Long Term Disability benefits for Bipolar Disorder
If you purchased a Long Term Disability policy through your employer or purchased an individual disability policy and have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, you may be eligible for Long Term
Disability benefits. However, the Long Term Disability carrier doesn’t always make it easy for those who have Bipolar Disorder to get the Long Term Disability benefits you deserve.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed when a person’s mood fluctuates between the extremes of depression and mania. A person with mania has a distinctively elevated mood that is usually euphoric or elated and, as a result, has gross inappropriate energy and enthusiasm for everything. They may have grandiose plans that can’t be achieved considering a person’s actual abilities and assets.
In mania, individuals will characteristically take on projects beyond their ability without appreciation of the consequences or chances of success. The highly aroused state of mania impairs judgment.
On the other hand, a depressed person sees few possibilities for happiness. Instead of being euphoric, a person who is just depressed will commonly have feelings of hopelessness and even despair.
How is Bipolar Disorder diagnosed?
Bipolar Disorder is diagnosed based on history of cycling between depression and mania. Advanced brain imaging has established that Bipolar Disorder is associated with brain tissue loss. The imaging shows that the brain tissue changes are more prominent in the areas affecting face recognition, motor coordination and memory.
Brain imaging, neuropsychological testing and a mental status evaluation are helpful in establishing a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
How does a Long Term Disability carrier decide if I qualify for benefits for Bipolar Disorder?
Every Long Term Disability policy is different but many disability policies will have a mental and nervous limitation provision in their disability policy. Get out your policy and read that provision closely. Many Long Term Disability carriers will require objective evidence of the diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and objective evidence of your restrictions and limitations. This will require that your doctor do psychological testing, brain imaging and mental status evaluations to establish the objective basis for your diagnosis.
Information from friends and family is helpful in winning your Long Term Disability benefits
Information from your family and friends can be crucial to a disability determination. A third party report documenting the specific problems you’re having, including difficulties with concentration, pace and completing tasks, and the difficulties you have in getting along with others can document the restrictions and limitations you have as a result of your Bipolar Disorder.
If you have side effects from medications, it is also important that your medical records document those side effects. It’s not uncommon for multiple trials of medication, before your doctor settles on the right medication for you. The Long Term Disability carrier should know about these unsuccessful medication trials.
Long Term Disability carriers’ use of Independent Medical Evaluators
You may be required to attend an Independent Medical Evaluation in which a paid examining psychiatrist or psychologist will determine whether there is an objective basis of your diagnosis and whether you have any restrictions and limitations. Unfortunately, most carrier-paid-for Independent Medical Evaluations are not favorable for Long Term Disability applicants.
As a result, if you’re scheduled for a neuropsychological or psychiatric evaluation, it’s crucial that you contact the Bipolar Long Term Disability attorney to represent you.
Depending on where you live, there are court decisions that allow videotaping of so-called Independent Medical Evaluations. Videotaping is crucial in determining the accuracy of the neuropsychological conclusions. Alternatively, I suggest that you have a family friend or relative attend the evaluation and keep notes.
What should I do if my Long Term Disability claim for Bipolar Disorder is denied?
Contact Bipolar Long Term Disability Attorney Nancy Cavey who can help you get the Long Term Disability benefits you deserve. If your claim has been denied, you’ll only have 180 days from the date of denial in a group disability claim to file an appeal.
It’s crucial that you hire a disability attorney as quickly as possible as it’s a team effort to develop the necessary medical and lay testimony to establish that your Bipolar Disorder entitles you to Long Term Disability benefits.
Contact Nancy Cavey today for a complimentary consultation by calling 727-894-3188. Don’t delay!