Mental Illness Claims

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Do you suffer from Mental Illness?  Did an insurance company deny your claim for disability benefits?

When mental illness strikes, it can upend your entire world.  Performing tasks that were routine, becomes difficult, if not impossible.  It can be trying to interact with strangers, friends and even family members.  Mental illness can make it tough to get motivated enough to leave the house to go to work, or even perform your important job duties.

Even worse, because of the stigma that is often unfairly associated with mental illness, seeking help seems like an uphill battle at best and shameful at worse.  Mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia, can be treated with help from medical professionals.  However, while you are undergoing treatment, you will probably be unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your occupation.  If that is the case, hopefully you have short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage, either through an “individual” disability policy that you purchased directly from an insurance company with the help of an insurance agent or insurance broker, or through coverage provided by your employer.

Every insurance policy is different, but typically, in order to prove that you are entitled to long-term disability benefits, you will need to prove that you are unable to perform the material duties of your own occupation.  In some policies, the standard is even harder to meet, as you would need to prove that you are unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which you are reasonably qualified based on your education, training and work experience.

Regardless, if your doctor has diagnosed you with a mental illness and it and medication side-effects have substantially impacted your ability to perform your own occupation or any occupation, it is likely that you meet your disability policy’s definition of disability.

Unfortunately, even if you have long-term disability coverage and your mental illness is verified by your treating physician, there is no guarantee that the insurance company will pay you the disability benefits that you are owed.  Because mental illness claims are typically subjective in nature, these types of claims are the most difficult to convince an insurance company to pay.  Without the ability to confirm the diagnosis through objective evidence such as an x-ray or MRI, your burden to prove your disability status is even more difficult.

If an insurance company denies your claim, you are best served by hiring a long-term disability insurance attorney.  This is especially true if you suffer from a mental illness.  Federal ERISA and state bad faith insurance laws are complex, and insurance companies know that pursing claims, even legitimate claims, are difficult for people with a mental illness.

If you believe you are totally disabled or if your insurer has denied your claim for long-term or short-term disability insurance benefits, please contact us, McKennon Law Group PC, for a free consultation.  Call us at (949) 387-9595, email us at info@mckennonlawgroup.com or fill out our Consultation Request Form.  Let us decide whether your long-term disability claim was wrongfully denied and let us see if we can assist you.