Screwed on maternity leave. Ideas on what to do?

Jan 25 113 Comments

I work for a small company that provides short term disability benefits while out on maternity leave. My biweekly pay is $1100 after taxes, HSA, insurance payment, and 401k. The insurance payment is $375 per pay period. This is after my employer contributes $150 on insurance (so the total insurance bill is $525 per pay period). I just got the details of what “benefits” I can expect.

My first two weeks on disability will be unpaid. Then after those two weeks, I qualify for up to $500 per week. While on disability I am completely responsible for the $525 insurance payment with no employer contribution. Not sure how I’m going to handle all my bills, rent, food, etc. Has anyone dealt with a nightmare disability plan and survived?

Side note: I’m the only employee in the company who doesn’t have a lawyer/engineer/trust fund baby for a spouse and supports a family on a single income.

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TOP 113 Comments
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Microsoft MP3
      @ToKL28:
      In hunter-gatherer’s era, they would simply kill the baby if it was an extra head they could not collectively afford to feed because their resources were very limited. That’s pretty responsible.

      In 21st century, the responsibility for child’s well being is not on the tribe/society but on the parents, especially given that US is a individualistic society as opposed to collectivist like China, USSR. That being said, there are plenty of organizations who will help single mothers. US laws are also HUGELY in favor of single mothers, single fathers don’t get anywhere near the same support both from the government and from society. However, it is still the responsibility of the child’s parents to make use of available resources.
      Jan 26
    • Walmart.com ToKL28
      Is not it great that we evolved to have better support for child development than killing the baby? Is not it better than making stupid genetic statements like "should have thought about it before..."?
      Jan 26
    • Microsoft MP3
      @ToKL28:
      It depends on how you look at it. Yes it is great that my child will have so much support from society, and yet it is bad because it can lead to overpopulation, pollution, and so on. It is not a simple yes or no.

      In US, the support system in place ENCOURAGES single mothers to have as many kids from as many dads as possible, which many take advantage of. It is not good for wellbeing of the kid to grow up in such a household without a dad. That lifestyle will be passed on to the children.

      I know you may find it extremely hard to comprehend, but both in a hunter-gatherer and in 21st century you have to be the one responsible. It wasn’t “support for child development” that lead to improvements, it was agriculture, science, technology that created a surplus of available resources, which in turn allowed for increased social support.

      If for hunter-gatherers starvation was something they were intimately familiar with and a real threat, in modern times in US it is practically impossible to die of hunger. Not so in many other countries, and it isn’t because we lack resources - it is due to poor organization and lack of distribution.
      Jan 26
    • Microsoft afterall
      At this point, I suspect MP3 and nghiijj are from India or a country with similar value which has very different culture from US. Women have limited choices there and people marry via arrangement. People don’t hang out with other class of people (arrangement also makes sure avoid this) and think others live like them. Then you have probably not seen many such cases in your life. It is easy to be judgemental when you don’t know much about or have a chance to see them closely. If you are from a country where womens right is not up to the standard, they don’t have options and just endure tragic marriage for the sake of kids which is not always good. Women will not even report to police when the father abused her and the kids. Great job making a great country with a father no matter what. Can you predict if he will be a good father? Is family arrangement a good solution?
      Jan 26
    • Microsoft MP3
      I’m from Eastern Europe. I have personally gifted laptops, smartphones, paid for education, bought educational materials and hobby tools, to single mother families who could not afford it. I have also donated electronics, resources, and my time to schools. When I travel back to home country I give lectures in schools to teach English, teach how to be more rational and responsible, how to shift from Soviet victim thinking and succeed in the modern world. The skills I teach school teachers are then passed on to hundreds, thousands of students.

      There is one girl in particular who I’ve been mentoring for the last 5 years. She had no electronics, went to a crappy school, had no support for her artistic skills. I bought her a smartphone, a laptop, a Wacom drawing tablet, enrolled her in a private school. I also taught her how to find information, software, how to make efficient use of her computer. She now speaks fluent English, draws amazing illustrations, and is now getting into 3D modeling. She is in grade 9.

      Interestingly enough, I also tried helping her single mother learn programming, mentor her, help her find a well paid job. Unfortunately, all she does is complain about how unfair the world is to her. She takes no responsibility for her life whatsoever. She is still on welfare and unemployed.

