How to Collect Unemployment While Pregnant

By Teo Spengler
Pregnant women, the baby

Nick Daly/Photodisc/Getty Images

Gone are the days when a woman "with child" took to her boudoir for months to emerge again with babe in arms. In modern times, women generally continue working for many months into the pregnancy. They are entitled to unemployment to the same extent as their non-pregnant colleagues.

Qualifying for Unemployment

In order to qualify to receive state unemployment benefits, you generally must be out of work through no fault of your own. In addition, you must be physically capable of working and actively seeking work. Unemployment benefits are only available if you have been an employee, not if you are entering the job market for the first time. Self-employed persons who stop working do not qualify for benefits.

Pregnancy Issues

As long as you meet the standard unemployment eligibility requirements, your pregnancy does not affect your right to benefits. File a state application in the same way you would if you were not pregnant. If the doctor determines that it is dangerous to your health or your baby's health for you to work, you may no longer be able to collect unemployment benefits until you are physically able to work again.

About the Author

Teo Spengler earned a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall. As an Assistant Attorney General in Juneau, she practiced before the Alaska Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court before opening a plaintiff's personal injury practice in San Francisco. She holds both an M.A. and an M.F.A in creative writing and enjoys writing legal blogs and articles. Her work has appeared in numerous online publications including USA Today, Legal Zoom, eHow Business, Livestrong, SF Gate, Go Banking Rates, Arizona Central, Houston Chronicle, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pearson, Quicken.com, TurboTax.com, and numerous attorney websites. Spengler splits her time between the French Basque Country and Northern California.

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