Disability Insurance is Essential for Pregnancy Leave from Work

Pregnancy can be an especially challenging time of life for some individuals. There are a range of emotions, physical symptoms, and pressure from society on how to handle a pregnancy. Many professionals feel pressure to continue working through pregnancy and to return to the workplace promptly, even if it is adverse to their health. This is especially true in certain professions where there can be concern about losing clients or patients while needing to take a step back from the workplace due to pregnancy. This is true in the medical field.

Pregnancy can also be a risky endeavor, with pregnancy-related complications removing pregnant women from the workplace due to medical concerns. Disability insurance benefits for pregnancy complications can help bridge the financial gap when income is lost due to being unable to work due to a disabling condition. 

Pregnancy comes with a lot of planning and decisions to make. Whether the pregnancy is unexpected or one that was planned, there is a lot of preparation to complete. One of the planning tools you have is disability insurance benefits. Especially since paid parental leave varies widely from state to state and employer to employer, protecting your income as much as you can is crucial to your family should complications of pregnancy keep you out of your medical practice. 

Doctors and medical professionals need to further plan for pregnancy-related adjustments to their medical career once learning of pregnancy due to some of the occupational hazards of the medical profession that may impact the pregnancy and the health and well-being of the pregnant healthcare worker. Pregnancy complications in addition to recovery from labor and delivery can keep doctors from working, casting further uncertainty into what life will look like in the coming months.

At Seltzer & Associates, we take care to treat each client with respect, dignity, and compassion. This is especially important when clients are feeling vulnerable from a lack of cooperation from their disability insurance company. Rest assured that our disability insurance attorneys will handle your claim for pregnancy disability insurance benefits with the utmost care to protect the financial well-being of you and your growing family. Not only do we have experience working with numerous disability insurance companies, we also have experience fighting for disability insurance benefits for clients nationwide.

Verify Your Disability Insurance Benefits for Pregnancy-Related Disabilities

It is important to verify your disability insurance coverage for pregnancy-related disabling conditions before becoming pregnant or soon after learning of pregnancy. This is so you can be prepared to file a claim for disability insurance benefits if you experience a disabling condition during pregnancy. This could be due to a complication during the pregnancy process resulting in an identifiable disabling condition, pregnancy-related symptoms that are severe enough to prevent you from maintaining your career, or an accident that causes you to leave the workforce during pregnancy. It is important for the health of the pregnant woman and the unborn child to follow the directive of their treating physician to mitigate risk of further complications including devastating health outcomes that could result in permanent disability or even death. 

Some pregnancy related conditions may be covered by your policy while others may not be approved for disability insurance benefits when claimed. It is important to review your own policy and ask the questions you have to ensure you have a good understanding of exclusions. If you are denied disability insurance benefits during pregnancy a disability insurance lawyer can help you with an appeal for your disability insurance claim.

You will want to ensure you have short-term disability insurance coverage for the period of time after birth when your obstetrician will likely keep you from working for some period of weeks, depending on your health and circumstances around labor and delivery. Since this time period is typically 6-8 weeks after labor and delivery, without complications, it is important to have short term disability insurance in place as your long term disability insurance benefits will not take effect that quickly. Your treating physician can explain your limitations to you and complete a physician’s statement that can be submitted to your disability insurance company when filing your claim for disability insurance benefits.

Hazards Encountered in the Medical Workplace that Affect Pregnant Workers

There are hazards in a medical workspace that can have adverse effects on pregnancy and may even result in a pregnant medical professional experiencing complications that prevent her from working. For example, bending and lifting are often restricted during pregnancy. However in the rush of a medical emergency for a patient, a physician may over exert themself physically and cause harm to themselves or the growing baby inside them.

