If you find that you worry excessively or have unexplained episodes of sadness or hopelessness where it interferes with working and everyday activities, you may be one of the millions of people in the United States who suffer from depression or anxiety. Both are mental health disorders capable of producing disabling symptoms.
A short-term disability insurance plan may offer financial relief while you work with your health care professionals to manage an anxiety disability and depression. Filing a claim and making the plan pay benefits can be a challenge, so the following information about getting short-term disability approved for anxiety and depression may be of some assistance.
What Is Depression?
Depression affects more than 17 million people in the U.S. with symptoms that may prevent them from working or engaging in the daily and social activities that they once enjoyed. Some of the common symptoms of depression disability include the following:
- Loss of motivation
- Lack of interest in participating in activities
- Episodes of sadness and feelings of hopelessness
- Thoughts of death and suicide
- Unexplained, rapid weight changes
- Binge eating, loss of appetite, and other unexplained changes in eating habits
- Episodes of anger with no specific cause associated with them
If you have symptoms lasting for at least two weeks, arrange an appointment with a physician or mental health professional for an evaluation of your condition. Depression is a treatable condition, but the symptoms associated with it may cause a person suffering from it to avoid or unnecessarily delay seeking professional help.
What Is Anxiety?
Feeling nervous or fearful can be a normal reaction to stressful situations, but someone with an anxiety disability may experience excessive fear and nervousness inappropriate to thoughts or situations. Someone with an anxiety disorder may be unable to function and find themselves withdrawing from and avoiding situations and activities, including work, school and social activities, that they fear may cause symptoms.
Symptoms of anxiety disorder may include all or some of the following:
- Excessive fear and nervousness
- Avoidance of social contacts
- Cold sweats and hyperventilation
- Rapid heart rate
- Hand tremors
- Weakness and fatigue
- Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia.
There are many types of anxiety, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder. If you believe you suffer from anxiety that affects your ability to work and engage in normal activities of daily life, speak with a physician or mental health professional. Anxiety disorders are treatable, but you need to take steps to obtain a proper diagnosis from a medical professional who can recommend a treatment plan.
Getting Short-Term Disability Approved For Anxiety And Depression
If your employer offers short-term disability insurance to pay for lost earnings and medical care when you have an illness that prevents you from working, you may consider filing a claim for benefits for anxiety or depression. However, first check the terms of the plan to determine the coverage, if any, offered for mental health disorders.
Some short-term disability plans exclude mental health illnesses, such as anxiety and disability, or limit the benefits they provide. The plans in most states are insurance policies that employers voluntarily purchase to cover employees, but laws in some states require coverage. Either the policy itself or the law in your state will provide you with information about the coverage provided for anxiety and depression.
An anxiety or depression disability caused by conditions related to your employment may not be eligible for short-term disability benefits. Work-related injuries and illnesses, including mental health disorders, are entitled to benefits through the workers’ compensation that exists in your state. Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws, so ask your disability lawyer to look into it for you to determine if it precludes you from receiving short-term disability benefits.
How To File A Claim For Short-Term Disability
To file a claim for short disability for anxiety, depression or other mental health disorder, you need a diagnosis from your physician or, preferably, a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist. The medical records should include a diagnosis, treatment plan and a statement from the doctor detailing the specific ways that your illness affects your ability to work and engage in normal, day-to-day activities.
Convincing insurance companies to pay short-term disability claims for mental health disorders can be difficult. If your plan denies your claim, you have the right to file an appeal.
How Can A Disability Lawyer Help With A Claim For Short-Term Disability?
A free consultation and claim evaluation with a disability lawyer from Liner Legal Disability Lawyers may be the best way to learn about your rights and options available to you for benefits for depression and anxiety disability. Contact them today to schedule an appointment.