Mental health disorders and absenteeism has been increasing at a startling rate in recent years. The stress of the pandemic and continued financial turbulence have many people feeling the pressure. For some, the burden is debilitating, impacting their ability to work.
Long-term disability (LTD) is designed to supplement someone’s income when they’re unable to work due to health reasons, but does it cover mental health disorders? Here’s what you need to know.
Can You Get LTD for Mental Health Disorders?
Yes, eligible employees can secure long-term disability benefits for mental health disorders as long as they can prove that said disorder interferes with their ability to work.
Unfortunately, LTD experts like the Maddox Firm often see mental health limitations included in LTD eligibility policies. It’s important to understand the fine print of your policy and work with professionals to determine the best path forward.
Coverage Limitations for Mental Health Disorders
In addition to mental illness exclusions, there are typically coverage limitations for disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety as well. Many policies limit coverage to 24 months with no option for extension after the coverage ends.
However, mental health disorders often lead to physical ailments as well. While your mental health coverage may be limited or excluded, proving cognitive or physical limitations resulting from it could help you secure ongoing support.
Proving Inability To Work Due to Mental Health
The burden of proof lies heavily on those trying to apply for LTD for mental health disorders. Creating a solid case before applying will help improve your chances of success.
Here are some practical tips for proving your inability to work due to mental health disorders:
Work With an Attorney
Work with an attorney knowledgeable in LTD claims to outline your options when building a case. Taking the time to research your options and advocate for yourself is important, but it’s worth having someone on your team that knows the nuances of disability law.
Undergo an Unbiased Evaluation
It’s common practice for employers and insurance companies to have an affiliated medical professional for completing examinations and assessments.
The concern with this approach is that the medical professional is inherently biased to side with the coverage provider.
Finding an unaffiliated provider as an alternate opinion will help you build a case and contradict any unhelpful findings from the affiliated medical team.
Seeking active treatment for your mental health disorder will also contribute to building a case for your claim. This indicates that your disorder is legitimate, and you’re committed to getting the support that could lead to a return to work.
Document Your Experience
Finally, document your experience leading up to and during the claims process. Note your moods, limitations, appointments, triggers, and challenges.
Consider writing a personal essay expressing your difficulty to add a human element to your claim. This feature could connect on a personal level with someone reviewing your case and increase your chances of success.
Getting LTD coverage for mental health disorders is challenging but not impossible. Work with a skilled professional and take your time in building a case.