Other risk factors for those working in the medical profession involve exposure risks:

  • Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are exposed to contagious diseases on a routine basis. Bacterial or viral infections can be harmful to pregnancy, and treatment may be limited so as to not pose additional risk to the developing baby with certain medications.
  • Exposure to radiation is harmful to pregnancy. Those working with x-rays need to be especially cautious or seek other roles that would prevent exposure to x-rays while pregnant. Dentists and dental office staff also need to be aware of the risk of X-ray radiation if someone on staff is pregnant.
  • Research labs contain many substances that could be harmful to pregnancy if the pregnant worker is exposed to it. This ranges from chemicals to other substances including medications that are just not safe for a developing baby. Pharmacists also need to be mindful of working in compounding labs as some of the compounds are easily absorbed through skin and are not safe for pregnancy even with protective equipment. 

Pregnancy Complications Keep Doctors Out of Medical Practice

There are some pregnancy symptoms and complications that may result in a physician being unable to continue practicing medicine until the condition resolves, is treated, or until after delivery and recovery. 

  • Dizziness, including vertigo – Early pregnancy often involves dizziness due to a number of factors including low blood sugar; changes in blood flow including lack of blood flow to the mother; dehydration; overheating; changes in hormones affecting blood pressure. Dizziness may persist throughout pregnancy. Dizziness and vertigo may incapacitate a doctor for a short period of time, but frequent dizziness that will not subside despite recommended remedies may prevent the doctor from safely treating patients and result in being unable to safely practice medicine.
  • Fatigue – Extreme fatigue is most common during the first and third trimester of pregnancy due to the changes to the ish as pregnancy develops. If a physician’s fatigue interferes with patient care, then it may be necessary to take a medical leave of absence. Chronic fatigue syndrome may also occur during pregnancy, though one does not have to be pregnant for this disabling condition.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy occurring outside of the uterus. Complications from ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening and urgent treatment is necessary.
  • Preeclampsia – This serious condition which is often characterized by high blood pressure and swelling can create complications for delivery. Preeclampsia can cause organ damage in the pregnant patient. Often the treating physician will determine that a cesarean delivery is necessary to improve the chances of recovery for the pregnant mother. It is possible for signs and symptoms of preeclampsia to cause medical concern after delivery as well and necessitate additional precautions.
  • Prenatal depression – Mental health disabilities affect many medical professionals each year. Sometimes the stress and uncertainty of pregnancy can result in prenatal depression. Fortunately, disability insurance benefits are available to help those suffering from psychiatric and psychological impairments

After pregnancy, certain pregnancy-related conditions may continue to keep postpartum patients out of work longer than a standard 6-8 weeks for recovery from labor and delivery. 

  • Delivery complications – During delivery there may be complications from any number of conditions that make delivery more intense and dangerous. If additional surgical procedures or blood loss occur in conjunction with delivery, the recovery time can be greater than the typical timeframe of 6-8 weeks. 
  • Postpartum depression – After pregnancy concludes, many women face a period of postpartum depression. Just as with other mental health conditions, the medical community is still working on overcoming the stigma of mental health disabilities including depression, postpartum or otherwise.
  • Retained placenta and postpartum hemorrhaging – It is possible that not all of the placenta is delivered and any remaining placenta can result in fever, pain, and hemorrhaging weeks after delivery. Medical intervention to remove the placenta is required.
  • Blood clots and deep vein thrombosis – blood clots can occur after delivery. Blood clots that travel through the body can damage organs or even result in death if not addressed.

If you are facing any of these disabling pregnancy complications, you do not need to face your disability insurance company alone. Seltzer & Associates is here to help you obtain the disability insurance benefits you deserve.

Contact a Disability Insurance Attorney to Discuss Your Pregnancy Disability Insurance Benefits

You have enough on your mind when it comes to pregnancy. If pregnancy-related complications are keeping you or a loved one from practicing medicine, you need to contact a disability insurance lawyer to discuss your claim for disability insurance benefits. Schedule your free consultation with Seltzer & Associates by completing our online contact form or calling us at 888-699-4222.