How Do You Prove Your Disability Case If You Have A Mental Condition Or Impairment
Home » Frequently Asked Questions » How Do You Prove Your Disability Case If You Have a Mental Condition or Impairment?
To prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment, you must have medical evidence. To establish that you suffer from a qualifying impairment, you will need to provide information, so the disability examiner can get your records from all caregivers who are familiar with your diagnosis and treatment. This could include:
- Your primary care physician
- Your psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist
- Your local hospital
- Other mental health facilities
- Other caregivers
The team from Berger and Green can ensure you provide all the necessary information so the examiner from the Office of Disability Determination Services can gain access to the medical evidence necessary to prove your impairment. Call us today at for your free case review and consultation.
Suicide Self Injury And Hospitalization: Can Your Therapist Have You Hospitalized
Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. was in private practice for more than thirty years. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states…Read More
Can your therapist have you hospitalized?
On March 7, 2009 someone posted this comment entitled:
“Distrust of Therapists”
“I was hospitalized for self-injury and thoughts of suicide and while the increased medication and enforced hospital stay did not help, I am now very afraid to report my true feelings to anyone and have actively avoided therapy, leaving me with no one to trust.
In the US, ethics usually doesnt have anything to do with it: as my callous former therapist explained to me, he was having me hospitalized because federal liability laws encouraged him to do so.; These laws permit relatives of suicides to sue mental health care workers for neglect, and thats why you see rampant over hospitalization of patients in America.”
The anonymous writer of the posting cited above raises an interesting moral, ethical and practical dilemma for patients and their psychotherapist. The dilemma has to do with the question of when it is or is not proper to have a patient sent to the hospital emergency room?
How does “reporting” really work?
Here is the KEY POINT in all of this:
What about self injury?
Your comments are encouraged.
Which Doctors’ Records Do I Need
You need to provide medical records only from the doctors who have treated you for your disabling condition. If you have multiple disabilities, you will need to provide the SSA with medical records from all of the different doctors who have treated you.
Make sure that you don’t provide the SSA with irrelevant medical records. For example, if your claim is based solely on mental illness, you do not need to provide records from your allergist, eye doctor, or any other physicians who are unfamiliar with your mental condition.
Read Also: Can You Get Disability For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The Majority Of People Who Apply For Disability For A Mental Illness Or Emotional Condition Are Ultimately Granted Benefits
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
About a quarter of applicants for Social Security disability list mental illnesses or disorders as their primary impairment. Depression and anxiety disorders make up the majority of these claims. In addition, applicants make disability claims based on intellectual disability, dementia, schizophrenia, autism, and learning disabilities. While these claims can be difficult to win, you are more likely to be approved if you learn how the Social Security Administration reviews these types of claims and understand the evidence needed to support your claim. While almost half of all mental disability claims are denied at the initial application stage, 75% of those who go on to appeal are eventually approved after appeal.
Our Attorneys Can Help With Your Mental Disability Claim
If you or a loved one are unable to work due to mental health issues, trust your case to a disability lawyer with a record of success, professional responsibility, and compassion. We are mindful of each clients clinical well-being.
Whether you are filing an initial claim, or have already been denied benefits, we can help.
Call to arrange a free consultation with us today, . We assist clients seeking disability benefits for all manner of mental disorders and impairments, including:
About Marc Whitehead
Don’t Miss: California Disability Amount
If Your Doctor Is Reluctant To Help Find Out Why And Address His Or Her Concerns
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
After you apply for Social Security disability, you will need to submit a residual functional capacity assessment that has been prepared by one of your doctors . An RFC is a detailed report that discusses the limitations you have because of your condition, and how the limitations affect your ability to do certain work-related activities.
Unfortunately, some doctors are unwilling to help their patients by completing an RFC form; this can make it difficult for a claimant to be approved. However, you may be able to convince your doctor to help you, depending on the reason for his or her reluctance.
How A Disability Lawyer Can Help
We find that a little interaction and education often helps a clients treating doctor reconsider and agree to provide vital support needed for your claim.
We are able to work with treating physicians and therapists to help them understand the standard for disability as it applies to claims for mental health disorders. We help them see the real, every day duties of their patients occupation, and how to properly document the way each mental condition impedes their ability to perform those and other tasks.
We are often able to resolve a psychiatrists concerns when asked to provide an RFC assessment. Our legal team follows up regularly with the doctors office to see to it that all medical records are provided on time and in order.
