Should bipolar disorder be classified as a mental nervous condition and limited to 24 months of benefits?
Attorneys Dell & Schaefer often battle with disability insurance carriers in determining whether bipolar disorder is a mental nervous condition or an organic brain disorder.
In a long-term disability policy a mental nervous condition is usually limited to a maximum of 24 months of benefits; whereas a physical condition such as bipolar would usually not be limited to 24 months if it is proven to be an organic brain disorder. Disability carriers will regularly challenge a diagnosis of bipolar as they are aware that it has been classified in the medical literature as an organic brain disorder.
There are a variety of legal court decisions around the country that have classified bipolar disorder as an organic brain disorder. If a long-term disability policy does not include bipolar disorder in a mental nervous limitation clause, then a claimant should challenge any attempt to classify bipolar disorder as a non-physical illness. A skilled psychiatrist and psychologist are a critical component in appropriately documenting bipolar disorder.