Why are claims for long-term disability for depression and anxiety denied so often? Most of the time, it’s because they lack sufficient evidence focusing on the symptoms. You need evidence to show that you are receiving a proper standard of care and actively engaging in treatment. You need to demonstrate that the symptoms of the illness prevent you from working.
In this short article, we explain what you need to properly back up a winning disability claim for depression and anxiety. We also discuss what you can do to maximize your chances of approval.
Make Sure Your Medical Records Back Up Your Claim
Obtaining disability benefits for a physical disability is difficult enough. But getting a mental illness disability claim approved and maintaining benefits for more than years is even more difficult. Many group long-term disability policies limit payments for disabilities caused by mental illness to 24 months.
Like most physical disabilities, most mental illnesses are treatable. Recovery from a mental disability requires seeking and receiving medical care, which typically involves active participation in medication and treatment.
A disability claim for mental illness will be judged by medical files and records. Your doctor (or psychiatrist) should be able to provide written proof of the following:
1: You’re Receiving Regular Care From a Doctor
To be approved for LTD benefits for anxiety and depression, you need to receive “regular care” from a doctor. You must show that you want treatment to improve your disorder and get back to work. And you need to demonstrate that you are taking steps with your doctor to explore all options for recovery.
“Regular care” typically means doctor visits as often as your doctor or therapist recommends. . It implies that your healthcare provider is continuing to treat and carefully monitor your depression or anxiety. For example, your doctor will likely prescribe medication to treat your depression. You’ll need to show that they are regularly monitoring it (i.e., adjusting dosages or prescribing other medications based on how you’re reacting to the treatment).
So be sure to schedule appointments as recommended by your doctor, and that you attend all of them. Also, keep in mind that your doctor should be monitoring any treatment for effectiveness.
2: You’re Seeing a Psychiatrist
Your doctor should refer you to a psychiatrist. Since they specialize in treating mental illnesses, psychiatrists can credibly back up your claim that symptoms from your illness prevents you from working. Make sure that your psychiatrist understands your occupational duties and understands the definition of disability in your insurance policy or plan. Not all definitions are the same.
Evidence that you’ve seen a psychiatrist can objectively validate your claim of suffering from depression or anxiety.
3: You’re Following Through With Recommended Psychological Treatment
Your LTD claim for depression or anxiety should show that you’re taking the medication and psychological counseling prescribed to you. If your doctor recommends seeing a psychologist, see one. If they recommend a regimen of medication, make sure you stick to it.
The key is to never make excuses and diligently to follow through with your doctor-recommended course of treatment. This shows that you seriously want to overcome your illness and get back to work.
4: Your Doctor (and/or Psychologist) Is Providing the Proper Standard of Care
You could be doing your part by following through with the treatment prescribed to you by your doctor. But if your doctor, psychologist, /or psychiatrist isn’t doing their part, your LTD benefits might not be approved.
Your doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist is expected to provide you a standard of care that follows best practices for treatment of your depression or anxiety. If they fail to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment they prescribe, then they are providing a poor standard of care. The same applies if they monitor your medication but don’t adjust dosage or replace it with another when necessary.
If you think your doctor is not providing a proper standard of care, seek a second opinion.
Speak to a Long-Term Disability Claims Attorney
Mental illness disability claims are frequently denied, but there are mistakes you can avoid. A Boston LTD attorney can help you maximize your chances of winning a claim for long-term disability for depression and anxiety. Long-term disability insurance claims attorney Jonathan M. Feigenbaum, Esquire has experience handling claims for mental illness and can guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more.