Disability insurance for families

Disability insurance protects your own income, but there are some policy uses and factors to consider if you’re planning to have or already have children.

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Amanda Shih

Amanda Shih

Editor & Licensed Life Insurance Expert

Amanda Shih is an editor and a licensed life, disability, and health insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about life insurance and disability insurance. Her expertise has appeared in Slate, Lifehacker, Little Spoon, and J.D. Power.

Published January 20, 2022 | 1 min read

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A disability insurance policy protects your income so that you can keep your financial goals on track, even if an illness or injury keeps you from working for an extended period. But your financial plans aren’t just about you: If you have a family, your disability policy ensures that they can still count on your income if you become disabled.

Understanding how private disability insurance overlaps with family leave protections and maternity and paternity leave will help you maximize time with your family. For parents who are separating, you’ll need to factor your disability benefits into child support considerations.

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Disability insurance for parents-to-be

There are a couple of different factors to consider if you’re a working parent with disability insurance and are planning on having children.

  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA protects your ability to return to your job after having or adopting a child, whereas disability insurance protects your earnings during a disabling event.

  • Pregnancy and disability insurance: Private disability insurance doesn’t always cover pregnancy, but will pay benefits if you experience complications — with some exceptions. 

Short-term disability provided by employers frequently offers coverage for maternity leave, but doesn’t typically cover paternity leave. However, the FMLA does guarantee your employment during paternity leave.

Disability insurance for divorced parents

Parents who already have children and are separating will likely have some kind of child support agreement as part of their divorce contract. If you become disabled while owing child support, only benefits from specific types of disability insurance can be garnished for child support

It’s possible to get a modification order from the court if you need to lower your support payments while experiencing financial hardship.

These are just a few additional details that families with disability insurance should take into account. Work with a Policygenius agent to make sure your coverage includes everything you need to protect your income and your loved ones, including riders and other customizations.

→ Learn more about buying disability insurance