People suffering from mental health issues can sometimes find it hard to report to work each day and maintain steady employment. The nation is beginning to recognize the effect that mental illness has on people in our society, but getting disability insurance when mental illness prevents a person from working is still very difficult.
Disability insurance is not provided by all employers, and even when it is provided, there can be strict limitations on benefits. Physical disability insurance coverage requires professional medical evidence, which is also required for mental health disability. However, proving mental health issues is far more complicated because the causes, effects, and limitations of the illness are not always easy to recognize.
Mental Health Disability Coverage
Most employer sponsored health plans will offer basic mental health coverage for illnesses such as addiction and alcohol treatment or counseling services and short-term hospitalizations for conditions such as depression and anxiety. Large employer group plans tend to offer a wider range of coverage than private plans. Coverage is often provided for mental health issues that are related to a physical condition, such as post partum depression, or anxiety and depression related to surgery or cancer treatments.
Federal and state mental health disability assistance is also available for a large majority of mental health patients. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help those with physical and mental health issues that prevent them from working, either temporarily or permanently. Applying for these benefits and claiming them can be a long and arduous process.
Medical and psychological evidence is necessary to prove the degree to which a mental illness affects an individual’s ability to work and provide for themselves and their family. Long-term disability benefits are available to those with a mental or physical disability that is expected to last more than 12 consecutive months, or for a terminal illness. Since most applications for SSDI and SSI are evaluated by non-medical professionals, it is imperative to provide as much evidence as possible.
Coverage amounts available through SSDI and SSI vary, but range from $700 to $1,700 per month. Benefit amounts are determined by the work history of the applicant, whether or not they are married or have other sources of income, and whether they have dependents. SSDI benefits require applicants have a work history and proof that they paid taxes to be eligible for compensation.
Types of Mental Illness Covered by Disability Insurance
While disability insurance coverage depends on a wide range of eligibility requirements, the most common types of mental illness covered under most private, employer-sponsored, or federal and state disability insurance plans include:
- Mental Retardation
- Personality disorders
- Schizophrenia and paranoia
- Substance addiction
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Eating disorders
- Memory loss
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Somatic symptom disorder
Individuals seeking disability insurance coverage for mental health disorders are wise to consult with an experienced disability lawyer. Even when benefits are initially denied, a competent disability lawyer can appeal the decision and claim the maximum amount of compensation available.
Pittsburgh Disability Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Help Mental Health Patients Claim Disability Benefits
If you are in need of disability insurance benefits for a mental health issue, call the Pittsburgh disability lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. at 412-765-1888 or 800-243-6095 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania offices serve clients throughout Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County, and Western Pennsylvania.