Long Term Disability Claims Attorneys for Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a serious illness and you deserve all the help you can get.
At Abell and Capitan Law, we understand the frustration that comes with mental illness. It’s difficult to maintain adequate employment while worrying about the cost of medical treatment.
If you can no longer work because of your bipolar disorder diagnosis, you might be entitled to long term disability benefits. You could file a claim for payments to replace your lost wages if your employer provides coverage or you have a policy through an individual plan.
You should not have to suffer financially because of your bipolar disorder. We know it causes debilitating physical and emotional symptoms that disrupt your daily life. When you can’t perform your job-related duties, you need to find a way to afford your daily living expenses.
Our long term disability claims attorneys will protect your rights under state laws and ensure the insurance company pays what they owe you. Call Abell and Capitan Law at (267) 419-7888 if you want to learn more about how we can help.
The Disabling Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a brain disorder that causes changes in energy, mood, and the ability to function. It results in extreme highs and lows. There are several different types of bipolar disorders with varying symptoms that can affect a person’s life and cause significant distress.
- Bipolar I disorder involves at least one manic episode followed or preceded by a major depressive episode (hypomania). In some situations, mania could cause psychosis.
- Bipolar II disorder never results in a manic episode, but includes at least one hypomanic episode and at least one major depressive episode.
- Cyclothymic disorder results in at least two years of multiple periods of depressive and hypomania symptoms. In children and teens, symptoms occur for at least one year.
- Other types of bipolar disorders could be the result of a medical condition, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or certain drugs or alcohol.
The most common symptoms associated with mania and hypomania include:
- Decreased need for sleep
- Racing thoughts
- Abnormally jumpy, wired, or upbeat
- Easily distracted
- Increased energy, activity, or agitation
- Unusually talkative
- Exaggerated self-confidence or sense of well-being (euphoria)
- Poor decision-making
The most common symptoms associated with major depressive episodes include:
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Loss of interest in activities
- Depressed mood, hopelessness, or feeling sad
- Thoughts of suicide or attempting suicide
- Restlessness or slowed behavior
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Feeling worthless
- Decreased ability to think or concentrate
- Excessive or inappropriate guilt
Mixed bipolar disorder occurs in a cyclical pattern. Episodes of mania and depression happen simultaneously or in rapid sequence. Between 20 and 70 percent of individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder experience symptoms of mixed episodes at least once in their lives.
Long Term Disability Benefits for Bipolar Disorder
When bipolar disorder prevents a person from returning to their job, they can apply for benefits through their employer’s long-term disability insurance plan or a self-paid individual plan. If you’re eligible for coverage through your employer, there are standards set by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It requires long-term disability insurance companies to disclose all policy information to their policyholders.
Some of the relevant information you will find on your policy:
- Medical conditions eligible for coverage
- Instructions on how to file a claim for benefits
- Exclusions that prohibit coverage
- Payment amounts
- Duration of benefits
The benefit payments for long-term disability can be anywhere from 60 to 80 percent of your average monthly wages, depending on your specific plan. After you apply, there is typically an elimination period requiring you to wait a certain number of days between the date your disability started, and when you begin receiving payments. Most insurance companies require a 90-day elimination period, but yours could be shorter or longer.
You are only eligible for coverage if your bipolar disorder symptoms cause your disability for at least six months. Long-term disability insurance can provide payments for years or a lifetime. Coverage ends if you no longer have a disabling condition or can return to your job.
Although some policies allow for the indefinite collection of benefits, many insurance companies now include a policy’s mental illness limitation. This prohibits anyone with mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, from receiving benefits for more than 12 to 24 months.
What to Do if You Have a Disabling Mental Illness
Once bipolar disorder limits your functional capacity and you have to leave your place of employment, you should follow the steps below to ensure you receive the benefits you need to replace a portion of your lost wages.
- Step 1 – Notify your employer of your diagnosis and inability to perform your job-related duties. Ask for a copy of the insurance policy to review the information you will need to know about applying for benefits.
- Step 2 – Complete the application provided by the insurance company. Include detailed information about your diagnosis, symptoms, job description, and the physical and mental limitations caused by the mental illness.
- Step 3 – Seek medical treatment. Ask your doctor for a written statement you can submit to the insurance company. They should clearly state that you have bipolar disorder and cannot maintain employment because of it.
- Step 4 – Hire a long-term disability claims attorney from Abell and Capitan Law. We will help you file your claim and collect sufficient evidence that proves your disabling condition.
- Step 5 – If the doctor that diagnosed you recommends psychotherapy, counseling, hospitalization, or another type of treatment, follow their orders. You should consistently treat your condition until you can return to work.
Abell and Capitan Law Will Advocate for Your Rights
Our bipolar disorder long-term disability claims attorney will take on your case’s responsibilities so you can focus on treatment.
Dealing with an insurance company is probably the last thing you want when you’re already struggling with your diagnosis. We will relieve your burden and take care of each step of the claims process for you.
At Abell and Capitan Law, we care about our clients. When you hire us, we will treat you like a priority. You will receive the one-on-one attention you deserve. You can depend on us to stay by your side.
Call (267) 419-7888 today to schedule a free consultation with one of our long-term disability claims attorneys. Whether you need help with your initial application or appealing a denied claim, you can count on our dedicated legal team.