Miscarriage and LTD Benefits

Content warning: this article mentions pregnancy loss and its symptoms.

Miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and molar pregnancies are often not discussed and can even be considered taboo to discuss. The lack of conversation around these topics can lead to further emotional stress and feelings of depression and isolation. Breaking the silence about the physical and emotional trauma of miscarriage is the first step to recovering and healing.

In the last several years, miscarriage has been deemed a disability in an interim ruling by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, signalling a change in Ontario disability law. What does this mean? That the physical and emotional symptoms of miscarriage are deemed serious enough to be considered valid for going off work and receiving short term disability benefits or even long term disability benefits.

Taking the time you need to deal with the impact of a miscarriage should not be something you face alone. Here is some information you may need to know if you or a loved one has experienced a miscarriage.

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the loss of an en embryo or fetus before 24 weeks of pregnancy. Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage, and most miscarriages occur during the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. Pregnancy loss that occurs after this period is called a late miscarriage, although that is not as common.

Early pregnancy loss can happen when the embryo is not developing as it should. Chromosome problems are thought to be the most common cause, and these problems often happen for no discernible reason.

Some experience the devastation of recurrent miscarriage, defined as three or more miscarriages in a row. This happens to about one in every one hundred pregnant people.

Many can take solace in knowing that three out of every four pregnant people who’ve experienced an unexplained miscarriage go on to have a healthy baby.

What are the symptoms of a miscarriage?

The most prevalent symptoms of miscarriage are period-like cramps and heavy bleeding. Some miscarriages are revealed in an early pregnancy scan where the pregnancy sac is empty. This is sometimes called a missed miscarriage and it can be a horrible shock and deeply emotionally painful for those who were expecting a child.

A late miscarriage is particularly difficult for expecting parents. The symptoms include heavy bleeding, labour-like pains, and water breaking. Those who experience repetitive pregnancy loss often report high levels of stress and moderate to severe depression.

How can a miscarriage impact your work and daily life?

Depression, anxiety, and grief are all reported symptoms of those who have experienced a miscarriage. For many, a major part of a miscarriage is waiting for the fetus to be expelled after being informed that the pregnancy is no longer viable. This can be an emotionally exhausting time for the pregnant person, who has to continue with their daily lives while waiting for a miscarriage to naturally occur. Often given no exact date or time frame, the challenging situation of waiting can prove overwhelming.

For some, the emotional toll of waiting to miscarry naturally is too unpredictable. Healing may only start once having a D&C procedure. A D&C may be recommended for those who miscarry later than 10-12 weeks, have had any complications, or have medical conditions where emergency care could be needed.

What are some common misconceptions about miscarriage?

The most common misconception about miscarriage is that it’s the fault of the pregnant person. No link has been found between miscarriage and anything done by the pregnant person, including exercise, diet, or sexual activity. Often, miscarriage happens for no reason and it is important not to blame yourself.

If you are fired for taking time off work or are denied time off to recover from your miscarriage, what are your rights?

Loss, grieving, and emotional distress are all legitimate ailments that can inhibit your ability to work. Review your policy to see what symptoms are listed in terms of short term disability or long term disability. There is no fixed time for healing after a miscarriage, and the period of bereavement varies from person to person.

If you are denied by your insurance company, it is essential that you get the time and resources you need to recover. You do not need to suffer in silence or heal in isolation.

If you have had your claim for long term disability denied, contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our 35+ years of experience in long term disability (LTD) law can help you win your case against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and other insurance companies. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.

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