Long Term Disability Claims Attorneys for Anxiety
Did your doctor diagnose you with anxiety? Are you unable to perform your work-related duties because of your symptoms? If so, contact Abell and Capitan Law for assistance filing a claim for long-term disability benefits.
Anxiety can cause a range of symptoms that interfere with a person’s normal functioning. It affects mood and thoughts, but can also lead to physical problems.
Whether you are applying for benefits or appealing a denied claim, Abell and Capitan Law is here to help. Our long-term disability claims attorneys will handle every aspect of your case to ensure you receive the benefits you need to treat your mental illness. You won’t be alone during this overwhelming time in your life. Call us today at (267) 419-7888 for a free consultation.
Types of Anxiety and the Symptoms they Cause
Anxiety is a physical and mental reaction to a dangerous, unfamiliar, or stressful situation. It causes a sense of uneasiness or dread. Some people only experience anxiety occasionally, while others suffer from it regularly.
The different types of anxiety include:
- Social anxiety
- Panic disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Separation anxiety
Some of these types have unique symptoms, but for the most part, each share many similar physical symptoms, such as:
- Nausea or stomach pain
- Shaking or trembling
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle pain or tension
- Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
You could have difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than your fears. Some people will avoid triggers that bring on their anxiety symptoms. In many situations, the feeling of worry is intense and overwhelming.
ERISA and Employer-Paid Long Term Disability Plans
If your employer provides long-term disability insurance, there are standards they must follow under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under this law, you must follow specific guidelines if you want to file a claim for benefits. It also requires insurance companies to provide coverage information, including a copy of the policy, disclosures, deadlines, and instructions on filing a claim or appealing a denied claim.
After you complete an application for benefits, there is an elimination period you must go through before receiving your first payment. It begins on the date your disability began. Typically, the elimination period is 90 days, but it can vary from 30 days to one year.
Long-term disability benefits replace a worker’s wages when a disability prevents them from earning their usual wages. Monthly payments are anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of your average monthly wages before your diagnosis. If you can no longer perform your job duties, you can collect payments every month as long as your anxiety lasts longer than six months.
The duration of your benefits will depend on the provisions listed on your policy. Many allow for years of payments, while some provide lifetime coverage. However, insurance companies are becoming more restrictive when it comes to mental illness. Since anxiety is seen as something easier to treat than physical disabilities, your policy could include a maximum coverage period. Many will have a Mental Illness Limitation that automatically stops benefit payments after 12 to 24 months.
Steps to Take After You’re Diagnosed with Anxiety
You must follow specific steps after a diagnosis of anxiety to ensure you receive long-term disability benefits through your employer’s insurance company. Immediately notify your employer and request a copy of the policy to determine the available coverage, how to apply, and deadlines for filing your claim.
- Step 1 – Notify your employer of your disabling condition. They will provide an application. Be sure to include all the details associated with your anxiety, such as the diagnosis date, symptoms you’re experiencing, how it affects your job, and the doctors treating it.
- Step 2 – Return the application to your employer so they can submit it to their insurance company. They will provide an employer statement confirming your disability, job description, and the date you stopped working.
- Step 3 – Seek medical treatment. Undergo an evaluation by a specialist to ensure your symptoms are associated with anxiety. Your doctor will discuss an appropriate treatment plan to manage your symptoms. If they recommend therapy, medication, or other types of treatment, follow their orders.
- Step 4 – Obtain a physician statement. Physician statements are crucial in long term disability claims. Your doctor should explicitly state that they diagnosed you with anxiety and explain why you’re unable to complete your work-related duties.
- Step 5 – Hire an anxiety long term disability claims attorney. Dealing with insurance companies is complicated. Most people become intimidated and don’t fight hard enough to recover the maximum benefits they deserve. Abell and Capitan Law will ensure the insurance company treats you fairly and provides adequate payments.
How to Handle a Denied Long Term Disability Claim
Applying for long term disability benefits can be time-consuming and tedious. You must comply with strict deadlines, follow a specific procedure, and provide sufficient evidence of your anxiety diagnosis. Insurance companies are never on a claimant’s side. They will look for any reason to deny your claim or provide minimal coverage to save money.
The most common reasons for denied claims include:
- Anxiety does not fall under the insurance policy’s disability definition
- You missed a filing deadline
- You have a significant gap in treatment
- The medical evidence is not enough to prove a disability
- The application contains incorrect or incomplete information
- You have a preexisting medical condition
- The insurance company’s medical experts disagree with your doctor’s diagnosis
If you receive a denial letter, your anxiety long-term disability claims attorney of Abell and Capitan Law will file an appeal. If your insurance plan falls under ERISA standards, the deadline to appeal a denied claim is 180 days.
- Request claim file — First, we will need to request your claim file from the insurance company to review the original claim documentation. We will determine why they issued a denial and focus on how we can appeal their decision.
- Supplement medical records — We will gather medical documentation not included with the initial application showing your doctor diagnosed you with anxiety and how it interferes with your daily job responsibilities.
- Request statements — We will speak with your doctors and medical experts for statements that support our claim that you have a disabling condition.
- Employee file — We will gain access to your employee file to submit a copy of your job description, performance reviews, and any comments made about your inability to work when your anxiety symptoms developed.
Contact Abell and Capitan Law for a Free Consultation
Our anxiety long term disability claims attorneys will provide you with dependable and compassionate legal representation throughout your entire case. We understand the stigma surrounding anxiety and how it might affect your life, job, and relationships.
It can be an embarrassing and shameful experience to go through. You will have a dedicated legal team on your side to help you move on with your life.
Abell and Capitan Law will review the details of your diagnosis, create an effective strategy, and pursue the maximum long term disability benefits you deserve. Call us at (267) 419-7888 today if anxiety has prevented you from returning to work.