimes it's easier to get cooperation when you talk to someone face to face.

Also, I want to correct the misconception that disability is only available if you're disabvled for a minimum of one year. That's actually not true. There are a couple types of disability..long term for those who will be disabled for over a year and short term for those who are temporarily disabled. I am on short term disability for 8 months. Please check you facts before you say something is true.

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