Question: What Are the Unemployment Eligibility Requirements When You Are Pregnant?
Answer: Concerned about being pregnant and collecting unemployment? Your pregnancy should not impact your eligibility for unemployment compensation. In fact, it is a violation of federal and state law to deny a claimant eligibility for unemployment on account of pregnancy. Pregnancy, in and of itself, cannot affect your benefits. However, if you are unable to work because you are pregnant, you may be covered under disability insurance, if you have it, instead of unemployment, because one of the criteria for collecting unemployment is being able to work.
Disclosing Your Pregnancy
You are not required to disclose your pregnancy unless it affects your ability to work in your original job. If your unemployment claim is denied, you will be able to appeal a denial of benefits.
It is unlawful under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 to fire an employee because of pregnancy. If fired while pregnant for other reasons, however, the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects your right to collect unemployment.
Filing for Unemployment
You can file for unemployment as any unemployed worker would. You will not be asked if you are pregnant. The filing system will ask if you are available to work, and as long as you do not have a doctor's excuse, you can answer yes.
Filing weekly can continue as long as you are not working full time, you are able to work, and you are still eligible for benefits. However, if you file a claim for the week you give birth, you should respond that you were unavailable for work. You will not receive benefits until you are able to work, but will remain in the system until your doctor allows you to return. When you get approval from your doctor, file the next week that you are available for work and your unemployment benefits will continue.
Unfortunately, you cannot file for unemployment while on maternity leave.
How to File an Unemployment Appeal
If your unemployment claim is denied by the state unemployment department or contested by your employer, you have the right to appeal the denial of your unemployment claim. Here's how to file an unemployment appeal.
Qualifying for Unemployment