      I prefer to put money and time where my mouth is. I believe in personal responsibility, rationality, and therefore I teach that and give resources that empower people to take care of themselves and others. I make people feel good by teaching them practical skills that naturally lead to success in whatever field they choose.
      Jan 26
  • Google Bluths
    Shouldn’t you have thought this through before getting pregnant? Not really sure what your options are other than you or your spouse switching to a higher paying job.
    Jan 25 18
    • Walmart.com ToKL28
      We can build a better society, where kids future is less dependent on the who is their mother.
      We can do it if the rich and powerful are more accountable for their actions.
      Jan 25
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      We can only build a better future if everyone involved are accountable for their actions irrespective of rich or poor
      Jan 25
    • Microsoft afterall
      What do you guys know about her situation? How can you be certain that you would not make the same choice as her if you were her? Every person is different. Some are more emotional, some are unlucky, some did best one could yet one mistake or mishap causes significant difficulties, some are born with more challenges. She could have been very well raped, or parted away from her partner because he was abusive. He could have cheated. He could have looked perfect until she found out she better stay away from him. She could have felt her life would be in danger if she is with him. She could have slept for one night but the guy was an a-hole who did it without consent.

      These are all too far often happening. Are you sure you don’t make any mistake in your life? Does your life go as calculated all the time, if so, are you a human or machine? Why do you even exist if you are not different from a machine without humanity or emotion?

      Just because it didn’t happen to you yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you. You could have diabetes despite perfect diet, have cancer with perfect life style, mental disorder due to extreme stress. Many of the comments look like written by people who never had a chance to get proper education regarding judgement. If you are from a developing country, wouldn’t you want to learn about how American society has built better country than yours? If you are an American, how the fck you end up not developing empathy and basic common sense about judgement? If latter, you are the one who is likely to cause more problems for this country since you have not gotten education despite growing up in a great environment.
      Jan 25
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      She could have been very well raped, or parted away from her partner because he was abusive. He could have cheated. He could have looked perfect until she found out she better stay away from him. She could have felt her life would be in danger if she is with him. She could have slept for one night but the guy was an a-hole who did it without consent. - abortion is a better choice for all these situations
      Jan 25
    • Flagged by the community.

  • Google dafuqistiz
    The American dream: dream you'll be able to get financially through the most natural event a woman can go through.
    Jan 25 9
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      😀then, I’d not be arguing with an idiot right now and wouldve never known how stupid people are
      Jan 25
    • Microsoft MP3
      “unplanned things happen in life”

      A woman could have:
      1. Not had sex
      2. She used birth control (pill, dam, sponge)
      3. He used birth control (or no sex)
      4. Plan B pill
      5. Abortion

      If a woman didn’t do these - she planned to have a baby. End of story.
      Jan 25
    • Google dafuqistiz
      Your system is fucked up if a woman cannot have the right to have appropriate maternity leave. You are slaves at the mercy of the rich, playing their own game.
      Jan 26
    • Glassdoor zrooper
      dafuqistiz if the system is so facked up why did you leave your family, friends and everything else behind just to be here ?
      Hypocracy at its finest...
      Jan 26
    • Google dafuqistiz
      Because I am not "here"
      Jan 26
  • New DvVM00
    how small? verify they are not over 50 employees. they may have gone over the line and not realized.

    no idea how you can have a baby if you are paycheck to paycheck. the leave is a tiny problem compared to the staggering bills you can expect after. diapers ain’t cheap.

