Insufficient Objective Evidence Of Disability
Although insurers often cite insufficient objective evidence of disability to deny claims, this reason doesnt work with depression. Modern medicine has yet to find objective evidence for depression.
If you receive this as a reason, you should address it in your appeal letter. Fortunately, objective evidence is not a requirement under plans and programs.
Your letter should then focus on how your doctor followed best practices for diagnosis and treatment. Mention how you adhered to the recommended treatment faithfully. You should also emphasize all the things youve done to keep working. These aspects can make up for a lack of objective evidence.
Is Depression A Disability In Canada
Depression is undoubtedly a serious mental illness, but is depression a disability in Canada? Lets look at the facts.
Depression is one of the most widespread, yet least understood, conditions out there. Around 8 per cent of adults experience severe depression at some point in their lives and suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadians between 15-24.
Yet only half of depression and anxiety sufferers seek out medical treatment for their condition. This can largely be traced to the stigma thats still attached to depression, with many dismissing it as mere sadness or being in a rut.
The truth is that depression is a medical condition that can have a major impact on your quality of life, preventing you from working or even getting out of bed. Its a gradual draining of the joy in your life, leaving you sad, scared, and trapped for most hours of the day.
According to the official Disability Tax Credit eligibility criteria, there is no doubt that depression is a disability in Canada and therefore qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit and other Canadian disability benefits.
What If You Have Medical Treatment Or Aids Which Make Your Condition Better
You may receive medical treatment for your condition or use aids, such as a prosthesis or hearing aid which make your condition better. If you’re in this situation, your condition will still be considered as having a substantial effect if without the treatment or aid, it’s still likely to have this effect.
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How Do I Get The Disability Insurance Benefits I Deserve For Anxiety
Anxiety can interfere not only with your daily activities but with your ability to work. Anxiety symptoms can damage and even destroy professional relationships and result in poor work performance.
If you no longer can work or your doctor has told you to apply for disability before you apply for benefits, you should:
Obtain a copy of your disability policy. See how it defines disability, occupation and self-reported conditions. Youll need to understand what you have to prove to get your benefits for anxiety disorder. There can be a mental nervous limitation in your policy that classifies anxiety disorder as a mental disorder, or the policy can be silent on the issue. Find out what your policy says before you apply for benefits.
Obtain a copy of your medical records. Review them to see if there is an objective basis for your diagnosis, what your records say about your report of symptoms and your restrictions and limitations.
Obtain a copy of your personnel file to see whether your anxiety has affected your work performance.
Obtain a copy of your job description. Create your own description of your physical duties with an explanation of how your symptoms impact your ability to do your occupation. Be sure to explain how your symptoms have impacted your work relationships and your ability to get along with others at work.
Contact Disability Attorney Nancy L. Cavey, Who Can Help You Regardless of Where You Live
Symptoms Affecting Your Functional Capacity
If you don’t qualify under one of the above SSA impairment listings, as part of the disability determination process, the SSA will automatically consider your symptoms and impairments to see to what extent they impair your daily activities and if there is any kind of work you could do. The SSA will give you a rating of the type of work it thinks you can do . This is called your residual functional capacity . For anxiety disorders, the key question is whether you can do even unskilled work. If your disorder keeps you from leaving the house or interacting with people appropriately, it’s possible the SSA could find this, but if your disorder is so severe, it’s likely the SSA would have found that you fit into one of its impairment listings for anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD or PTSD, above.
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When A Mental Health Condition Becomes A Disability
A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.
Your condition is long term if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.
Normal day-to-day activity is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.
If your mental health condition means you are disabled you can get support at work from your employer.
There are many different types of mental health condition which can lead to a disability, including:
About Depression And Anxiety
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating or working. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S. Depression is caused by genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. Anxiety disorders involve worries or fears that are more than temporary. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the feelings do not go away and can get worse over time. They get in the way of daily activities such as job performance, relationships and schoolwork. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder. For more information and resources, visit the National Institute of Mental Health.