Recommended Reading: Is Borderline Personality Disorder A Disability
Can My Employer Terminate Me After My Short
The answer depends on the reason for termination.;In the short-term, your employer cannot legally terminate you because of your sickness or disability.;But if your employer could prove that your termination had nothing to do with disability, then they can legally dismiss you, even if you are on sick leave.
Keep in mind that there is no guaranteed employment in Canada. All employers can dismiss an employee upon giving reasonable notice of termination, but there are some exceptions to this general rule. One exception is that an employer cannot dismiss an employee based on a discriminatory reason; disability falls under this category.
If you experience a short-term disability denial, the insurance company will inform your employer. Many employers will assume that this means you are fit for a return to work and will treat your failure to do so as unauthorized absenteeism.;Therefore, it is critical;that you provide new medical information to your employer confirming that, regardless of the insurance companys decision, you continue to be unable to work due to disability. You must put your employer on notice of your continuing disability in order to trigger protection under anti-discrimination human rights laws.;
The Perils Of Doctor Shopping
If your doctor will not help you by filling out your disability forms, you may need to see another doctor. However, beware of “doctor shopping.” If you see multiple doctors in an effort to find a supporting a physician, Social Security will view this negatively in your case. If you must see another doctor, be sure to take all of the medical records related to your case to the doctor for his or her review. This will provide the objective medical evidence the doctor will need to form his or her opinion about your limitations.
Don’t Miss: Average Disability Check
Whether You Are Working
Social Security will look at whether you are working, and if so, how much. Social Security can grant you disability benefits if you are unable to work at or over the “substantial gainful activity” level for at least one year. But if you are earning more than that, Social Security will deny your claim without even looking at your medical records.
They Abuse You Harass You Or Insult You
I once saw a therapist who said my tattoos are an ugly way of trying to make myself special, and that they remind him of the iron stamps put on cows. While I was about to burst into tears, I stood up, kept myself composed, told him hes an embarrassment to his profession and elegantly left. If something like this ever happens to you, know that you are not there to be judged upon your body, life choices, sexuality, health or general decisions. You are there to learn about yourself and heal with the help of a professional who is not allowed to hit you when youre at your most vulnerable. From that experience, I learned I always have a choice, and my choice was to leave and never look back.
Read Also: Is Degenerative Disc Disease Considered A Disability?
Causes Of Depression Or Anxiety
Although it is not clear, family genes or other biological reasons may cause or influence the emergence of depression. It is not uncommon to see these conditions shared by members of the same family. Depression may also be brought on by changes in ones life such as divorce, death, or a job change, however, such periods of depression normally resolve themselves within a relatively short period of time. However, if such a severe mood lasts every day for two-weeks or longer, then depression may require treatment to be resolved.;
If your depression has been persisting, it is important to seek treatment early, both for treatment and to document its existence and severity should you have difficulty recovering and have to file a disability claim.
Anxiety may come on for no apparent reason or may also be familial. If left untreated, anxiety can worsen to the point that it interferes with the ability to concentrate and complete tasks needed for normal work activities. Some individuals anxiety reaches the point that they may refuse to leave their homes for fear of triggering an episode of panic.
Understanding The Role Your Medical Evidence Plays In Getting Disability Benefits
Your medical records and other evidence play a central role in getting approval with any type of qualifying impairment. The disability examiner who oversees your case will need to look at your doctors notes, test results, treatment plan, treatment results, and other information about your condition. This allows them to judge the severity of your condition and see that it prevents you from working and keeping a job.
Since your medical evidence is the only way the Social Security Administration can determine if you meet the qualifications for disability benefits, it is important to ensure they have access to your records at every doctor, clinic, and hospital that treated you.
When you apply for disability, you will have to give the SSA a list of contact information, so they can request your records. This includes:
- Doctor or hospital name
- Patient ID, when possible
If you have Berger and Green working your case, we can help you gather this information and ensure it is correct on your application. Without this contact information, the disability examiner will not have access to your diagnosis, any test results, treatment plan and outcome, and information about your medication.
For a free legal consultation, call
Read Also: How Much Does Sdi Pay In California
Reason : Your Doctors And Psychologists Are Providing A Poor Standard Of Care
Even if you are attending treatment with your doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists, the insurance company can still legitimately deny your disability claim if the care you are receiving is substandard.
Getting substandard care is mostly;out of your control, but if your treatment providers are not following best practices for treatment of your mental illness, then there is a good chance the insurance company will deny your claim.
Insurance companies have their own behind-the-scenes medical advisors who will carefully review the treatment you are getting from doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. These behind-the-scenes medical reviewers are well-schooled in the best practices for treatment of mental illness. They are experts at;pointing out the deficiencies in what your doctors or psychologist is doing.
