There’s often a lack of understanding when it comes to unseen disabilities such as mental health and nervous disorders. For many, it’s easier to feel compassion for a coworker in a cast or wheelchair than a coworker suffering from depression or panic attacks.
People—not to mention individual and group long-term disability insurance companies—may sometimes confuse emotional disorders with immaturity or emotional instability. They are not the same. A chemical imbalance in the brain often causes disabling mental health and nervous disorders. Your brain is your body’s most complex organ. Even a minor or undetectable mental disturbance can hurt your ability to reliably perform the important duties of your occupation with reasonable continuity and in the usual and customary way.
Unfortunately, obtaining an accurate diagnosis can prove difficult for people with mental health disorders. Doctors and counselors use subjective and self-reported complaints to diagnose many mental health and nervous conditions. This can lead to a wrongful delay, denial, or termination of individual or group long-term disability benefits.
We’re Here to Help
America’s top-rated disability attorneys and esteemed group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw understand the unique challenges faced by mental health disability claimants. We know the difficulties and limitations inherent in mental health claims. Many individual and group long-term disability insurers severely limit mental health benefits to 12, 18, or 24 months.
People with mental health disorders often suffer from disabling chronic health conditions as a result of their underlying disorder. They may qualify for individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits as a result.
Our experienced long-term individual disability lawyers and skilled group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw can analyze your long-term disability policy for free. We can review the facts of your case at no cost to you. You may qualify for long-term individual or group disability benefits for a mental, emotional, and/or physical condition if you’re unable to perform the important duties of your occupation.
Did your individual or group long-term disability insurance company wrongfully delay, deny, or terminate your benefits? The prominent individual disability attorneys and respected group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw may help make your case. Schedule your free disability consultation today by calling (800) 458-4577 or contacting us online.
Overview of Mental Health and Anxiety Disorders in the United States
Mental illness can constitute temporary conditions such as depression brought on by the loss of a loved one, or more serious, long-term disorders without situational causes.
About 20 percent of American adults—that’s 44 million Americans—experience a bout with mental illness every year. Nearly 10 million working adults are experiencing serious mental illnesses that interferes with their ability to perform the important duties of their occupations right now.
If you suffer from a mental health condition while working, you’re not alone. In fact, leaving home, workplace stress, or workplace harassment can exacerbate many nervous disorders.
Anxiety and nervous disorders form the most common mental illnesses, including:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Phobias/irrational fears
- General anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorders
Furthermore, mental health conditions like OCD and PTSD can manifest with physical symptoms that develop into diagnosable physical disabilities. These commonly include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – A disorder of the large intestine. It causes chronic bloating, diarrhea, cramping, pain and related gastrointestinal distress.
- Chronic headaches and migraines – Categorized as headaches and migraines that strike you at least every other day and harm your ability to perform the important duties of your occupation.
- Sleep disorders – Anxiety disorders can lead to severe nightmares, night sweats, and hyperactivity that result in insomnia or extreme fatigue.
- Fibromyalgia – Fibromyalgia is a condition categorized by whole body pain, especially in the joints. Unfortunately, there is no test for fibromyalgia. Sufferers may find obtaining individual or group disability benefits a steep challenge. Many fibromyalgia cases arise after a physically traumatic experience. Treating physicians often diagnose the condition concurrently with PTSD and anxiety disorders.
Less than half of those suffering from a mental health condition get the real help they need. Mental illnesses cost patients almost $200 billion in lost earnings per year. Take advantage of your individual or group long-term disability benefits to protect your income and get the appropriate treatment you need. Ask for help from a top-rated individual disability lawyer or stellar group ERISA attorney at DarrasLaw.
Mental Health Disabilities in the Workplace
Few employees have the flexibility needed to work with a serious mental health or nervous disorder. Understanding and accommodating employers are the exception, not the rule.
You must establish how your disability limits and restricts your ability to perform the important duties of your occupation to claim individual or group long-term disability benefits. Simply having a diagnosis doesn’t equal disability.
For example, if you’re an accountant who uses a wheelchair but you work at an accessible office, you may not have a claim for individual or group long-term disability benefits. However, carpal tunnel syndrome may prevent a surgeon from performing surgery. An individual or group long-term disability insurance company would likely consider the surgeon disabled.
Proving your entitlement to individual or group long-term disability benefits for a mental health condition depends on your occupation, the nature of your condition, triggering events and proper, appropriate care.
For example, if you’re suffering from PTSD after a sexual assault, a co-worker who steps into your office may trigger your anxiety. Private meetings that previously were no problem now may cause panic attacks, damaging your ability to reliably perform the important tasks of your occupation.
In such cases, you may need to claim individual or group long-term disability benefits to get well.
Claimants with nervous disorders often struggle in social or high-stress settings. They may need private rooms to decompress or limited workloads to function. If these accommodations are not feasible in your case, meet with the experienced long-term individual disability lawyers and pre-eminent group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw to discuss how your symptoms specifically interfere with your ability to perform the important duties of your occupation.
Most Common Disabling Mental Health and Nervous Conditions
The term mental health disorder covers a wide range of conditions that affect mood, behavior, and your perception of the world. Eating disorders, addictions, depression, and schizophrenia are all types of mental health conditions. However, the most common mental health conditions fall into the subcategory of anxiety or nervous disorders.
