Hemophilia and employment

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Tips for teens living with hemophilia and looking for their first job.

As you get older, you may want to get a part-time job to earn some spending money or gain work experience. Or you may decide to enter the work force soon after high school. All work places require you to submit an emergency contact. Make sure that person is aware of your current treatment protocol and the nearest hospital that is capable of treating people with hemophilia.

When considering an employer and the type of work you want to do, it is important to take your hemophilia into account.

Physically demanding jobs

Some jobs are more physically-demanding than others, and can increase the chance of bleeding. While it may be wise to stay away from physically challenging jobs, it is always possible to work with your employer or occupational health services to find ways to accommodate for your bleeding disorder.

Discussing hemophilia at work

When job-hunting or starting a new job, you may wonder whether to talk about your hemophilia to your interviewer, employer, and co-workers. You might worry about being hired or whether you will be treated differently. Sharing your hemophilia is a personal choice and it depends on how comfortable you are with your condition and if you think it might interfere with your job performance.

  • If you have mild hemophilia, do not bleed often, and are not at an increased risk for bleeding at work, then it is unlikely that your hemophilia will interfere with your responsibilities.
  • If you have severe hemophilia, have frequent bleeding episodes, or have duties that put you at greater risk for bleeding, you may be absent from work often or may need your duties to be modified. In this case, it would be a good idea to discuss your hemophilia with your boss or employer.

If you are comfortable, try to confide in someone at work about your condition. This will be helpful in case of an emergency.

You should also consider discussing your condition with your workplace’s human resources department. This would ensure that your hemophilia would be on file in case of emergency (even if the co-worker you confided in was not available), but would also be kept completely confidential.

Insurance and benefits

In Canada, we are lucky to have a universal health care system that provides free access to health care. Unfortunately, these free services can sometimes be limited. In most cases, Canadian health care does not include access to physiotherapy, dental services and prescriptions. Even if your adult centre has a physiotherapist (PT), there are times where you may need extensive rehabilitation and frequent visits with a PT. The Canadian health care system will not cover these additional costs. This is where insurance and benefits come in. Often companies offer employees extended health insurance or benefits for a small fee each month. Employees can then use their benefits to cover the cost of these additional services, like physiotherapy or orthotics.

If your parents are insured

Both within and outside of Canada, the duration of health insurance coverage under your parents’ plan will vary. It’s good to find out how long you are covered by your parents’ insurance. It is also important to ask about insurance coverage when you are applying for a job.

If you do not live in Canada, your health care coverage may be different. Ask your parents if you have insurance coverage and how long you are covered. This is important to consider when applying for a job, so that you can plan ahead to make sure you get the medical care that you need.

Last updated: March 13th 2019