Can You Get Long Term Disability For Anxiety and Depression? 

We Are a Nationwide Leader in Disability Insurance Law helping those suffering with Mental Health claims.

Anxiety and Depression Disability Insurance Claim Lawyers

Mental health issues are increasing among the working population.  Work stress and demands, and today’s culture all impact upon our daily struggles.  Statistically, about one in five people experience a mental health issue at some point every year – many of whom can’t continue to work as a direct result of their mental health.  Have you struggled to keep working despite suffering from a mental health issue or disability and not known what to do about it?  Are you concerned about losing your job because your performance has been impacted by your condition?  We see these issues regularly and know that challenges faced by disabled employees can turn into long-term disability claims or impact their careers.

For a disability claim to be approved, especially one for a mental/nervous condition, careful thought must be provided as to completion of forms, development of medical support, and employer responsiveness.  These claims are often difficult without proper guidance.

Seeking an experienced long term disability insurance attorney to guide the application process is the critical first step to filing a disability claim for a mental health disability. Because these claims are increasing in number, insurance companies are trying to control their exposure by denying or delaying many claims.  

Mental health claims are more readily challenged than other physical impairments. 

For more than two decades, we have represented clients with mental health claims, allowing them to focus on their health and potentially return to work.  With our vast experience in this area, we can help guide you with your depression and/or anxiety disability insurance claim. Read on to find out how Newfield Law Group can help fight for the disability insurance benefits you need and are entitled to. If you have questions, call us at 877-LTD-CLAIM to speak with an attorney.

Long-Term Disability Insurance Claims for Depression, Anxiety, and Mental and Nervous Disorders

Depression, anxiety, and mental and nervous disorders make coping with everyday life a challenge. Mental health issues often make work difficult, if not impossible.  Many of our clients tell us that they have been hiding their conditions for long periods.

At Newfield Law Group, our New York disability insurance lawyers have a track record of success representing claimants and policyholders nationwide who are struggling to manage their lives while coping with depression, anxiety, and mental and nervous challenges.

The insurance companies often consider mental/nervous claims to be a subjective disability–lacking real support—and have made proving the disability a key part of their denial process. Like other conditions not readily revealed by diagnostic medical tests like bloodwork or X-rays, mental health claimants suffering from depression or anxiety must develop a robust medical record supporting their claim. If a person has a sudden onset of mental disease, there may not be a medical record history and information will not be available to support the claim.  Documenting the severity and frequency of impairing symptoms is a powerful tool to support this subjective claim.

An individual whose primary care physician prescribes an antidepressant medication and then adds a short note to the patient’s medical file will typically not be considered disabled by depression by the disability insurance company and therefore won’t qualify for benefits.  Mere statements will not satisfy them.  More information, including treatment from a psychiatrist or a psychologist, will be needed in the development of that claim and the support will be critical for the claim to have success.  

If your claim for disability insurance benefits has been denied or is being delayed or for a free consultation of your issues, call our office at (877) 406-7883 to learn how we can help.

How Do I Know if My Mental Health Condition is a Disability that Qualifies for Insurance Benefits?

Under the provisions of the disability insurance policy, mental health issues will only satisfy the requirements of a disability if they disrupt your work performance and negatively impact or impair your ability to perform your day-to-day work activities. How is that defined? It is a bit murky, and guidance can help to develop proper support.

Your support presented through your application for disability insurance coverage to the insurance company will consider the degree and extent to which your function is impaired when determining your level of disability or if you have a disability that will be covered at all. To succeed in the claim process, it is important to have an experienced disability insurance attorney working with you to advocate for your claim, as these invisible injuries are often disputed and dismissed by disability insurance companies looking to deny your claim and save money. To stem the flow of these claims, more denials and terminations must match. 

Which Anxiety and Depression Issues Qualify for Disability?

Certain mental health disorders may impact and impair you enough that it prevents you from working. If that happens, you may qualify for disability benefits through your insurance policy.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorder is wide ranging and may present as difficulty breathing and concentrating, heart palpitations, and/or panic attacks – which can make it difficult or even impossible to focus or perform work. Anxiety disorders include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias.  

As an example, we represented an employee who was required to deliver presentations in connection with her work. These presentations were typically given to higher level (C Suite) executives. Her anxiety became so severe that she was unable to speak in front of that audience. We were able to advocate for her claim based upon these limitations.

Depression

Depression goes far beyond simple feelings of sadness. Depression is marked by a lack of interest or ability to take pleasure in any activities. Those suffering from depression often experience low energy, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, focus and concentration issues, feelings of inadequacy, and may even harbor suicidal ideations. Many people cannot work as they are unable to make decisions or perform any of the regular tasks of their occupation.

