Maternity and the Professional Massage Therapist (Part 2 of 2)

What Massage Therapists need to know when planning on having (or adopting) a baby… (cont’d.)

Option 4 – Purchase Your Own Short-term or Temporary Disability Plan – If all else fails, selecting your own Short-term or Temporary Disability Insurance Plan may be a sound solution.  As there are dozens of commercial insurance vendors offering a variety of short-term plans, you’ll need to read the options and fine print to ensure you get the coverage you’ll need.  You can learn more about the differences between Short-term and Temporary Disability plans.


Option 5 – Apply for State Disability Insurance:

California is one of four states in the Union that provide for short-term disability.

Below are some of the general requirements that apply:

  • The Massage Therapist must have worked 30 days to six months, (depending on the state) before being eligible for benefits.
  • There is a one-week waiting period before benefits are payable. (You can’t receive benefits until the 8th day you are temporarily disabled).
  • The disability must be non-work related.
  • Benefits last no more than 26-30 weeks (52 weeks in California).
  • The weekly benefit is approximately 60% of a Massage Therapists wages.
  • Pregnant Massage Therapists can receive short-term disability for several weeks for delivery and recovery.
  • An independent medical examination to determine the Massage Therapists initial and continuing eligibility may be required.

Option 6 – Apply for Family and Medical Leave – When paid leave or an individual insurance plan is not an option, many American women will turn to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). 

The FMLA entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. This includes continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligible employees are entitled to twelve work-weeks of leave in a 12-month period for:


  • the birth of a child and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth;
  • the placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for the newly placed child within one year of placement;
  • to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job;
  • any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty;” or
  • Twenty-six workweeks of leave during a single 12-month period to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the servicemember’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

To learn more about FMLA, please visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s website on FMLA.


Disclaimer: The above information is provided as a guide for Massage Therapists considering pregnancy and may not contain all potential resources available for financial assistance. 

Founded in 1992, Healing Hands School of Holistic Health is considered a trailblazer in education of the Holistic Healing Arts.  To date our Faculty has prepared more than 7,000 graduates for successful careers as Massage Therapists and can do the same for you.  Find out if a career as a Professional Massage Therapist is right for you.  Call us at: (858) 505-1100 in Kearny Mesa/San Diego, (760) 746-9364 in Escondido and (949) 305-2722 in Laguna Hills.