Proving the existence of a disability, and your disabling symptoms, can be challenging in any disability insurance claim. For those suffering from a mental health condition, the claim process can be just as problematic if not more difficult to navigate. That is because many of these conditions can be relatively invisible.
For those seeking LTD benefits for mental health conditions, here’s what can be important to document and demonstrate to an insurance company in order to establish the presence of a qualifying impairment.
- Regular doctor’s visits – Regularly visiting the doctor can be crucial to getting an LTD claim approved, as insurance companies will want to track the progress of your condition. These visits can also be central to establishing:
- Patterns that may be associated with your condition (like, for instance, mania and depression associated with bipolar disorder)
- The severity of the condition itself (because, in some cases, it can take weeks, months or maybe even longer to determine the scope of a mental health impairment).
- Compliance with all prescribed treatments – Following through with all treatments a doctor prescribes can be crucial to showing the insurance company that you are focused on healing and getting better (to the extent possible). Again, this can be integral to having yourLTD claim approved, as insurers tend to be less inclined to grant benefits when claimants aren’t taking the expected steps to try to improve their condition.
- Your medical records and test results – If the insurance company doesn’t have all of your medical records, it may not be able to verify the nature and severity of your mental health condition – and, in turn, that the claim will be denied. So, be sure your doctor sends all of your records, including test results, progress reports, etc., to the insurance provider; consider retaining a lawyer to coordinate this process and follow up with your doctor (and the insurer) if your condition limits your ability to do so.
- Some additional specific information – In some cases, just sending over medical records will not be sufficient to establish that a mental health condition exists. It can also be important to provide additional, supporting information that can elucidate just how severe the condition is. Examples of this information include (and are by no means limited to) details regarding:
- Whether you are able to work or your conditions prevents you from working
- Whether doctors have specifically prescribed no work while you undergo treatment(s)
- If you do work, how frequently you miss work (or perform poorly) as a result of your condition
- The extent to which you can perform more complicated tasks, you experience memory impairments and/or you have problems interacting or communicating with colleagues (or supervisors)
- LIMITATIONS on Mental Health Claims – Take a good look at your employer disability plan or policy. Most policies contain a strict limitation on the length of time claims based on a mental illness will be paid. The most typical limit is 24 months. For this reason, if you have a physically disabling condition in addition to a mental or psychological illness, you will want to stress the physical limitations. And you may want to contact a disability insurance lawyer well in advance of the 24 month limitation date. The steps you take before the limitation expires can be crucial to having your claim paid for a much no longer period of time.
Do You Need Help Securing LTD Benefits? Contact Denver Disability Lawyer Shawn E. McDermott
If your LTD claim has been denied or your benefits have been wrongly reduced or terminated, you can turn to Denver Disability Lawyer Shawn E. McDermott for experience in standing up to insurers and help in obtaining the benefits you likely deserve. Dedicated and experienced, Shawn McDermott has a record of success when it comes to helping people secure the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled.
Call (303) 964-1800 or email our firm via the contact form on this page to learn more about your rights and options, as well as how Attorney Shawn E. McDermott can help you.
From our offices in Denver, we provide the highest quality legal services to disabled people throughout the state of Colorado, the surrounding states and nationwide.