Am I Eligible for Benefits From a Pregnancy-Related Disability?

Published on: November 3, 2017


Pregnancy and childbirth are beautiful acts of nature, and a truly rewarding experience. As a result, most mothers go through a roller-coaster of emotions from the time they learn that they are pregnant to the time they conceive. The top concern for a mother during pregnancy is the health of herself and her baby.

In some unfortunate cases, however, pregnancy and childbirth can lead to health complications for the mother. In addition, women can experience disabling conditions during and after their pregnancy, if certain complications arise. Depending on the particular condition that you are facing, you may be eligible to receive disability benefits associated with your pregnancy.

A Routine Pregnancy Does not Qualify you for Benefits

As a general rule of thumb, a routine pregnancy in itself does not qualify you for disability benefits. Being pregnant can prevent you from working and it can put you through the rigors and pains of some types of disabilities. However, the SSA defines disability as a condition that prevents you from engaging in any gainful activity for a period of at least 12 months or resulting in death. Because most pregnancies do not exceed 12 months, many temporary pregnancy-related disorders don’t qualify you for benefits.

Some states offer temporary disability programs that can enable you to receive benefits during the course of your pregnancy. New Hampshire and California are two examples of states that have implemented state-approved benefits for pregnancy. Most other states, including Florida, have no state-run programs for short-term disability.

Some Pregnancy-Related Complications Can Qualify you for Benefits

There are several pregnancy-related complications that can lead to long-term disability in the mother, and as a result, qualify her for benefits. If your pregnancy is likely to lead to a disabling condition that prevents you from working for at least a year, you can become eligible to receive benefits.

Pregnancy complications can lead to a wide variety of health issues in the mother. Severe hemorrhage, diabetes, inflammatory disorders, and hypertension are some of the disabling health conditions that a mother can face as a result of her pregnancy.

Download Guide: How to Get Disability Benefits for Children in Florida

Qualifying Under the SSA Disability Blue book

If you’re diagnosed with a condition that is listed in the SSA blue book, you can qualify for disability benefits as a result of your pregnancy. You would need to prove the diagnosis by providing appropriate medical records, and showing that your pregnancy has led to these complications.

Some of the disabilities mentioned in the blue book that could arise as a result of your pregnancy include:

Inflammatory Disorders

Your pregnancy could lead to various inflammatory disorders such as pelvic inflammatory disease and chronic pelvic pain. Damage to reproductive organs (as a result of infections during labor) can also lead to disabling conditions that can qualify you for benefits.

Cardiovascular Disorders (such as Hypertension)

It is also possible to experience hypertension as a result of your pregnancy. Chronic hypertension, kidney failure, and disorders of the nervous system are listed in the blue book. Experiencing any of these disorders as a result of your pregnancy can qualify you for benefits.


Some mothers experience excessive hemorrhage during the course of their pregnancy. Disorders such as anemia, hormonal imbalances, and pituitary gland failure can lead to eligibility to receive benefits.

Qualifying for Benefits due to Residual Function Capacity

If you don’t have a pregnancy-related complication that is listed in the SSA blue book, you can still qualify for benefits by showing that your condition is long-term, impairing, and prevents you from working. Remember that disability benefits are given to those who are unable to participate in any substantial gainful activity due to a medically determinable impairment.

Complications as a result of your pregnancy can lead to long-term disabling conditions that impede your ability to work. When reviewing your application, the SSA will determine your residual functional capacity, i.e. your ability to carry out everyday tasks in a productive manner.

Pregnancy-related complications can lead to conditions such as back pain, stroke, shortness of breath, and excessive fatigue. These conditions often prevent one from carrying out routine workplace tasks such as lifting, bending and standing/walking for long periods.

If you can prove that your current medical condition prevents you from working, you can qualify for benefits as a result of your pregnancy.

Pregnancy-related disorders can be scary and unpredictable for the mother. It is therefore important to seek comfort in your support system (friends and family), closely monitor you and your baby’s health during and after pregnancy, and find out the options that you have available in the unfortunate event that you develop a pregnancy-related disability.


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