Because mental health issues are invisible, employers are sometimes suspicious when workers seek disability for conditions like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. However, mental illnesses can be incredibly debilitating. Statements from British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer suggest these issues have become increasingly common in recent years.
A mental illness can impact your ability to function, maintain a job, or care for yourself. Fortunately, many of these conditions can be managed with adequate treatment and support. Long-term disability benefits can help cover a portion of your monthly salary when your mental illness prevents you from working. If you are in a dispute over your qualifications for mental health disability benefits, get the personal injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP on your side.
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Long-Term Disability Coverage and Mental Health
If your employer offers disability insurance coverage, you are entitled to claim benefits under their policy in the event of a long-term injury or illness. This includes mental health issues that interfere with your ability to do your job.
It’s a good idea to examine your disability insurance policy to determine whether other options may be available to you. In many cases, companies provide additional benefits, such as preventive services and counseling.
Time Limits on Mental Health Disability Claims
When you suffer a serious mental health issue, you won’t be able to claim long-term disability benefits right away. Benefits from a long-term disability claim are only available after a condition prevents you from returning to work for a specific timeframe, known as a waiting period or elimination period. This waiting period often lasts three to six months and exists no matter what type of condition you have.
It may be possible to receive short-term disability benefits before you are eligible to claim compensation for a long-term disability.
Types of Mental Health Disability Benefits
The following types of benefits may be available in a mental health disability claim:
- Sick days: Often cover 100 percent of your regular wages for three to seven days each year.
- Short-term benefits: Cover between 60 and 100 percent of your regular pay for 17 to 52 weeks following an initial one- or two-week waiting period.
- Long-term benefits: After an extended period of time being unable to work, long-term benefits may cover between 50 and 70 percent of your regular wages until you either reach the age of 65 or can return to work again.
Anxiety and Long-Term Disability Claims
Anxiety disorders are common mental health issues that involve constant or overwhelming worry or fear. Clinical anxiety goes beyond temporary nervousness and interferes with the ability to participate in daily activities like work, school, or social interactions.
Any of the following common types of anxiety disorders could be grounds for a long-term disability claim:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Social anxiety disorder
Why Are Long-Term Disability Claims Denied?
Receiving benefits from a long-term disability claim requires you to prove that your disability is ongoing and severe enough to prevent you from returning to work. As a result, many long-term disability claims are denied because of:
- Failure to be responsive with the disability insurance provider
- Failure to seek treatment for your mental illness
- Failure to take steps to avoid worsening your mental health condition
- Lack of proof that you were diagnosed with a mental health condition
- Lack of adequate documentation of care by medical providers
The insurance company says you are capable of returning to work at any occupation suitable to you even if it is not the occupation you had before
Contact a British Columbia Disability Lawyer Today
If you need help with a long-term disability claim for mental health issues, look no further than the Vancouver personal injury lawyers at Warnett Hallen LLP. Contact us today to discuss the details of your claim in a free consultation.