Doing something you love for a living is a dream come true for everyone.
However, life is unpredictable, and it can easily throw a curveball that can completely transform your reality. Being prepared for such situations is essential to remain calm and secure even in the most stressful situations.
Long-term disability insurance is designed to protect your income and help you recover from a serious illness or injury. Both short-term and long-term disability insurance policies are available to employees, but long-term ones are related to health conditions that keep individuals out of work for three months or longer.
As such, there’s a specific connection between long-term disability insurance and pregnancy. How are these two notions related, though, and can pregnancy be enough of a reason to get long-term disability insurance?
Read through this article to learn everything you need to know about this type of disability coverage.
What Is the Connection Between Long-Term Disability Insurance and Pregnancy?
As mentioned above, long-term disability insurance focuses on financially securing individuals suffering from serious health conditions. You can also get specific disability insurance for individuals. Before starting receiving disability insurance benefits, individuals must submit viable documentation stating they’re unable to perform specific professional duties.
The most common reasons for filing a long-term disability claim are:
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Mental health issues
- Serious physical injuries
The exact policy details, including how many funds you’ll receive and how long the insurance will cover you, depend on numerous factors that are unique to every case.
How Can Long-Term Disability Insurance Cover Pregnancy?
The requirements for long-term insurance during pregnancy
Because such a wide array of health injuries, illnesses, and conditions can be covered by long-term disability insurance, it’s challenging to pinpoint the exact requirements for this type of insurance during pregnancy.
Nevertheless, the most important factor is the core definition of disability. Depending on how a policy defines disability, the requirements for long-term insurance during pregnancy will differ.
For instance, some policies’ requirements include injuries that prevent individuals from completing their typical duties but allow them to participate in some other tasks. Other policies won’t provide benefits if individuals are capable of working in another profession, even if it pays less.
Therefore, how a company and policy approach the definition of a disability will greatly determine whether someone receives the disability insurance benefits or not.
When it comes to pregnancy, it isn’t a disability on its own. Women with healthy and safe pregnancies can’t receive long-term insurance benefits. However, because pregnancy can lead to numerous complications along the way, many disabilities can occur during pregnancy or after giving birth and affect the professional life of the expecting and new mothers.
Disability During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a complex process that involves a lot of changes happening in the woman’s body. Although a miraculous process in most cases, around 20% of pregnant women experience some kind of pregnancy complications and health concerns.
Common medical conditions can arise during or after pregnancy and prevent women from completing their usual duties. Even though some conditions are more severe than others, pregnancy complications are also the most common pregnancy-related disabilities that allow women to receive long-term insurance benefits from their insurance policies.
Because of the common occurrence of pregnancy complications, many women are forced to take some time after work, recover, and gather the necessary strength to go back into their routine.
Who exactly is eligible for long-term disability insurance?
Pregnancy in itself isn’t enough of a precondition to start receiving benefits from insurance policies. However, if a woman suffers from a more serious complication during pregnancy that prevents her from completing daily duties, she can apply for long-term disability insurance. The same goes for women who suffer from health complications during or after childbirth.
In both cases, women might receive one of the several insurance benefits plans. They’ll have fewer working hours, they won’t be obliged to complete certain tasks, or they’ll be fully covered for their absence from work. The details of the insurance plan will depend on the career field and type of health condition, among other deciding factors. Make sure to also check reasons for long term care insurance rejection.
Even though many women experience fairly simple and expected pregnancies and childbirths, some complications are relatively common. Some common pregnancy-related disabilities are:
- Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea and vomiting)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Respiratory problems
- Gestational diabetes
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Preeclampsia and eclampsia
- Uterine rupture
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Infections or sepsis
- Preterm labor
- Cesarean section (C-section)
- Miscarriage (pregnancy loss)
- Postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis
Going through any of these disabilities requires some time for rest and recovery. Besides recovering from a physical trauma of childbirth or a C-section, more and more new mothers develop postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), even up to 15% of all women experience postpartum depression.
These conditions can cause numerous other issues that prevent expecting and new mothers from doing their job well while simultaneously caring for themselves and their babies. In these situations, long-term disability insurance and pregnancy can go hand in hand perfectly to help out these women.
What Are the Pre-Existing Conditions?
While the US already has the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a passed law covering employees who want to take up to a 12-week leave for health and caregiving reasons, this law has its disadvantages. Namely, it’s unpaid leave, even though it’s job-protected.
While FMLA covers pregnancy-related disabilities, not all employees are eligible for this kind of leave, nor can they all afford unpaid leave. Moreover, many women reserve this leave to prolong their maternity leave, so a long-term disability insurance plan might come in handy for those suffering from complications during or after pregnancy.
However, before relying on long-term insurance, it’s crucial to find out more about the pre-existing conditions related to this plan.
Long-term disability benefits pay a portion of the total salary amount throughout the entire period spent on disability leave. In most cases, individuals are paid between 50% and 60% of their regular salary.
To become eligible for long-term insurance benefits, one must naturally have a covered disability. Choosing to stay at home during or after pregnancy as well as giving birth aren’t viable conditions, as they don’t represent any kind of disability.
Nevertheless, if certain complications arise during pregnancy, during childbirth, or after pregnancy, they can be defined as a disability if the resulting condition prevents individuals from completing their day-to-day tasks.
Still, benefits received through a long-term disability insurance plan don’t kick in until six months after the disability occurs. Essentially, women suffering from pregnancy complications and getting approved for a disability plan often receive the funds long after their condition gets resolved.
