Career Woman

Understanding mental health disability benefits: what you should know


This guide outlines the things you need to know when making a claim for mental health disability benefits, including arrangements with employers.

It is essential to prioritize your mental health in your personal life and in the workplace. If you suspect you are experiencing mental health issues, it is important to speak to a professional who can help you better understand how you are feeling, and help you weigh your options for a treatment plan. Part of that plan may include asking for accommodations at work to help you complete your tasks or requesting time off of work entirely if you can no longer do what’s expected of you, even with accommodations.

Mental health disability benefits: what you need to know

If you need to go on mental health disability leave, you may wonder what kind of financial support is available and what processes are involved. Utilize this guide to help you navigate your rights and the steps you must take in the case of a mental health disability benefits claim.

Consider a Consultation with a Professional

Insurance companies routinely deny mental health disability benefits claims, so you need an expert on your side with a successful track record of getting clients the disability benefits they deserve. You may want to talk to a few disability lawyers. The good news is that you can always get a free, no-obligation consultation with the disability lawyers at Ertl Lawyers to get a head start on the process without having to make any commitment before you are ready to proceed.

Understand Your Mental Health Disability Benefits

Mental health disability benefits are gnerally monthly payments that replace employment income for people who cannot work because of a disability. You have to be covered under an insurance policy that provides disability coverage. There are short-term and long-term disability plans. Short-term disability lasts for up to 6 months and, if needed, the long-term plan takes over the payments after that. The amount of mental health disability benefits you receive and how it’s calculated is stated in your policy. Disability benefits typically cover anywhere between 60 – 75% of your income.

Qualifying for a Mental Health Disability Benefits Claim

To be eligible for short or long-term mental health disability benefits, your impairment must leave you unable to perform crucial elements of your job. This is referred to as being “totally disabled.” To prove this, your doctor will have to fill out a portion of your application for mental health disability benefits and include all relevant information and supporting documents. Tell your doctor everything you can about your disability, symptoms, and how they prevent you from completing essential work duties. Keeping a journal may be helpful in this regard.

What Will Cause an Insurance Company Deny a Claim?

Mental health disability benefits claims make up 70% of the total disability cost. Insurance companies, like all companies, try to reduce their costs and denying claims helps them do so.  They look for any reason they can to justify denying a claim, so knowing some of the common ones they use may improve your application’s chances. They include:

  • The person applying for mental health disability benefits did not see a doctor soon enough and/or was not seeing them regularly before the application.
  • The application failed to show that the person is “totally disabled.”
  • The symptoms a person experiences result from a “toxic” workplace and should be handled through workplace procedures.
  • There was a lack of documentation or medical records to support the claims made in the application.
  • Failing to disclose a pre-existing condition.
  • The applicant is not or did not follow the treatment plan.
  • Evidence collected by an investigator contradicts information stated in the application.

If your claim is denied, or you’ve been receiving benefits but the insurance company has notified you that they are terminating payments, speak to a disability lawyer right away as you can file an appeal or sue the insurance company but there is a time limit to do so.

Understand that you are not alone

Who has never felt overwhelmed by work at some point in life? Excessive charges, emotional involvement and physical strain can cause various psychological problems such as anxiety, stress and depression. When working most of the day, it is not always possible to perform the functions and, at the same time, treat mental health disorders.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental and behavioral disorders are among the main causes of absence from work in the world. Well-being at work begins with choosing a profession. First and foremost it is very important to respect your vocation and work on what you like to do. Many professionals, in their search for a job placement, end up performing activities with which they don’t really identify, which starts to cause psychological problems”.

In an increasingly competitive market, the build-up of pressures becomes a burden. In this scenario, the search for a stable career is often associated with stress, anxiety and other types of mental suffering. The specialist emphasizes that, to avoid emotional exhaustion in the work environment, it is necessary to respect skills and limits.

If you make a point of showing a good performance at all times, which is a relentless one and which is always plausible of praise, you will accumulate so much stress that, at some point, it all explodes and may even lead the individual to resign of employment. Therefore, it is important to balance, know how to impose your limits, take vacations, have leisure, practice physical activity, recognize your vocations and respect yourself.

Burnout syndrome

Burnout Syndrome is a disorder characterized by the state of emotional tension and stress that has been increasingly common in corporate environments. Excessive dedication to work, meeting goals, unhealthy conditions, long hours, exhausting roles and the search for perfectionism or better salaries are leading professionals to total exhaustion and depression. Burnout Syndrome impacts professionals with a large workload. Reporters, police, firefighters, correctional officers, teachers, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are often affected.

Devotion to work, perfectionism, carrying out functions that are not pleasant for them and intense dedication to work can lead the individual to total exhaustion, which will bring several physical and behavioral consequences. In addition to work, the spiritual, social, family, leisure and even leisure dimensions are necessary. When you notice the signs of exhaustion, it is recommended to seek treatment with specialized professionals.

The impact of mental health on the quality of work

According to the WHO, the main causes of absence from work iare:

  • Depression (59% of people are in a maximum state of depression);
  • Anxiety Disorder (63% of people have an anxiety problem);
  • Stress (37% of people are stressed to an extremely severe level);
  • Burnout (44% say they have suffered from mental exhaustion).

The impact of mental health on business costs is high, because depressed employees tend to be absent more often, burden health plans more and have worse interpersonal relationships, reducing productivity. The high rate of absenteeism generates huge costs for organizations, whether in the replacement of the activity, whether in employee care, such as medications and exams, or in the return of these individuals to work, which should be healthy, safe and gradual.

Depending on the type of function and length of absence, the employee on leave will have to be replaced, so as not to compromise activities and delivery, generating costs, from the selection process to the expenses of terminating the temporary contract. In addition, the company is vulnerable to labor lawsuits. All resulting from an environment with stressful routines, interpersonal relationships for convenience, toxic, autocratic or unprepared leadership, psychological and moral harassment, high work hours, lack of organizational incentives, threat of unemployment, among others.

A dissatisfied team , which maintains a negative charge for a long time, tends to present a dispersive and disengaged behavior. Managers are often unable to identify people in their team with some emotional difficulty, increasingly attacking them for “thinking” that the employee is “only” unmotivated.

What is the difference between demotivation and depression?

Lack of motivation, in addition to sadness, is linked to external factors such as: inadequate workplace, lack of professional recognition, demand for work greater than stipulated, inflexible working hours, authoritarian managers, inefficient communication, among others. These factors generate physical and mental fatigue, in addition to causing employees to lose their expectations and professional purposes. Depression, on the other hand, is not simply being sad. Depression is accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Melancholy,
  • Irritability,
  • Behavior and mood changes,
  • Pessimism,
  • Significant changes in diet (loss of appetite),
  • Loss of enthusiasm or interest,
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration,
  • Deep feeling of guilt,
  • Feeling of rejection by people in your circle of acquaintance,
  • Sudden crying (among others).

The importance of a mental health program in the company

A mental health program in the company serves to guide employees and help them face the great pressure of work, separating them from personal relationships. It helps to reduce the incidence of illnesses and, consequently, improves the relationship, makes the team work in a more integrated manner and engages professionals.

Speaking openly about mental health is not only important for employees, but also for the company! A happy and mentally healthy employee is more likely to thrive in personal life and at work, performing their duties with quality and great relationship with the team.

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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