In recent decades, the importance and impact of mental health issues has become much more widely recognized. Medical communities, psychology and psychiatry, workplaces and other communities have taken a much more empathetic and appropriate approach to questions of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and other mental health issues.
However, obtaining long-term disability benefits in employer-provided health care plans for mental health issues remains a significant challenge. It is important to understand the challenges you could face when applying for benefits for a mental health issue.
What are the challenges?
If you are struggling with mental health disabilities, you will need to address some important issues in the benefits claim process:
- Coverage: Although it might seem obvious, if you ever expect to receive long-term disability benefits for mental health reasons, you need to make sure mental health is covered in your disability insurance plan.
- Medical analyses: Employer-provided healthcare providers always scrutinize long-term disability applications, but they are particularly careful with mental health disability claims. It is critical to have skilled doctors give clear analyses that establish your mental health disability.
- Perfect application for benefits: Errors on any type of disability benefits claim can be costly, but this is even more true in the context of mental health claims. Make sure that any information you provide is presented perfectly error free, is complete and is accurate.
These are just a few of things you need to keep in mind when applying for long-term disability benefits for mental health ailments.
Prepare for denial of benefits
The sad reality is that many providers deny long-term mental health disability claims. It is important to talk with an experienced ERISA lawyer early in the application process, to make sure your claim is handled well and to prepare to dispute a denial that might arise. Your long-term disability benefits are too important not to.