Is Long-Term Disability Right for Your Leave?
There’s no simple answer to whether long-term insurance disability leave is the right step for your pregnancy. To assess the situation accordingly, you should think about all the factors that influence what kind of a benefit plan you can expect to receive for your pregnancy disability.
First and foremost, assess your health condition during pregnancy. Can you complete your daily duties without any issues? How many working hours do you think you can handle? Are there any specific tasks you’re unable to do?
If you’re truly unfit to complete any tasks and duties related to your profession, long-term disability might be a good solution to get at least a portion of your salary. Other alternatives include shorter working hours and exemption from certain tasks, typically physically-demanding ones.
Then, assess your financial situation. Will you be able to make ends meet without receiving the full amount of your salary? If the answer is no, and your pregnancy disability isn’t causing any harm to you or your baby, long-term disability might not be the best fit for your situation.
However, if you’re forced to leave your job position for some time but struggle with finances, short-term disability insurance can act as a first aid kit. It’ll cover your basic expenses while you’re waiting to start receiving your long-term disability benefits, a process that can take up to 6 months.
Whatever the case may be, we strongly recommend hiring an agent who will present you with different insurance packages and options available for your pregnancy, so that you can receive the best possible pregnancy-related benefits from your insurance policy.
LTD for Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis
While most women feel a bit down after giving birth, some new parents can experience more serious mental conditions, such as postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis.
Contrary to the common “baby blues”, the effects of postpartum depression are more intense and long-lasting. Common effects related to postpartum depression include:
- Chronically depressed mood
- Sudden mood swings
- Excessive crying
- Dramatic breakdowns
- Intense anger and irritability
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Social withdrawal
- Constant fatigue
- Lack of energy
- Sleep disturbances
- Eating irregularities
- Irrational fears
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby
Postpartum psychosis is an even more serious and intense condition than postpartum depression. It’s important to detect the symptoms as soon as possible, so individuals can get proper diagnosis and treatment for their condition. Some effects of postpartum psychosis include:
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Disorientation and confusion
- Frequent agitation
- Bouts of intense energy
- Obsessiveness with the baby
- Attempting to self-harm or harm the baby
Due to these effects, new mothers suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis can’t take proper care of themselves and their babies or perform simple daily tasks, let alone perform more demanding tasks related to their profession. Similar to other mental conditions, these two pregnancy-related mental conditions can be classified as disabilities.
Therefore, mothers suffering from postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis can qualify for long-term disability insurance benefits.
Is Long-Term Disability Insurance Worth It During Pregnancy?
Since 20% of women experience all kinds of complications during their pregnancies and therefore have a disability that prevents them from working, investing in long-term disability insurance is a great idea. With insurance, you’ll be prepared and covered for any hardship that may come your way.
How to Obtain Your Benefits
Here you can find 4 basic steps of long-term disability insurance and pregnancy that everyone needs to follow:
Step 1: Policy review
The first step is to review the plan and policy documents with the insurance agent. It’s essential to look at how a policy defines disability to learn whether you can qualify. A complete understanding of policy is the foundation for all the steps to follow.
Step 2: Gathering evidence
You can’t simply state you suffer from a condition and expect to receive the benefits. Instead, legal documentation provided by the professionals that determines a specific medical condition is necessary to have proof of your disability.
Step 3: Handling the claims
Preparing long-term disability claims, filing them with an insurer, and handling all negotiations and communications is an exhausting and time-consuming process, especially for new mothers.
Step 4: Filing an appeal
It’s not uncommon for individuals to get rejected at first, so you should stay persistent and focused on your goal. By hiring an insurance agent, you’ll get expert advice for your situation and have all your paperwork in order, which is essential to ensure a smooth application process that’ll help you obtain disability benefits.
Where Can I Find Out More and Get Advice on Long-Term Disability Insurance and Pregnancy?
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have the time or energy to collect all the necessary documentation and go through the steps to receive long-term disability benefits.
Policy Solver’s services might be just the company you have been looking for. Apart from informing the public on insurance policies, Policy Solver offers the best insurance products at the best price points on the market.
Hiring an agent is an excellent idea as the agent can advise you on different insurance packages and options, which is crucial for receiving an adequate insurance plan. When it comes to long-term disability insurance and pregnancy, Policy Solver covers benefits, costs, and comparisons between short and long disability insurance plans.
As a customer-friendly company that offers insurance advice free of charge, Policy Solver is synonymous with simplicity, authenticity, and transparency.
Policy Solver’s Services
Today, you can find multiple disability insurance consultants on the internet. However, choosing the right advisor is another difficult task.
Policy solver has knowledgeable, licensed agents and is here to help you navigate your disability insurance journey. We are a team of professional insurance policy brokers, and we can save you time and money while finding the right policy for your specific needs.
Our experienced advisors will ask you a few questions to understand your unique situation. They will then come up with a comprehensive analysis of different insurance plans so that they can recommend the best policy at the best price for you.
- The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). (n.d.). Retrieved from nichd.nih.gov website: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pregnancy/conditioninfo/complications
- National Institute of Mental Health (NMIH). (n.d.). Retrieved from nimh.nih.gov website: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/perinatal-depression
- The US Department of Labor (DOL). (n.d.). Retrieved from dol.gov website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla
- National Health Service (NHS). (n.d.). Retrieved from nhs.uk website: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/post-partum-psychosis/