Short term disability insurance provides an employee with an income when she is out of work due to a medical-related issue. In Maryland, medical problems due to an accident in the workplace may be covered by worker's compensation. However, employees with other medical issues or taking maternity leave may receive leave without pay, because of limited employer obligations due to state law.
There are no laws in Maryland requiring employers to offer, or individuals to obtain, short term disability insurance for serious medical conditions not sustained on the job. While employees are still entitled to short term medical leave as required by federal law, they neednot be reimbursed for lost pay. However, Maryland's laws do require employers to obtain worker's compensation insurance to cover medical expenses and time off work due to a work-related injury.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers in all states to provide temporary leave to all employees under certain conditions. Allowed leave is a minimum of 12 weeks per calendar year. Qualifying circumstances include the birth and care of a child, adoption of a new child, medical leave due to a serious medical condition and the care of a family member with a serious medical condition.
Maryland offers a temporary disability assistance program (TDAP) for employees who are unable to work for at least three months due to a medical condition. TDAP provides a benefit of up to $185 each month (as of August, 2010). Additionally, the federal government's social security disability insurance provides benefits to employees out of work for at least six months. Benefits continue to pay until the employee is capable of working again. Individual employees can also purchase short term disability insurance to cover pregnancy and maternity leave prior to becoming pregnant. This insurance provides benefits during maternity leave by replacing all or a portion of the employee's income for up to eight weeks.