    anyway, nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/texas-family-medical-leave.html
    Jan 25 3
    • New ktFx33
      Dude people in the undeveloped world pop babies and manage fine. She’s in the US so she and her baby will be fine
      Jan 25
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      People in underdeveloped countries pop babies and dont manage, which is why educated people run away from those countries for better life, now dont make US another underdeveloped country.
      Jan 25
    • Microsoft MP3
      US has a high child mortality rate comparable to less developed countries. Know your facts.
      Jan 25
  • New NMTX
    So I guess it’s come to this: asking for actual suggestions like tips on budgeting, etc. If you just want to make rude comments I’m sure there’s other forms of social media for that.
    Jan 25 3
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      Like what? Also those are not rude comments, its their perception of the situation, if you dont understand rational decision making and act on impulse and emotions, you are not ready to be a parent
      Jan 25
    • Microsoft afterall
      That’s what rude people say.
      Jan 25
    • Microsoft MP3
      Just as rude as teaching evolution to creationists.
      Jan 25
  • Microsoft girl44
    The comments here are reflection of how the world still is unfair to working women. If you don’t have any helpful recommendations for her, just fuck the shut up. A pregnant lady doesn’t have to hear shit from you losers who think they have made good in their life but lack empathy for a fellow human.
    Jan 25 1
    • Google Bluths
      I would give the same advice to a working man. Think before you procreate. Get out of here with your bullshit pseudo feminism.
      Jan 26
  • Medallia nyojvryu
    Is abortion out of the question?
    Jan 25 2
    • Intel xdCS17
      This is Texas, good luck. Repubs care about the unborn baby, but screw the parent and the kid once they’re born. That’s the reality of the situation, there’s no good answer.
      Jan 25
    • New ktFx33
      Do not get an abortion it will kill your mental health forever
      Jan 25
  • New tagged
    I would consult the California employment office to see if there’s anything you can ask from your employer.

    Have a chat with your boss and explain your situation, see if they can cover some of these costs that you can’t afford
    Jan 25 0
  • Erickson Living ✌️
    When I went out of FMLA, I used PTO and my extended leave bank to cover the 1st 2 weeks. Then my STD covered 60% of my weekly pay and I used more ELB to cover the rest for as long as I could.

    If ELB isn’t available and PTO isn’t an option, I’d start saving as much as possible before the baby comes. Not easy but do the best you can.

    You might qualify for WIC when you’re on Maternity Leave, that will help with food and maybe rent, sorry I don’t know the ins and outs of WIC. But look into it, everything counts.
    Jan 25 2
    • Google dafuqistiz
      More acronyms please.
      Jan 26
    • Erickson Living ✌️
      I’ll try harder next time.
      Jan 26
  • Amazon ShutdownFB
    Wtf are all these responses. You people should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Congratulations on the baby op. Sorry to hear of the financial situation. Tell the spouse to start hustling on Uber. Get a personal loan from the bank if you need to cover your downtime. Credit Cards will also happy charge you interest. It’s not the end of the world, you have options.

    Start leetcoding.
    Jan 25 1
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      Ok, we were saying that the spouse needs to start hustling or she needs to rethink her choices, both are very sound advice, but one depends on the spouse to suddenly start being responsible, which seems too much to expect otherwise she wouldnt be looking to blind for advice.
      Jan 25
  • Atlassian y7
    Your side note is not helpful nor relevant.
    Jan 25 0
  • Cerner ? ? ?
    I m sorry you are going through this. At the same time, admire you for coming out and posting about this on public forum even though it allows maintaining anonymity, as clearly there are people who are giving their opinions and raising questions on your decision of having child.

    Regarding financial help, I would think looking up local state agencies and organization helping or single mother, might help. Also, how about reaching other NGO, non-profit, family planning organizations.
    Jan 25 0
  • OpenTable Meliodas
    You could take out a loan. That’s what our Commerce Secretary is recommending.
    Jan 25 2
    • New NMTX
      Hoping to avoid that, but have been looking at rates. Have you taken a loan with any similar situation? Would you have any recommendations of what firms/banks to look into?
      Jan 25
    • Autodesk nghiihh
      Create a gofundme page, dont mind donating as much as i can to help you through this.
      Jan 25
  • Apple parking
    If you are in California then you should be covered by EDD. They pay out most of your pay and employer can cover the rest for 12 weeks
    Jan 25 1
    • OP
      Unfortunately in Texas so I’m finding less resources.
      Jan 25
  • AdRoll BluUfin
    Do they match 401k? If not might be worth to stop it for a bit to have a bit extra of savings. I would move the question to a mother forums in your region and they will likely be able to support you with ideas.
    Jan 25 0
  • New ktFx33
    That sounds like a tough deal! Have you talked to your employer about this? It sounds like you are underpaid too. Would they be willing to cover half of the insurance? Asking politely might help. Otherwise, yeah maybe take out a loan. How about child support from the father? I’m sure he has a healthy child as his goal as well. You’ll get through this. I just can believe this is happening in the US. My sister lives in Germany where the government gives you off 8 months and pays 80% of your salary during this time.
    Jan 25 0