Anxiety disorders can be triggered unexpectedly, with no family history or medical predisposition. These disorders are different than normal anxiety, which we all experience. The episodes of anxiety disorders are frequent, intense, and often irrational. Many anxiety disorders arise after traumatic events, such as a car crash. The following are among the most common anxiety disorders in the United States:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Many people associate PTSD with combat veterans, but it can manifest in anyone that experiences a traumatic event. A physical assault or difficult divorce can induce PTSD. It’s normal to have nightmares, heart palpitations, and situational anxiety after a trauma, but you may have PTSD if these symptoms last more than a month. Veterans must be careful, however, when claiming individual or group long-term disability benefits for PTSD. Some long-term disability insurers will not cover combat-related injuries or illnesses.
- Panic attacks -We may all have a panic attack if we get scared or are in a legitimately dangerous situation. However, panic attack disorders differ from single episodes of legitimate fear in that the panic can set in for no reason at all. You could be fine one moment and, without explanation, find yourself terrified with a pounding heart the next. You could also suffer from an irrational fear that your family is in danger and, even knowing it’s irrational, suffer from a panic attack.
- Paranoid schizophrenia – One of the most serious mental health conditions, this is the most common type of schizophrenia. It typically involves hallucinations, catatonic states, distorted thoughts, and delusions, such as believing someone is following or hunting you. Paranoid schizophrenics are often unpredictable, and their behavior is difficult to understand.
- Social anxiety disorder – This manifests as an intense worry and fear about normal social situations. Claimants with social anxiety disorder may always feel worried and uncomfortable. This can turn into a panic attack within a few minutes. Panic attacks, in combination with social anxiety, can leave you disabled for hours at a time. They can result in an inability to think clearly, gastrointestinal problems, rapid breathing, fatigue, and heart palpitations.
- Agoraphobia – This anxiety disorder causes sufferers to avoid places that may make them feel trapped or helpless. Some patients may only feel safe in their homes while others may only feel safe in a few places. Agoraphobia causes panic attacks that leave you feeling trapped, embarrassed, or helpless. People with this disorder try to avoid any anxiety-inducing situations and places.
- General phobias – Phobia is the Greek word for “morbid fear.” It’s essentially an irrational or disproportionate fear that leaves you terrified and unable to function. Common phobias about which you may have heard include acrophobia (the fear of heights) and arachnophobia (the fear of spiders). Not all phobias result in disabilities, but many do. For example, a pilot who develops acrophobia after an emergency landing may prove unable to perform the important tasks of his occupation. It won’t, however, prevent a chef from doing so. It’s more difficult to claim individual or group long-term disability benefits for a specific phobia. A phobia that prevents you from performing the important duties of your occupation may qualify you for individual or group long-term disability benefits. Whether you qualify will depend on the specific facts of your case, so ask for help.
Mental health and anxiety disabilities are complex and often overlap. Many patients with PTSD will also suffer from social anxiety and panic attacks. These conditions may also lead to physical disabilities such as IBS, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.
The experienced long-term disability lawyers and award-winning group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw know how seriously a mental health condition can derail your home and work life. We also know how these conditions interplay with other physical disorders. We know the objective medical evidence and proof you’ll need to prove your case. Don’t delay. Contact our top-rated individual disability attorneys and nationally respected group ERISA lawyers today.
Limitations on Individual or Group Mental Health Disability Benefits
Individual and group long-term disability insurance companies often severely limit mental health coverage to 12, 18, or 24 months. This limitation means you may only get to claim a cumulative 12, 18, or 24 months of individual or group benefits for these self-reported conditions even if you’re disabled for longer than your individual or group insurance policy will cover.
There is no objective test for many mental health and anxiety disorders, which are more often diagnosed by their symptoms. These can include, but are not limited to:
- Excessive fear, worry, or guilt
- Extreme mood changes
- Withdrawal from social settings
- Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia
- High stress
- Inability to cope
- Abnormal anger
- Inability to concentrate
- Significant weight loss
The objective medical evidence and proof necessary to support your valid individual or group disability claim depends on the terms and limitations of your individual or group long-term disability policy.
America’s top-rated long-term individual disability lawyers and award-winning group ERISA attorneys at DarrasLaw can review the facts of your case and your policy provisions or limitations for free. If you have exhausted the 12, 18, or 24-month mental/nervous benefit, you may qualify for individual or group long-term disability insurance benefits for a physical disability associated with your condition. For example, claimants with an anxiety disorder are at an increased risk of:
- Heart disease
- Pregnancy complications
The top-rated long-term individual disability attorneys and seasoned group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw know how to fight for your legal right to individual or group long-term disability benefits. We can work with your treating doctors, social workers, and therapists to help fight wrongful delays, denials, and terminations of your individual or group mental health disability benefits.
Call America’s Premier Long-Term Disability Attorneys and Skilled Group ERISA Lawyers for a Free Disability Case Review
Mental health and anxiety claimants commonly experience wrongful delays, denials, and terminations of individual and group long-term disability benefits. However, these conditions are some of the most unpredictable and disabling.
Led by the nation’s premier long-term disability lawyer, Frank N. Darras, our award-winning individual disability lawyers and top-rated group ERISA attorneys know how to get claimants the individual or group benefits to which they are entitled. In fact, Frank N. Darras and his firms have recovered nearly $1 billion in wrongfully delayed, denied, and terminated insurance benefits.
Call our compassionate long-term individual disability attorneys and skilled group ERISA lawyers at DarrasLaw today to schedule your free disability policy analysis and free claim consultation. We’re here to help you whether we need to litigate a complex ERISA case, file bad-faith disability litigation, or negotiate a lump sum settlement. Contact us at (800) 458-4577 or online without delay!