By Matt Lalande in Long-Term Disability on June 04, 2018
3 Minute Read by Denied Long-Term Disability Lawyers Hamilton Serving Ontario
If you are suffering from depression or anxiety and worried that you might be denied long term disability, you’re not alone. Mental health disorders are among the top denied long term disability claims. We understand the stress of being unable to work, worrying about your claim, and the associated financial burden that results can further aggravate your condition.
Depression and anxiety are often referred to as an invisible disability. Unlike a visible physical condition that can be diagnosed with an x-ray, ultrasound or blood test, depression and mental illness is more difficult to quantify. According to the World Health Organization, depression is a leading cause of disability. It affects nearly 300 million people worldwide.
While there are effective treatments for depression, many suffering with a mental illness may experience several barriers to treatment. The social stigma associated with depression and anxiety may cause people to not actively seek medical care. The lack of resources, understanding and even trained health-care providers can also hinder a person’s ability to get effective medical help. To further complicate your path to getting better, treatment does not fit under a one-size-fits-all protocol.
Depression and mental illness comes in many forms – such as major depression, anxiety, psychotic depression, situational depression and bipolar disorder are some of the most common. Symptoms often include feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, sadness, loss of feeling, guilt, lack of interest in daily activities, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, weight changes, thoughts of suicide, and physical manifestations such as aches, pains and headaches that do not ease with treatment. Any of these symptoms can be very debilitating and make it difficult to maintain normal routines including work.
It can be very challenging to file a successful disability claim for depression and anxiety. When making a claim, it is very important to know and understand your disability policy. In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must prove your depression or anxiety meets the criteria as laid out in your policy. Every policy is different, but generally, the parameters tend to include a disability that prevents you from performing the regular duties of your occupation. Most often, insurance companies will look for symptoms which can be proven. Physical symptoms will often weigh higher when processing your claim. If you are unable to work because of your condition and are seeking disability, seeking legal counsel can help uncomplicated what can be a very trying process.
Failure to Seek Timely and Regular Medical Care
It’s important to have regular appointments with your family doctor and to be actively taking part in a medical treatment plan. This could include medication, psychiatric care and/or counselling. It is important you ensure your doctor and medical care team are keeping accurate and complete records of your symptoms, your treatment, you response to treatment and the ongoing medical plan. Work with your doctor to properly and thoroughly document all treatments, medications and side effect. Attend all your appointments. Follow the advice and treatment plan as laid out by your professional medical team. Your insurance provider is looking for evidence that you are following medical advice and being proactive to get better.
Evidence That May Seem To Contradict Your Condition
Often, the onus is on you to prove you have the condition outlined in your claim. Because depression and anxiety is difficult to diagnose and quantify, the insurance company may hire an investigator to monitor your daily life. This often includes the monitoring of your social media accounts. Their goal is to ensure your daily life is consistent with the disability you’ve claimed. Since many people often present the best version of themselves on social media, and can mask their symptoms in public for short periods, you could end up looking more able-bodied than you are and able to handle day-to-day activities than you really can. If you are seeking disability insurance, it is very important you are cautious of what you do and what you post. While with many medical illnesses, people will have good and bad days. Just be mindful that your activities may be used as part of your claim.
Keep All Your Medical Records
It is very important that you keep all your medical records. This includes a history of appointments and prescriptions. You should also ensure your physician and any other professional involved in your care is also keeping thorough and accurate records of your appointments, symptoms, treatments and care plan. Disability insurers will often challenge anxiety and depression claims because of the lack of a standard diagnosis protocol. This is why it is extra-important to ensure your diagnosis, symptoms and treatment plan is well-documented.
Try to Keep a Journal of Your Symptoms Impairments & Limitations
It’s not easy, but try to keep a personal medical journal outlining your symptoms. Record your feelings toward your daily activities, any insomnia, appetite changes, energy changes and weight fluctuations. Highlight the intensity of your symptoms as well as your medical appointments and treatments.
Speak to one of our lawyers today. Depression and anxiety disability claims can prove difficult and time consuming. If you are preparing to file a claim or have been denied long-term disability, contact Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers for a free no-obligation consultation.
Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers have extensive experience in providing representation for disability insurance claims. If you or a loved one is concerned about a denied long-term disability benefit, please do not hesitate to contact us. Your insurance policy is designed to protect you. We’re here to help ensure that it will. Please contact us 24/7 or call us at (905)333-8888, by filling out a confidential contact form, or by chatting with out live agent, 24/7 who will be more than happy to set up an appointment with one of our lawyers.