Temporary Disability Insurance
Because family and medical leave is typically unpaid, many women who may be eligible for leave cannot afford to take it. Indeed, an analysis by the Urban Institute found that 77 percent of employees who were eligible for and needed leave but chose not to take it made that decision for financial reasons, and 88 percent of this group said that they would have taken leave had some wage replacement been available.1 The Report Card examines states’ efforts to assist these women by providing some payment during family and medical leave periods through temporary disability insurance (TDI) laws. Such laws are usually provided through expansions of unemployment or disability insurance. Although limited, these laws provide partial wage replacement for employees who are temporarily disabled for non-work-related reasons and represent a first step toward making personal medical leave more affordable.2
States receive a "meets policy" if they provide TDI and a "no policy" if they do not.
|State||Strength of Policy||Change from 2007|
|District of Columbia||No Policy||Same|
|New Hampshire||No Policy||Same|
|New Jersey||Meets Policy||Same|
|New Mexico||No Policy||Same|
|New York||Meets Policy||Same|
|North Carolina||No Policy||Same|
|North Dakota||No Policy||Same|
|Rhode Island||Meets Policy||Same|
|South Carolina||No Policy||Same|
|South Dakota||No Policy||Same|
|West Virginia||No Policy||Same|
Data Source: Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement 2009, "Temporary Disability Insurance Program Description and Legislative History," available at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2009/tempdisability.... accessed September 8, 2010.
1 Katherin Ross Phillips, Urban Institute, “Getting Time Off: Access to Leave Among Working Parents,” April 2004, available at http://www.urban.org/publications/310977.html, accessed September 21, 2010.
2 National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, “Paid Leave in the States,” March 2009, available at http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_864.html#16, accessed September 21, 2010. Pregnancy is treated as a “temporary disability” for the purposes of state TDI laws, but for a limited number of weeks. Furthermore, TDI does not cover leave to care for a newly adopted child, paternity leave, or leave to care for seriously ill family members.