After graduating, Loris anxiety and panic attacks became too much to bear. Unable to work, she applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. She began receiving benefits in the summer of 2005. Lori worked a few hours here and there at a work-at-home position with a telemarketing company. But, she wasnt able to work full-timeor so she thought.
In 2009, a friend sent her an online post about work-at-home job opportunities. The post was from an organization called Employment Options. Lori wasnt ready to reach out to them then, but later she went to Employment Options website and learned about Social Securitys Ticket to Work program.
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Write A Personal Narrative
Explaining to your insurance company how your individual symptoms prevent you from performing your job duties can be extremely helpful. You can do this by preparing a detailed, written narrative for the insurance company. In many cases, it is helpful if the narrative addresses all your symptoms by listing them separately first. Because most symptoms of anxiety disorders are subjective in nature, your narrative can also address the severity of your symptoms, as well as factors that trigger or exacerbate your symptoms.;
Unique Challenges Of Mental Illness And Applying For Disability Insurance Benefits
1. The insurance industry sees you as a problem
Due to volume of disability benefits claims involving mental illness, the insurance industry has made managing mental health claims a top priority. Insurers have developed a number of strategies for how to wrongfully deny your disability claim, while maintaining the appearance of objectivity. There is little you can do about the insurance industry practices. But, understanding how the insurance company acts will help you know what to expect. And, it will allow you to make better plans.
Focus on things that are in your control. For example, if the insurance company denies your claim,;you have to weigh your options. You could appeal directly to the insurance company, or file a lawsuit against the insurance company. In some situations, doing appeals with the insurance company can be a complete waste of time.;
See Related Article: 4 Reasons to Avoid Disability Claim Internal Appeals
2. Mental illness is invisible
3. Short-term benefits only
Insurance companies will often approve disability benefits claims involving mental illness for the short term. It is important that you understand this so you can better prepare yourself and not be caught off-guard by the termination.
The first definition applies for the first two years and usually says you will qualify for benefits if you cant do your own job.
4. Surveillance & Social Media
5. Behind-the-scenes medical advisors
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In Certain Circumstances Social Security Will Award Disability Benefits For Panic Disorder And Panic Attacks
By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
Panic attacks are frequently cited on applications for disability, generally along with other psychiatric conditions, such as depression and one or more phobias, such as agoraphobia. It has been estimated that about 10% of the general public may experience one panic attack per year, and about one in sixty individuals in the US suffers from panic disorder at one time in their lives.
Evaluating Anxiety As A Disability
If an employee comes to you and says they have a disability and asks for an accommodation, one of your first responses should be to ask them to fill out a medical information form. This form will require that they visit their physician and have them complete the necessary information.
In addition to Federal laws, many states have laws that regulate the medical information that an employee is required to give their employer. Make sure that your paperwork is compliant with all laws, and double-check with your attorney.
If the doctor has determined that the employee has a disability, they may list areas where the worker could benefit from accommodations. These suggestions may be aimed at the employee to consider.
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Medical Vocational Allowance For Depression
The standard of proof for getting disability benefits for depression is high, and some people may not meet the standard but still are unable to work. If that happens you can still be eligible for disability benefits under the Medical Vocational Allowance. To qualify this way you need to download the Residual Functional Capacity evaluation form from the SSA website. Your doctor or psychologist needs to fill out this form and provide detailed information about your illness and the limitations you have as a result of that illness.
Then, the SSA will look at the RFC evaluation and your work history, the skills you have, and the limitations caused by your illness. They will try to find some type of work that you can do with the skills and limitations that you have. If they cant find any kind of work that you can do then you will be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.;
How Edgar Snyder & Associates Can Help
If you’re unable to work due to your anxiety, chances are you’re frustrated and dealing with financial struggles. You need the help of experts who know the system and have a high track record of winning SSD claim appeals. Here’s what our attorneys and legal staff do to help you:
- Gather medical records and reports
- Gather evidence for your claim
- Gather documents from your Social Security file
- Talk with your doctor about your condition and how affects your ability to work
- Provide advice to you to help you prepare for your Social Security hearing
- And more
Best of all, there’s never a fee unless we get money for you. If we don’t win your appeal, all the time and effort we put into your case costs you nothing.
