Is Anxiety a Long-Term Disability?

Many people struggle with anxiety, but most will respond to medication or other treatments. For some, however, this disorder becomes so overwhelming that they are unable to participate in normal activities, including employment. Whether a person is approved for long-term disability benefits for this depends on various factors. However, any type of claim for mental illness is more difficult to prove than physical injuries or diseases.

Jan A. Fishman can assist you in preparing a long-term disability claim due to anxiety. Jan has been a lawyer for 30 years, and has assisted hundreds of people through the long-term disability litigation process.

Anxiety Disorders

There are 5 types of anxiety disorders and they include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): A person with GAD experiences serious bouts of anxiety, even though there is nothing in particular to trigger it.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Those with OCD are plagued with either obsessive thoughts, behaviours, or both. The patient may perform personal “rituals” to ward off such thoughts, such as obsessive hand-washing. If they are unable to perform these acts, the OCD worsens.
  • Panic Disorder: This disorder includes severe physical symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat and dizziness, paired with extreme fear.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This results after some trauma, such as assault, combat, motor vehicle accident or other events in which the person was in fear of their life.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD): Also known as social phobia, SAD makes it difficult for the person to be out in the world, around other people, as their anxiety and fear are overwhelming.

Why Long-Term Disability Claims Are Denied

Long-term disability claims are often denied because the applicant is not receiving regular medical care for treatment. This is true even though approximately one-third of all such claims in Canada are due to mental illness.

Failure to see a doctor at least monthly for the issue, if not more often, may lead to claim denial. That is why appearing at all scheduled appointments and taking all prescribed medication is essential.

Of course, the doctor in question must specialize in mental health. If the patient is not seeing a psychiatrist, it is unlikely the insurance company will approve the claim. Anyone currently treated by a general practitioner or another healthcare provider should seek a referral.

If it is recommended that a patient attend ongoing sessions with a psychologist, they must comply. Even if the person does not think the treatment is helping, attendance is mandatory– not doing so virtually guarantees benefit denial.

The right documentation is important

The right documentation is key to any long-term disability claim. Without it, there is no way for the insurance company to ascertain whether you qualify, or if you have failed to respond to standard treatment. We will ensure that the correct documentation is submitted with the disability application. If the material is unavailable, we can have the providers present them with a narrative form of your illness, diagnosis and treatment protocol.

Proving the Case

Along with proper medical care and documentation, it is important to engage lawyers familiar with this field. Much will depend on how anxiety affects your ability to do your job, so work history is another major factor. For those seriously afflicted, you know that anxiety, as a mental illness, goes beyond general nervousness and becomes overpowering fear.

Contact us at Fishman Lawyers today

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with anxiety and cannot work because of the condition, contact Jan A. Fishman. He offers complimentary consultations, so call or email today or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment. We will evaluate your case and advise you of your options.