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Depression and Anxiety Disability Insurance Claim Information and Help


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One of the most difficult disabling conditions to prove is depression or anxiety. Disability insurance providers often challenge these claims because there is no objective test that can prove someone is depressed. People diagnosed with depression usually look normal on the exterior; however, their ability to function and perform in a work environment with reasonable continuity is severely limited. In a disability claim, the insurance company will rely on a hired psychologist or psychiatrist to determine if the claimant has restrictions and limitations caused by depression or anxiety. Often, a claimant’s treating psychologist or psychiatrist will not take thorough notes, and the insurance company will state that the claimant’s doctor has not documented any restrictions or limitations. We have handled thousands of disability claims dealing with depression and anxiety. Let’s talk about how our experience can help you.

We also see disability companies argue: “If your depression was so debilitating, why were you not hospitalized?” The disability carriers will sometimes arrange for the claimant to submit to a two-day neuropsychological examination and another exam with a forensic psychiatrist. In 8 out 10 times, these hired guns will decide that the claimant is not disabled and can return to work. The neuropsychological testing is also used be insurance companies in an effort to prove malingering or exaggeration of symptoms. It is important to hire a law firm that has experience in dealing with neuropsychological testing and depression disability claims. Claimants need to be aware that most ERISA governed disability policies and many individual disability policies will limit mental nervous claims to two years of benefits only. In many of our cases, if a person has an physically disabling condition, then we will attempt to prove that the depression or anxiety is secondary to the physical condition. This argument can allow a disability claim to extend beyond two years.

Our Experience with Disability Insurance Claim for Depression and Anxiety

Our disability insurance lawyers have recovered benefits for hundreds of claimants with depression or anxiety. Here are some examples of our resolved cases for claimants with depression or anxiety:

Our Lawyers Handle Depression Claims Daily

Depression is one of the most common psychological problems for a short or long term disability claim. One in six Americans has been diagnosed with depression. Depression is a chronic medical illness that does not just affect the mind but also the body, affecting how you think, feel and behave. There are several distinct types of depression including:

Depression is rarely an isolated condition. People with depression often suffer from other conditions, injuries, illnesses or disabilities, including heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Symptoms of Claimants Seeking Disability as a Result of Depression

People suffering from depression may exhibit some of the following symptoms:

These symptoms make even the smallest tasks seem overwhelming. Workers suffering from depression could be entitled to benefits if their condition makes working a regular schedule impossible.

If you have more questions about receiving benefits for your depression, contact our disability insurance lawyers for a free consultation. Schedule a free consultation with us, and we will give you an assessment of your best options. We handle cases in all 50 states.

The following resources provide additional information about depression and anxiety:

For updates about depression and disability insurance, check this page for news. We provide a feed of information that could be relevant to your benefits.

There are 12 opinions so far. Add your comment now.

Sonia:

My name is Sonia, I am so alone, lost, scared, lonely. I feel like I have no life anymore, my world was turned upside out on December 12, 2013. My company of 23 years wrongfully accused me of steeling from them. Of course I did not and they have found that out. Now, I was not fired because they had no proof of me doing such an awful thing. What happened to me after was crazy. I got sick, could not sleep, was scared, would not eat or go anywhere alone – my life changed. I was told my job abilities were not good and that I had to pick it up because I was affecting the company’s sales and customer service and my members. I told my boss I was sick and was seeing a doctor for help, that I had deep depression and was having anxiety attacks. I also told him I was on medications. He was more upset then anything else. I would ask to see the company doctor and they would not send me, that is why I started to see my own doctors. On April 03, 2014 the company doctor put me out for one week and said on her note that I could return to work, but only with one restriction: for me to return to my old store, because I need the support from my co-workers to get better and feel safe. Well, my district manager said no to the company doctor, that I had to return to the same store and that was final. He doesn’t understand that it’s not that I don’t want to, I just can’t. My personal doctor is now, as of April 4, 2014, has pulled me out. My doctor said this is too much for you and why can’t they understand you have an ongoing metal disability because of what they put you through. I hope you can help me, if not I will understand. Thank you.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Sonia,

Do you have disability insurance coverage from your employer? If so, have you filed a claim for disability benefits under the policy? Being required to see a company doctor appears to be more of a Worker’s Compensation protocol.

Bob:

Hello,

I have been on STD for 2 months for chronic fatigue, dizziness, and headaches. Last year, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and underwent 6 months of chemotherapy and have been cancer free for almost a year. After a battery of tests, all tests came back as basically normal. The only thing that has been identified was bicuspid aortic valve insufficiency. My internist has been very supportive and completing but most of my other doctors (cardiologist, pulmonologist, oncologist, etc.) will not acknowledge that there area of specialty is causing these symptoms. However, my internist does seem to think that my symptoms might come from cumulative effect of the chemo, heart problem, etc.

