Can I Get Short Term Disability While Pregnant

Appealing A Denial Of Short

Pregnancy a disability?

A denial is when an insurance company refuses to pay a claim. You can get denied if you dont qualify in the first place. However, sometimes claims are denied when they shouldnt be. In this case, the decision can be changed.

There are usually two levels of appeal. Firstly, there are internal appeals. If you dont get approved, then you might move onto a hearing or lawsuit next.

But first, lets review some key things you should know about before you appeal.

The denial letter

The denial letter is an important document. It will include the information you need to make your appeal. By law, the insurance company must give you a denial in writing. So, they will either mail or email the denial letter to you.

Firstly, it tells you that you have the right to appeal. Then, it will often say why you got denied. These reasons are crucial because they can help you build your case. For example, a smart way to appeal is to list each reason. Then, challenge the reasons with new information. You can also share these with your doctor. They may write a new medical letter by talking about each reason.

To read more about reasons for denial, check out our article:

Finally, the letter will give you a deadline. The deadline may be a date or a number of days. For example, you might have 60 days. Or, you might have to appeal by September 30, 2020.

Deadlines for appeal

On the other hand, there may be hard deadlines. If you miss a hard deadline, then you may lose your right to more appeals.

Your Short Term Disability Plan May Cover Pregnancy

Do you have short term disability coverage through your workplace? Some people think that disability insurance is for on-the-job accidents. While it may cover those things, short term disability also provides replacement income if you are unable to work due to all sorts of illnesses and injuries, whether they occurred on the job or outside of the workplace and disability insurance for pregnancy is standardly included.

Maternity would qualify for benefits under short term disability plans, if you are unable to work due to the pregnancy, childbirth, and recovery, with the certification of a physician. When you have short term disability through an employer, you may qualify to receive 50-70% of your income, typically for six to eight weeks after you give birth, depending on the type of delivery. A pregnancy with complications can be covered, because a complication can be more like an illness and the benefit period could well be longer. Policies have different requirements, so its important to find out whats covered before you go out on leave.2 Also, talk to your human resources manager about the correct ways to submit claims for private or state disability insurance plans.

When Should I Apply For Pregnancy Disability

You may report a claim for disability benefits up to four weeks prior to a planned disability absence, such as childbirth. To ensure that your benefits request is processed as quickly as possible, we ask that you file your claim no later than the date you stop working due to your pregnancy or childbirth.

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Some Employers Offer Paid Family Leave

Even if your state doesnt guarantee paid maternity leave, your employer can provide PFL benefits if they choose. While employees often expect companies to provide paid sick days and vacation days, they dont always ask about maternity leave. However, a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 60% of employers give 12 weeks of maternity leave 33% give more than 12 weeks.1 It should be noted that these numbers include paid and unpaid leave.

Does your company offer these benefits? How long do they last? How do you qualify? How much will you get? Like state PFL rules, it varies from company to company but theres an easy way to find out: just contact your human resources department or manager. Finally, if you are starting a new job, you can inquire about having paid family leave benefits included as part of your compensation package. It never hurts to ask.

When Should I Get Coverage

Short Term Disability Insurance and Maternity Leave ...

You should consider getting short-term disability insurance before you become pregnant. You may obtain short-term disability insurance during your pregnancy but the insurer may be able to decline coverage. If the insurer declines coverage it will often be because it has considered your pregnancy a pre-existing condition. While new rules in the Affordable Care Act prohibit denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, those rules apply only to certain types of health insurance, not to disability insurance. As long as your policy, under its own terms, allows for the denial, you may be denied coverage.

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Is Pregnancy A Disability

Pregnancy itself is not a disability. However, you may be unable to work due to complications or while recovering from labor and delivery.

Roughly one in five women experience complications during pregnancy. These can include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Stillbirth and miscarriage
  • Worsening or acceleration of an underlying medical issue like multiple sclerosis, asthma, or epilepsy

Notably, women with pre-existing conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, or substance use, are more likely to experience pregnancy and labor complications. Older expectant mothers are also more prone to pregnancy and labor-related issues.

These conditions can make it difficult to work during your pregnancy and after labor and delivery. In this case, you could be eligible for short-term or long-term disability benefits.

Insurance policies define disability in one of two ways:

  • Own occupation: you are eligible for benefits if you cannot perform the duties of your job due to an illness, injury, or chronic medical condition.
  • Any occupation: you must prove that you cannot perform any type of work because of your health conditions.

If pregnancy-related conditions make it impossible to do your job or any job in the economy, you might qualify for a monthly benefit payment. You can determine which standard applies to you by reviewing your policy or plan documents.

