Were you diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder? Do your mental or emotional symptoms prevent you from working? If so, the long-term disability attorneys at Abell and Capitan Law can help you pursue the benefits need.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can affect individuals who have been through or seen a traumatic event. PTSD symptoms can impact a person’s daily life and their capacity to complete various tasks. When you’re suffering from this debilitating disorder, you’re often unable to earn a living, care for your family, and pay for medical treatment. It can become a significant strain, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Long-term disability insurance replaces a portion of an employee’s unearned income when their condition prevents them from performing their job duties. If your employer provides coverage, you should be entitled to monthly payments. You could also qualify for benefits if you purchased an individual plan.
At Abell and Capitan Law, we understand how important it is to receive long-term disability benefits to support your cost of living. Our PTSD long-term disability claims attorneys will advocate for your rights and vigorously pursue the benefits the insurance company owes you. Call us at (267) 419-7888 today to schedule a free consultation.
The Effects of PTSD on Employment
Post-traumatic stress disorder may develop when someone witnesses or experiences something traumatic, such as a car accident, natural disaster, or assault. It leads to a variety of symptoms that can range from minor to severe. Some people can manage their condition with medication and therapy, while others experience symptoms that prevent them from living a normal life. Unfortunately, a person’s job is one of the main casualties of this type of disorder.
The most common symptoms PTSD can cause fall under four main categories:
Intrusion – Intrusive thoughts, including bad dreams, repeated memories, and flashbacks from the traumatic experience. Flashbacks can be vivid enough that it takes people back to that event as if they are reliving it or seeing it unfold right in front of them.
Avoidance – Avoiding places, people, objects, and situations that remind someone of the traumatic event. It’s also common to avoid thinking or talking about it with anyone.
Arousal and reactivity – Easily startled, irritability, angry outbursts, behaving recklessly, trouble concentrating or sleeping, and being overly cautious of one’s surroundings are all examples of arousal and reactivity changes.
Cognition and mood – The inability to remember details about what happened, ongoing horror, fear, guilt, or shame, and negative thoughts or feelings resulting in distorted beliefs about oneself or other people. Alterations in cognition and mood may also include the inability to experience positive emotions, decreased interest in activities, feeling detached, and distorted thoughts about causes or consequences of the traumatic experience.
A doctor can only diagnose someone with PTSD if their symptoms last for longer than one month and lead to significant distress or daily functioning issues. Some people experience these symptoms within a few months of the event, while, for others, symptoms don’t start until years later. Some individuals develop additional conditions, such as depression, memory problems, and other mental health disorders.
Determining Your Eligibility for Long-Term Disability Benefits
Whether your employer provides long-term disability (LTD) insurance or you purchased an individual plan, you can apply for benefits if your PTSD symptoms prevent you from returning to your job. Most LTD policies provide anywhere from 50% to 80% of the average monthly wages a person earned before the disability began. Your condition must last for longer than six months and cause physical or mental limitations that cause the inability to work.
It’s critical that you understand the language in your insurance policy, especially the exclusions. Many insurance companies include mental health limitations that limit the coverage period for certain mental illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
Typically, the maximum timeframe is anywhere from one to two years. Abell and Capitan Law has extensive experience reviewing insurance policies to determine eligibility for benefits. We will look over your employer-paid or individual plan for coverage information.
Common Causes of Denied Long-Term Disability Claims
Insurance companies are, unfortunately, never on the claimant’s side. If you believe your insurance company will be fair and provide the maximum benefits you deserve, you are sadly mistaken. They are in the business of saving money and will look for any valid reason not to pay out a person’s claim.
When you’re applying for LTD benefits, you must ensure the information and evidence you provide is complete and accurate. If there are any inconsistencies, missing records, or incomplete forms, the insurance company will deny your claim. Understanding the most common causes of denied claims could prevent that from happening.
Insufficient evidence – When you submit your application to the insurance company, you must include relevant evidence of your disability. That includes medical records, physician statements, and other documentation that proves you have PTSD and that your symptoms prevent you from working. Failure to provide such evidence could result in a denied claim.
Missed deadline – The deadlines listed on your LTD policy are strict. If you miss any, the insurance company could automatically deny your claim without reviewing it. When you develop a disabling condition, it’s crucial that you request a copy of the policy immediately, so you’re aware of all applicable deadlines.
Preexisting condition – If you were diagnosed with PTSD years ago and developed new symptoms, the insurance company might argue that it’s due to a prior traumatic event instead of a recent experience.
Definition of disability – A denied claim could result from PTSD being an ineligible condition based on the insurance company’s definition of a disability.
IME results – An independent medical exam (IME) is an appointment with a doctor specializing in a specific medical field. The insurance company will choose their own doctor for you to see, and if they disagree with your initial diagnosis, you won’t be able to recover benefits.
If your insurance company denied your long-term disability claim, Abell and Capitan Law will work on appealing their decision. We have the experience and resources to create an effective plan that proves you deserve benefits for your PTSD. We will fight aggressively for your rights and pursue the maximum monthly payments you need to afford your expenses.
Contact Abell and Capitan Law Today
If you have post-traumatic stress disorder and can no longer work, contact us for a free consultation. At Abell and Capitan Law, we know it may feel like you are facing an uphill battle. Insurance companies can be unfair and will take any opportunity to deny a claim or provide minimal benefits.
Our post-traumatic stress disorder long-term disability claims attorneys won’t allow anyone to treat you unfairly. We’ll leverage our resources and experience to secure the full benefits you need. Call us today at (267) 419-7888 to find out more about how we can help.