Long-Term Disability Benefits for Mental Disorders: Depression, Anxiety
Depression, anxiety, nervous disorders – these are all examples of mental health conditions that may become a serious disability. When a mental disorder prevents you from working and performing daily life activities you may qualify for long-term disability benefits.
Identifying Your Condition and Qualifying For Disability Benefits
The first step to seeking long-term disability benefits for your mental disorder is to obtain a diagnosis from a medical professional. Your diagnosis and prognosis must fit the definition of disability as determined by your insurance company.
Your evidence must show that you have a verifiable mental condition and that it limits your ability to carry out regular activities such as work and self care. Mental disorders are often difficult to quantify, so it is best to keep personal records of how the condition creates a burden on your daily life.
You should keep notes on:
• how often you experience symptoms of the condition;
• what changes you have had to make to your regular routine to cope with your disorder;
• how the disorder impacts your work situation;
• how the disorder impacts your personal life; and
• how the disorder impacts your family life.
It is a good idea to start regular treatment with a psychiatrist or psychologist to establish your diagnosis and begin documenting the impact it has on your life. Long-term disability claims that show a history of treatment and observation by a medical professional may be stronger due to the record of persistence of the condition.
Overcoming Challenges from the Insurance Company
Some long-term disability insurance policies will include special clauses regarding mental/nervous disorders – a clause may limit the amount of time a claimant can collect disability benefits or require regular evaluations in order for benefit payments to continue.
Another common challenge to mental disability cases is when the insurance company tries to correlate the mental disorder with another health condition. One common case is when a patient has a chronic medical condition like cancer and becomes depressed; the insurance company may explain that the depression is only due to the cancer and not a condition on its own.
The opposite may also happen too; the insurance company may try to classify your disability as purely mental to avoid paying benefits on a chronic disease rather than a mental disorder where benefits may be limited.
Fight for Your Right to Disability Benefits if You Suffer from a Mental Disorder
If your insurance policy premiums are up-to-date, you purchased the right coverage and meet your insurer’s definition of disability, your insurer should acknowledge your claim.
If you are afflicted with a mental disorder and your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim or terminated your disability payments, give us a call today at 1-800-JUSTICE®. We will review the terms of your policy, determine your rights and fight for the disability benefits you deserve. And remember, there is a never a fee unless we recover money for you.