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What Questions Should I Ask My Human Resources Manager At Work

Employers vary when it comes to maternity coverage. Contact your employers human resources department ideally well ahead of time so you dont lose eligibility if you miss a deadline to learn what you can expect and how best to prepare.

Ask specifically about the effect of pregnancy and maternity leave on your pay and about the type of notice youll need to give the employer in order to secure your job. Employers are evolving their coverage in this area, so it is important to understand the specifics of what your employer offers.

Its exciting that youre entering a wonderful new stage in your life. Understanding your finances and knowing how to help protect your income can make this time even better and reduce some of your stress.

If you have questions about your disability coverage

  • Through your employer

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Is Mental Health Covered With Short

What if its not something physical that takes you away from the demands of your job? What if youre struggling with depression or some other mental health issue that makes it nearly impossible to fulfill your work responsibilities?

Mental health can be covered by many short-term disability plans . However, youre going to need to have proof that this is an issue youve been struggling with for some time.

You should be talking with a psychiatrist before your leave, says McDonald. There should be a really solid foundation of what the problems are.

Was The Pregnancy A Pre

Pregnancy A Disability?

The first thing to consider is how long you were with the employer before taking leave for a pregnancy when the Short Term Disability coverage took effect whether you were pregnant before the STD insurance coverage took effect, and whether there is a pre-existing condition exclusion in the short term disability policy.

It is very common for short-term disability policies through employers to consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition. If there is a pre-existing condition exclusion and you were pregnant when the STD coverage took effect, you may not be eligible for STD benefits relating to pregnancy until 12 months after the short-term disability coverage took effect.

Understanding this pre-ex issue is very important when determining whether to purchase short-term disability insurance. You can still buy the policy, but you typically need to pay for it for a full year before you can use it for pre-existing conditions.

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Ltd For Postpartum Depression Or Postpartum Psychosis

While having the baby blues and feeling a little down after giving birth is typical, some new mothers and even fathers can experience a more serious mental health condition, including postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis . These are not signs of weakness in a new mother, but instead diagnosable medical conditions with debilitating symptoms and effects.

The effects of postpartum depression are more intense than the baby blues, and they can last much longer. For many victims, the effects interfere with their abilities to provide proper care for the baby, as well as perform other basic everyday tasks, including the duties of their profession. These effects can prevent someone from timely returning to their previous occupation following childbirth.

Some common effects of postpartum depression include:

  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Agitation and intense/inappropriate energy at times
  • Attempting to self-harm or harm the baby

Many people with postpartum psychosis can experience thoughts or behaviors that are life-threatening. It is critical to get immediate treatment if a new mother is experiencing any of these severe and dangerous symptoms.

If a woman does not seek timely treatment for postpartum depression, which is common, it can quickly develop into a chronic depressive disorder and increase her chances of experiencing major depression in the future.

Does Short Or Long Term Disability Cover Maternity Leave

Some employers offer insurance programs that provide you with financial protection while youre out. Short term disability policies vary, but might provide 50-100% of your income for about six weeks after you give birth, eight weeks if you have a C-section, or potentially longer if there are complications.

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What Happens If I Quit My Job While On Short Term Disability

Unlike a leave of absence you might take under the Family and Medical Leave Act , short-term disability doesnt offer any direct job protection. Many people are surprised to hear that you can legally be fired from your job while on leave, and you also arent entitled to the exact same position when you return.

Pregnancy And The Pre

Maternity leave: The basics

Most group disability plans are guaranteed issue at every enrollment. This means you can enroll without any medical questions and will be approved regardless of health. However, in exchange for the guaranteed approval, any claims may be subject to whats called a pre-ex, or a pre-existing condition clause.

The most common pre-ex clauses are 3/12, 6/12 and 12/12.

Heres is what the numbers 3/12, 6/12 and 12/12 mean:


A 3/12 pre-ex means that if you file a claim within the first 12 months the policy is in effect, the insurance company will look back 3 months before the policy took effect to see if it was caused by a pre-existing condition. If its a 6/12, then the insurance company will look back 6 months for a pre-existing condition for any claim filed in the first 12 months.

If the condition was pre-existing during the look back period, then the insurance company can deny the claim.

Keep in mind that if you are enrolling in the disability plan in November but the plan takes effect on January 1 that the 12 months begins on January 1 and the look back period would be the three, six or 12 months before the effective date and not the date you enrolled.

If you are pregnant when you enroll, your claim for short term disability will most certainly come in the first 12 months the plan is in effect and therefore, your claim would be denied.