An additional factor is that I have suffered most of my life with depression and bi-polar disorder and anxiety… but was first diagnosed in 2005/2006 and seemed to be able to manage it through medication. The doctors have suggested that my mental issues might have worsen as a result of the cancer diagnose and chemo. I have strong family history of cancer, heart disease, and depression/depression/bi-polar disorder. The plan is to see a new psychiatrist this week to get an objective opinion.

The company that administers my employer’s STD plan has suggested that the continuation of my STD benefits might be denied since my test results are coming back normal, even though my doctor will not approve my return to work. Additionally, I have concerns about having to extend my benefits since this has been going on for almost 6 months.

I know that I can file for an appeal if they deny the extension to the claim but the stress if really getting to me at this point. It is funny to me that STD is suppose to give you time to diagnose, rest, etc. and all the insurance company and my employer seem to want to do is add to my stress and anxiety level. Basically, I am freaked out. BTW, did I mention that I was only working at the job for 3 months before going out on STD? I know my job is at jeopardy. Hence, maintaining income via STD and/or LTD during this time is even more important since I have zero job security. HR actually contacted me on Friday and want to speak with me on Monday. Not a good sign.

Sorry about the long drawn out rant. My question is when should I get an attorney involved? Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Bob,

Please feel free to contact us as it relates to your STD claim. Additionally, I would caution you that your claim for LTD benefits may be denied on account of a pre-existing condition. Most long term disability policies contain pre-existing condition language that states that if you have been covered under the policy for less than a year and you go on disability, then the insurance carrier will look to the 3-6 month period prior to the effective date of coverage to see if you were being treated for the condition that is disabling. If so, your claim could be denied on account of it being a pre-existing condition.

Guadalupe Cecenas:

My son fits in the depression category. He has been with this since 2008 or maybe longer. Never really understood his reactions. I have had to fight with the school district to get the proper help needed. I had to pull him out of public school and use home schooling. I pushed him hard with long hours to help him graduate. He has been in Mental Health treatments and till this day continues on Depression Medications. He continues with his sessions with both Doctors, medical and counselor. He continues with not been sociable with others, has only one friend, suicidal thoughts, can’t sleep, weight gain, losing interest in many things, acts like a teenager at times and is going to be 22 years old. I have to make sure he takes his meds and push for him to get ready. Otherwise, shows no interest in how he looks. I have tried to get him SSI, first time under age and our income was too much, so they said. Second denied not enough information was provided, third denied due to courts doctors decisions. I am not as young as I use to be and I want to make sure that my son can receive the help needed. I would need help in trying to prove he is really disable.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Guadalupe,

Please feel free to contact our office and we can assist you in getting in contact with a Social Security attorney that might be able to assist you.

Dee:

I went on a STD for depression and on the third month I was on STD and my doctor requested an extension for another month. The insurance co. denied my claim stating that the doctor did not fill out the form completely. I had my doctor look over the form and he stated that he didn’t understand what else was needed. I’m right now appealing my claim. Because of this I was forced to return to work financially. I have a co-worker whom is appealing her claim with this particular insurance company because she was told also that her doctor didn’t provide adquate information according to their guidelines. Please let me know which way I should peruse.

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Dee,

If you are back to work the insurance company would only be liable for the one month of benefits they did not pay. Only you can decide whether to pursue a longer term disability or continue to work.

Lee Arnold:

I have been out of work for STD since July. Aetna is the claim administrator and they denied my claim. I have a behavioral clinician statement complete by a licensed counsellor and they denied that. She sent in three letters explaning my conditions: fibromyalgia, major depression and anxiety disorder. I went to see a psychologist and performed several testing to confirm that I have those conditions. The pscychologist completed a behavioral clinician form and both doctors said the same thing. Aetna still denied it and said it does not support me to be on STD. They said they looked at Facebook and saw pictures and statements of me happy and they don’t add up with what the doctors said. What should I do at this point?

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Lee,

Your policy is most likely governed by ERISA, which will require the filing of an administrative appeal before any lawsuit can be filed. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you with same. In the mean time I would strongly urge you to increase the privacy settings on any of your social media accounts to prevent the general public or your insurance carrier from readily viewing the contents of your posts.

Erin:

Hi,

I have severere PSTD and anxiety and have been seeing someone for over 6 month for it but it’s getting worse and worse. It is hard for me to function day to day and this includes working. I think I am going to get fired for missing so much work and I don’t know what to do. I can barely make it here every day as is and now with the added stress of worrying about work all the time is not helping. I just want to stay in my apartment forever and not have to deal with all of this. Help!

Attorney Stephen Jessup:

Erin,

If you are unable to work due to your medical conditions and you are covered and eligible to receive benefits under an employer provided disability policy you may wish to consider exploring those options. As a word of caution, if you have been employed for less than a year or have been covered under a LTD policy for less than a year then your conditions could be deemed pre-existing. If you have copies of your employer’s disability policies please feel free to contact our office for a review of same so we can determine how we might be able to assist you.

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