When most people think about disability claims, they probably think of people who have been injured on the job and will no longer be able to work. In reality, though, many of the people on disability are there because of mental illness. Those with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities make up almost 20% of the people on disability, second only to those suffering from back pain and musculoskeletal problems. The problem is that mental illnesses are harder to provide proof of for the application and some people within the system may be more skeptical of a mental illness claim and quicker to deny benefits. Our disability lawyers in Tuscaloosa have seen this happen time and time again, but we also know there are ways to fight a denial of benefits.
Why Disability Benefits for Mental Illnesses Are Denied
We’ve discussed before the common reasons many disability claims are denied, and in many cases, those reasons apply to cases for mental illnesses, as well. However, there are other reasons your mental illness may be denied for coverage and it can help your case if you are aware of these issues during the application process:
- Not getting care from a doctor on a regular basis. While this is vital for any disability claim, it’s even more important for one for a mental illness. You’ll want to demonstrate that you and your doctor are doing what you can to improve your condition, with regular visits and perhaps even medication. You’ll want to get treatment from a qualified psychiatrist, too, instead of a counselor or psychologist.
- Care isn’t being documented by your doctors. You can show you’ve been going to appointments, but if your doctors aren’t documenting your treatment and what’s being done to help you cope with your mental illness, it could result in a denial. This one is difficult because it can feel largely out of your hands; however, talk to your doctors about the fact you are applying for disability benefits and have them write out their treatment and your progress.
- Not doing what the doctor recommends for treatment. This could include skipping appointments, avoiding treatment, or not taking prescribed medication. This could be viewed as you not wanting to get better and result in denial of benefits.
Why It’s Harder to Get Benefits for Mental Illnesses
With a physical disability, most people have proof that can be seen. Because no one can “see” the evidence of a mental illness, it can be harder to prove. That doesn’t mean it is any less debilitating or devastating to the person dealing with the condition, though. Don’t be put off by the idea of providing the necessary documentation and evidence of your mental illness in order to get the disability benefits you are entitled to get. Most doctors are willing to work with you to give you the information that you need, and our disability lawyers in Tuscaloosa can help you file your paperwork as well as any appeals that may be needed.
If you are suffering from a mental illness and need help appealing a denial of benefits, please contact our office. We can help you get the benefits that you need so you can focus on taking care of yourself. Call us today for a free consultation.