Is Anxiety a Long-Term Disability?

Anxiety Can Be a Debilitating Condition That Can Cause Long-Term Disability

After an upsetting life event, such as losing a loved one, going through a divorce, or losing a job, it’s understandable that a person might find themselves feeling anxious or depressed. But if the anxiety continues long after the event, it becomes chronic and may lead to something more complex.

Anxiety Can Be a Debilitating Condition That Can Cause Long-Term Disability

Anxiety and anxiety disorders can be a crippling and disabling medical conditions for some. If you are experiencing anxiety symptoms that are preventing you from working and everyday life, long-term disability may give you a period in which to receive treatment and recover. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, and denials are common.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

While anxiety can visit most people at any time, individuals with chronic anxiety experience symptoms such as insomnia or hypersomnia, chronic fatigue, and cognitive issues such as lack of concentration. For many people, these impediments are temporary, or manageable to the point where they can work without a problem.

However, GAD may also include symptoms such as:

• Irritability and agitation
• Heart racing
• Restlessness
• Shortness of breath
• Muscle tension
• Grinding of teeth that leads to jaw pain
• Panic, fear, dread, and excessive worrying

These symptoms and others can lead to functional impairment that directly impacts your daily life and employment.

Proving Disability

As with any medical condition, you’ll first have to demonstrate to your insurer that you are, in fact, disabled. Mental conditions such as anxiety will require a more thorough degree of proof.

An evaluator will review all of your medical records, including treatments. This includes things such as weekly visits to a therapist, psychologist, psychotherapist, or psychiatrist, and any prescriptions for your condition.

It’s also important that the evaluator see that not only are you following through with treatment, but your provider is also offering the correct standard of care. This means that although they have prescribed treatment, they must also follow through with monitoring your progress, make adjustments, or even change medication as necessary. If you believe your current provider isn’t offering the correct standard of care, you should seek out another provider, or at least a second opinion.

A strong indicator of disability would be if your doctor suggested you would benefit from hospitalization or intensive outpatient treatment. For that period, you would be unavailable for work which shows that your condition is incompatible with regular employment.

Documentation and letters from your treating physician that describe and support your diagnosis should also be included in your case file. This would include medical records and notes from therapy that describe your ability and limitations on employment-related activities. Your doctor should include specific and distinct restrictions and limitations on your abilities that detail your limitations, rather than generalized statements such as “inability to tolerate stress.”

Mental Illness Limitations

Many LTD policies have strict limits on anxiety and other mental illnesses, which are typically 24 months, or two years. After the period ends, your benefits run out. Some policies may specifically exclude mental illnesses entirely. However, some conditions may have an exemption; that’s why it’s important to read your policy carefully to find out.

A disability attorney can help you with record gathering and make sure your application and claim file has everything you need for a successful LTD claim.

Houston’s LTD Disability Attorney

Over 4,000 Houstonians have come to us for help with LTD claims. The Herren Law Firm can help you with your application, appeals, and through the process. Contact us today at 713-682-8194 (or use our online contact form) to schedule your free consultation. There’s no obligation, no up-front fees, and we only collect if we win your case.

Call Now Button