DENVER (KDVR) — There’s new research out regarding the struggle many Colorado parents are dealing with when it comes to taking unpaid maternity or paternity leave.
According to researchers at Breeze, when it comes to women who recently went on unpaid maternity leave without disability insurance, 20% dug into savings to cover financial costs, 17% took on credit card debt, and 9% took out a personal loan.
“We even found some women are taking on side jobs while they’re on unpaid maternity leave. So I’m guessing it’s a job they can still handle while being at home and taking care of their child. So A lot of women are resorting to kind of emergency financial measures like credit card debt to cover their income while they’re on unpaid maternity leave,” said Mike Brown, Director of Communications at Breeze.
In fact, the data shows 11% of women took on a side job.
Another 11% said they were able to cover their costs comfortably, according to the research.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, experts say look into taking out a short term disability insurance policy.
It will protect between 35% to 70% of your income while you’re on unpaid maternity leave, according to Breeze.
Researchers at Breeze found 33% of moms-to-be knew nothing about taking out disability insurance, 21% tried applying when they were already pregnant and 16% thought they’d be automatically eligible for paid maternity leave.
The key, according to experts, is not to apply when it’s already too late.
“If you’ve already become pregnant, so you’re planning on unpaid maternity leave and you’re already pregnant and then you try to apply for short-term disability insurance – it’s already too late because that will be counted as a pre-existing condition,” said Brown.
The research from Breeze shows 65% of women who took out a short term disability insurance policy said they got adequate financial coverage.