For example, a common example of poor standard of care is for your doctor to prescribe medication, but then fail to monitor you carefully and make adjustments to the medication. Without careful monitoring and tweaking of medications, your mental health is unlikely to improve.This can lead to a situation where you claim will be denied, even though you are following your doctors recommendations and you are taking the medication as prescribed.
Mental Illness And Applying For Disability Benefits
Are you unable to work because of depression, anxiety, or other mental illness? Are you considering applying for disability insurance benefits, or in the process of doing so? In the article, I discuss the unique challenges of mental illness and applying for disability insurance benefits.
Recommended Reading: Is Disability Insurance Tax-deductible For S Corp
What Happens If You Dont Take Your Medications
Another issue with keeping patients on benefits is that individuals with mental illness may stop following their doctors advice or taking their medications.
Disability policies usually require claimants to pursue treatment and make a sustained effort to get better and eventually go back to their job. Thats often a sensible goal from a medical point of view as well, Song said. Most people benefit from the structure and sense of self-esteem that employment provides, he added.
But patients suffering from mental illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder may, at times, refuse to follow their treatment, which is a manifestation of their condition rather than an exercise of their judgment, he said.
But patients who stop their treatment are in breach of their policy contract, which could cause them to lose their benefits, Share said.
Still, Holden said most insurance case managers have a much better understanding of mental illness today compared to a few years ago.
They would understand that its the actual illness displaying itself, she said.
WATCH:Insurance companies offer consumers discounts in exchange for access to personal data
A Doctors Opinion Isnt Always Enough
The basic problem with mental illness is that its less visible than a physical ailment. When a worker loses a hand due to an accident, its hard to dispute that they have developed a disability, said Andrew Monkhouse, a Toronto employment lawyer.
But when dealing with problems like depression or anxiety, the medical evidence is far less straightforward than, say, an MRI or a blood test. And the issue is not just assessing whether someone suffers from a certain disorder but how far they are along the spectrum, according to Monkhouse. The key question is: what extent is the illness interfering with an employees ability to do their job?
Monkhouse, and two other lawyers who specialize in disability claims, said the opinion of a general practitioner isnt always enough to convince insurers to accept a disability claim. Employees have a much stronger case when they can present a diagnosis from a specialist, but that can prove difficult to do in a country where seeing a psychiatrist can take up to 18 months.
Its not ideal, but it is acceptable for a claim, she said.
But GPs, she said, must provide an actual medical diagnosis based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which psychiatrists in North America use for a standard classification of mental disorders.
READ MORE:;Depression leads to shorter lifespan Canadian study
The attending physician, typically their general practitioner, can easily complete the form, it said.
Don’t Miss: How Much Does Disability Pay In Ny
Look Here For Information About When Therapists Canand Cantdivulge Whats Said In Therapy
By Micah Schwartzbach, Attorney
Psychotherapy is, for the most part, confidential. Patients of mental health providers like psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers reasonably expect that their in-therapy disclosures will remain private. If they didn’t or couldn’tif they anticipated that their therapists might divulge their innermost secretstherapy would be wildly ineffective. So say the federal government and states, as they have enacted statutes preventing certain mental health professionals from disclosing information communicated in the course of the treatment relationship.
But some jurisdictions either don’t acknowledge or severely limit the psychotherapist-patient privilege in criminal proceedings. And in many places where the privilege applies to criminal cases, the scope of and exceptions to confidentiality vary. The following is therefore a general discussion of the therapist-patient privilege in criminal cases and some of its features and exceptions, not an exhaustive description of the law throughout the country.
Maybe We Can Learn Something From Our Animal Friends
Resilience is a fascinating aspect of life. In short, well, there is no in short. Understanding resilience is a full-time job for some mental health professionals and researchers. Research recently conducted into whether or not resilience is a personality trait or a learned skill highlights that there is still something about resilience that we find difficult to understand. My favorite conclusion to a resilience study was when Scheffer et al. concluded that the “dazzling web of mechanisms that shape resilience may seem disappointingly complex. However, even if the details are not resolved, taking a resilience-based approach need not be complicated.
A friend of mine who has dedicated much of her life to animal welfare provides anyone who follows her social media accounts with glimpses into her world. Commenters on her posts are quite often amazed to see happy dogs playing with children, or relaxed dogs happily sleeping on their new beds. Commenters are amazed for good reason because they know the past traumas that the dogs have endured and overcome. Many years ago I once commented on one of her posts that the resilience of animals was truly fascinating, and in doing so I began to seriously think about resilience for the first time.
You May Like: Where Is The Disability Resource Center Located