Is Mental Health Covered by Long Term Disability?
In recent history, employers viewed disability claims for mental health with skepticism. While physical injuries are obvious, people were indifferent or unaware of psychological and emotional issues and their ability to cause substantial harm. However, the reality is that mental health issues are common. Each year, thousands of British Columbia residents miss work. In some of these cases, disability benefits might have been available.
If you are in dispute over long term disability benefits for a mental health claim, we may be able to help. As a personal injury law firm, we are focused on our clients and work diligently so they can obtain the benefits they deserve.
Long-term disability coverage for mental health
If you are covered by a disability insurance policy at work, you have the right to file a claim for benefits following a lengthy illness or injury. This right extends to mental conditions. If this prevents you from performing the necessary tasks at your workplace, you could be entitled to benefits.
Depending on your policy, you may have other options that could help. Many employers offer various forms of counselling, and insurance policies often provide access to other preventative measures. It is not uncommon for people to refuse those options; however, due to the stigma.
Time limits on recovering benefits
Long term disability benefits are not available from the moment a mental illness manifests. Like with any injury claim, you are only entitled to pursue long-term disability– if your condition renders you unable to work for at least two years. Depending on the terms of your insurance policy, you could have access to short term disability benefits well before the two-year mark.
Common grounds for denied claims
Every policy is different, and some insurers will take every opportunity to avoid paying out. In many cases, an insurer will refuse to pay out benefits even when a policy is in place. The good news is that a long-term disability lawyer could assist you with fighting back. The most common reasons these claims for mental illnesses are denied include:
- You have not been responsive with the insurer. In many cases, insurance companies will claim you have not answered their request for documents even when you have made your best effort.
- You have not sought treatment. There are several reasons while failing to seek treatment for mental illness could be detrimental to your claim. First, an insurance company might argue you failed to take steps to avoid your disability. Second, without medical documentation, it could be difficult to prove your condition is real.
- Your treatment providers are not providing adequate care. In some cases, the doctors responsible for your care might not be meeting your needs. Perhaps, they are overworked, careless or don’t have the necessary skills or education. If the insurance company believes the doctors have not cared for you appropriately, they could demand that you seek additional treatment before paying benefits.
- Your doctors are not documenting your treatment. Even if your treatment was thorough, the insurance companies could object if the documentation was not. Your medical provider must carefully document this. If they fail to do so, your insurance company has little way of determining if you are entitled to benefits.
Contact us today
When the insurance company denies your disability claim, that does not mean your chance for benefits is gone. You have the right to appeal. You also have the right to have a long term disability lawyer assisting you throughout the process.
At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we believe mental health should be treated with the same gravity and respect as physical health. We take pride in helping our clients pursue the benefits they need while they focus on their recovery. If you are considering a long-term disability claim for mental health issues or if your claim has already been denied, call right away to discuss your options at a free consultation.