If you’re incapable of carrying out the duties of your career over a prolonged period of time due to an illness or injury, then you may qualify for long-term disability insurance to compensate for a loss of income. However, while physical injuries like car accidents are commonly accepted for long-term disability claims, do mental illnesses like depression also qualify?
The answer is yes, but it’s not always easy to get an insurance company to accept a long-term disability claim for mental health issues; it can be rather challenging without the right knowledge. Here are some details to keep in mind if you’re planning to file a claim for long-term disability for depression.
An individual must be clinically depressed in order to qualify for long-term disability for depression. Depression is defined as a mental illness that causes constant feelings of sadness and despair throughout daily life, and it can manifest in many different ways depending on the individual. Here are some of the common symptoms of depression to look out for:
- A sense of worthlessness and hopelessness.
- Appetite loss or changes in body weight due to depression.
- Cognitive issues, such as problems communicating.
- Difficulty maintaining concentration or focus on tasks.
- Decreased energy and increased fatigue.
- Increased irritability and pessimism.
- Loss of both interest and pleasure in activities.
- Irregular sleep cycles, such as insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
Proving Your Disability to an Insurance Company
Even if you are able to identify your depression, that alone will not be enough to receive a long-term disability for depression. Most insurance companies will require you to prove to them that your depression is a disability and that the symptoms you’re experiencing are negatively impacting your career.
There are numerous ways you can approach proving your depression to an insurance company. One such method is by providing direct medical evidence from your treating doctor, including the results of mental examinations, which record the frequency of your symptoms and their severity, as well as any neuropsychological evaluations or other medical records. Some insurance companies accept third-party statements and observations from your supervisors or coworkers that provide evidence of how your health conditions are impairing your ability to work.
Another method of proving how your career is hindered due to depression is by writing an outline of your symptoms to your insurance company. Thoroughly explaining how each of the depression symptoms harms your performance at work and what can potentially worsen them will help an insurance company better comprehend your condition and why you’re qualified for long-term disability insurance.
Complications of Long-Term Disability Claims for Depression
There are several complications you may run into while trying to obtain long-term disability insurance for depression. Some companies have a mental illness limitation which limits the insurance benefits to only a few years, varying in length based on the policy.
Additionally, insurance companies typically want to see your attempts to receive treatment for your depression as a sign you are actively working to overcome your disability; not following through with your doctor’s prescriptions or attending meetings with your therapist will increase the likelihood that your disability claim will be denied.