Types of depression include major depressive disorder, clinical depression, persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia, or bipolar disorder-related depression. It is not the name which matters for a claim as much as how and why it impacts somebody’s ability to work and the treatment they are pursuing. For some individuals, prescription medicines are used in combination with various types of talk therapy. More severe cases require hospitalization at a facility specializing in mental health issues.

Other mental health disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), neurocognitive disorders, personality disorders, learning disabilities, schizophrenia, and somatic symptom disorders. Often these conditions impact one’s ability to perform their job or to work at all.

The Importance of Ensuring Your Medical Records Demonstrate Mental Health Impairment

Anyone seeking to pursue a mental health claim through a disability insurance policy must be under the care and treatment of a qualified psychiatrist or psychologist to satisfy policy provisions for appropriate care and treatment.  The support must demonstrate that these mental health issues are significant and impairing and begin to document how and why the condition affects their ability to work.

In most Group LTD policies, there is a specific limitation clause that limits mental and nervous claims to 24 months. Insurance companies wrote these policies specifically to contain costs, and the rules are guided in their favor. Even if you remain disabled, your payments will end at the end of that period unless you demonstrate that you have another disability, even if your mental health condition continues. We have succeeded in navigating these challenging claims.

A frequent tactic of the disability insurance company is to try to change claimants who suffer from a physical disability into the mental and nervous category as a means of limiting benefit payments. 

You and your doctor must clearly distinguish between physical and mental conditions and support how the physical issues are impairing your ability to work. Many people with serious injuries or chronic illnesses become depressed because their life has been permanently altered or they live with chronic pain. This would make almost anyone depressed or anxious. However, if your doctor’s notes indicate depression or anxiety even if the note clearly states the mental/nervous condition is a direct result of your physical disability, the insurance company will attempt to re-categorize your disability. This is a common tactic and one we have fought successfully.

If your depression, anxiety, or nervous condition is severe and you cannot perform your job tasks and/or you feel your job is in jeopardy due to performance issues resulting from your disability, you should speak with a disability insurance policy lawyer who has successfully represented claimants suffering from depression, anxiety, and mental and nervous disorders. If you have questions, call our experienced attorney directly at (877) 406-7883 or send us an email.

What to Do if Your Claim Benefit is Denied or Terminated?

Claim denials and terminations for disability insurance benefits are surprisingly common. This is business and most insurance companies are publicly traded, with scrutiny from shareholders, financial analysts, and stock markets.  

The good news is that just because your claim was denied or terminated, it is not the end of the road, and you still have options depending on your situation. 

You can appeal the denial, though the ERISA disability appeal process is complex, and you will need to provide extensive medical evidence that your disability impacts and impairs your ability to work. You will need records (forms and narratives) from a healthcare professional supporting your claim. Because of the complexities, it is important to have an experienced disability insurance lawyer on your team.

Benefits of Working With a Disability Lawyer for Your Mental Impairment Claim

Most long-term disability insurance policies pay benefits for a limited period of time for qualifying mental health claims, so protecting the claim is especially important for the financial well-being of the claimant and their dependents. Unlike physical disabilities, injuries, or illnesses, mental health disabilities do not appear in X-rays, diagnostic images, or blood tests and do not always show physical impairments. Private policies typically do not have any limitations for mental health claims; these policies, often held by medical professionals, can be extremely valuable and navigating these claims with an experienced attorney can yield tremendous value.

Fighting an enormous company with endless resources, financially motivated and incentivized claims adjusters, and layers of delay and requests is aggravating for a healthy person. For any disabled person who is suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions, it can be overwhelming, exhausting and stand in the way of any health improvements.

Engaging a lawyer and having the entire process managed by an experienced New York disability attorney provides tremendous relief to our clients and allows some ability to focus on improving their health. Our deep knowledge and experience of what is necessary to successfully navigate these mental health claims helps our clients secure these important benefits.

We work to ensure that our clients suffering from a mental or nervous disability are under the regular care of an appropriate specialist to satisfy the policy provisions. Having a general practitioner prescribing anti-anxiety medication is likely to draw the attention of a claims manager. A disability insurance attorney will often guide the claimant in finding the right doctor for treatment so their claim will be strongly supported.

Finally, there are often many side effects to mental health medications. They can make claimants feel drowsy or sleepy, or impact upon focus and concentration.  These impacts should be noted, or they will not be considered. Having an advocate to fight for your claim and educate the insurer about the functional issues and deficits of the client and how and why the claim is supportable, is critical and what we offer for our clients.

Shielding You Against Disability Discrimination and Harassment

If you are suffering from a mental health disability and the insurance company denies or terminates your claim, you do not have to fight alone. We can help.  At Newfield Law Group, PC, we have represented and helped many people just like you.

Our office is located in Long Island, New York, and we have built a reputation of effectively and efficiently serving claimants nationwide. Call us toll-free at (877) 406-7883 or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.