It is also important to ensure that pregnant women who are unable to work can meet basic living needs for themselves and their families. The federal government could establish a system of Temporary Disability Insurance, modeled after existing state systems, which would provide vital income for millions of mothers among the nearly 240 million Americans residing in states without this option. Temporary Disability Insurance fills the gaps in Unemployment Insurance, or UI, coverage by ensuring that those workers who cannot meet the rigid UI eligibility requirements—including pregnant workers—are nonetheless able to access its basic protections.
Alternatively, federal and state governments could build upon the progress that has been made with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which has produced a wave of unprecedented state UI reforms that include the expansion of UI benefits to individuals who leave work due to family responsibility conflicts.
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