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Pregnancy And Disability Insurance: Are You Prepared

  • May 21, 2021

For many women, pregnancy is one of their first encounters with disability insurance. If your state or employer doesnt provide for paid maternity leave, theres a good chance you will end up filing for short-term disability insurance benefits. And, if you suffer complications that make it difficult to return to work, you could also qualify for long-term disability benefits.

So, while you are researching childcare options, preparing the nursery, and looking for a pediatrician for your new baby, it is also worth checking your disability insurance policies. In this article, our respected disability attorneys explain how disability insurance for pregnancy or pregnancy complications works.

Does Maternity Leave Count As Short

Youve probably heard of circumstances where people use their short-term disability for pregnancy and maternity leave. Doing so is fairly common, but whether or not youre able to do so yourself is also dependent on your plan.

We actually see a lot of short-term disability policies that specifically address maternity leave, explains Bartolic. These plans also will explain how much time off is offered for maternity leave, which can vary based on things like whether the mother had a vaginal birth or a c-section.

Some employers exclude maternity leave from their short-term disability plan and have an entirely separate program to address paid leave for childbirth.

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Know How Your Elimination Period Works

One potential drawback to using long-term disability benefits for maternity leave is the policys elimination period. This is the length of time you must wait before you can receive claim payments. Choosing a longer elimination period is a common way that consumers and employers keep long-term disability premiums affordable.

If your policy has an extended waiting period, you must prepare to go without income in the meantime.

Can I Get Disability Insurance While Im Pregnant

How to Get Short Term Disability Covering Childbirth

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have disability insurance before you become pregnant. Otherwise, your insurer wont cover any claims surrounding your pregnancy or childbirth because its considered a pre-existing condition.

If you have a group disability plan, pregnancy is usually covered under short-term disability. But if you have an individual policy and choose to stay home while youre pregnant or after you give birth, disability insurance may not apply since each company treats pregnancy differently. Some insurers offer a benefit for up to six weeks after a normal delivery, or up to eight weeks after a c-section.

However, if you experience complications during pregnancy or in the days, weeks or months after childbirth, you might qualify for additional benefits after the elimination passes.

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Disability Insurance Features To Consider If Youre Planning On Becoming Pregnant

When applying for long-term disability insurance, there are some general policy features and provisions you should think about when looking for the perfect policy. These provisions are important to everyone, but they could be specifically useful if youâre buying a policy because youâre worried about complications in future pregnancies

  • Own-occupation â An own-occupation policy is one that says youâll get benefits if you canât do your normal job. That means youâll still be paid disability insurance benefits if youâre able to do other work. Learn more about own-occupation policies.

  • Non-cancelable â This means the insurer canât raise your rates. Since raising policy rates is rare, itâs usually not something you need to worry about, but if your policy doesnât have this provision then we recommend adding it.

  • Residual benefits â If youâre able to work but not at the same rate as before â either your hours are cut short or your income is less â a policy with residual benefits will provide a partial payout.

  • Guaranteed Renewable â The insurer cannot cancel your policy as long as youâre paying for it.

Itâs also important, if youâre planning to become pregnant, to choose a policy that will protect your financial future.

How Does Short Term Disability Insurance Work

To get a better idea of how short term disability works, let’s start by answering some FAQs:

  • How much does short term disability pay? If you qualify for short term disability benefits, you will typically be reimbursed for about 60 percent of your lost wages. Depending on the policy, the benefit may be as low as 40 percent or as high as 70 percent. Most policies have a benefit cap as well.
  • When does short term disability start? Before short term disability benefits kick in, there is typically an elimination period of 14 days. However, this waiting period may be as short as one week or as long as one month.
  • How long is short term disability? Short term disability benefits generally last around three to six months. However, some plans may pay as long as one or even two years.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a closer look by comparing short term disability insurance side-by-side to other similar types of coverage.

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What Conditions Are Covered By Short

A valuable safeguard for any employee or individual, STD insurance covers a variety of conditions that may result in an inability to work for a short period of time, usually six months or less. Beneficiaries must be evaluated by a licensed medical professional who attests that the individual is unable to work. Common situations in which short-term disability may apply include:

  • Accidents
  • Recovery from surgery

How To Apply For Short Term Disability Benefits

Planning To Conceive? Get Short

To receive benefits, you will have to submit a claim to the insurance company. This involves filling out a form, be it a printed version or online. The form will ask the date you last worked, a description of your medical condition, and other pertinent information. Your employer and physician will have to complete sections of the form as well.

Once you submit the claim form, the insurance company will review medical records to determine if you meet the definition of disability as defined in the policy. If your policy does not cover pre-existing conditions, the insurer will look for evidence of undisclosed conditions.

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