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Mental Residual Functional Capacity
Proving to the Social Security Administration that an individuals symptoms of an anxiety disorder are severe enough to prevent from working any job in the United States can be troublesome. One of the preferred ways to show the SSA that an applicant is unable to work due to their condition is to have his or her treating doctor complete a mental residual functional capacity form. Submitting the form with the initial application can significantly increase ones chances for approval.
The mental residual functional capacity form addresses an individuals ability to cognitively function in a work environment despite his or her disability. If an applicant is deemed to be able to perform unskilled work , he or she will not qualify for disability benefits due to lack of severity.
What If You Have Treatment For A Progressive Condition Which Makes You Better
If you have treatment for a progressive condition which makes you better, you may no longer be treated as disabled. If the treatment makes you completely well, you’ll no longer be treated as disabled. But if the condition isn’t completely cured and still has some effects, you will still be treated as disabled.
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Can I Still Get Disability If I Don’t Meet The Listing
If Social Security finds your social anxiety disorder doesn’t meet the above listing requirements, the agency will use your medical records to determine your mental residual functional capacity . The SSA will prepare a report that assesses how your symptoms affect your ability to do the mental and emotional requirements of a job. It may include limitations on your ability to interact with members of the public, get along with co-workers, talk with superiors, and adjust to changes in your environment. The SSA will then compare your MRFC to the requirements of your past jobs. If the SSA concludes that your social anxiety disorder stops you from doing your past work , the agency will look to see whether there are less mentally and socially demanding jobs that you could do.
You should ask your treating doctors to fill out an MRFC form for you, including descriptions of your symptoms and how they affect your ability to work. It is better to have a doctor that specializes in anxiety disorders prepare your MRFC .
You Could Qualify For Disability For Anxiety
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about common, everyday things. Individuals suffering from Anxiety Disorder often expect the worse or anticipate disasters;and may be;consumed by negative thoughts about money, health, family, school or work.
In severe cases, this state of constant dread interferes with the;ability to function day-to-day and to work.
If you have been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder and cant work, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability for Anxiety. Its time to seek professional legal help. ;The experienced Social Security Disability lawyers at McDonald Law Firm;will work to get you the financial support you need ;so you can concentrate on getting your life back on track.
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Not Yet Diagnosed With Anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects your emotions, cognitive abilities, and behavior. Depending on the severity, anxiety can even affect the body’s ability to function physically.
Statistics show that as much as 18% of Americans may suffer from an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms:
- Feelings of fear and panic
- Inability to control thoughts
- Inability to concentrate on daily tasks
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands and feet
If you believe you have an anxiety disorder, you should visit a physician to be diagnosed. You will need to have an official diagnosis and should be undergoing treatment before ever applying for SSD benefits.
Social Security Benefits For Panic
In its impairment listings, the Social Security Administration lays out certain criteria that you must meet to get approved for disaiblity benefits. The SSA released a new listing for anxiety and panic disorders in January 2017, listing 12.06. To rise to the level of a disability for which Social Security will pay monthly benefits, this listing requires that you have been diagnosed with panic disorder or agoraphobia, with one or both of the following:
Panic attacks followed by a persistent concern or worry about having additional panic attacks in the future, or worry about the consequences of future panic attacks, and/or
Increased fear or anxiety about being in at least two different situations .
You must also meet “functional” criteria to show that you have a loss of abilities due to your panic disorder. Generally, your panic disorder must cause you to have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas, or a “marked” limitation in at least two of the following areas:
- interacting with others
- concentrating and being able to complete tasks
- understanding, remembering, or using information , and/or
- adapting or managing oneself .
Note that “marked” is worse than moderateyou can think of it as seriously limiting. Extreme is less severe than a complete loss of an ability, but worse than marked. Marked and extreme are matters of professional judgment used by a SSA psychiatrist or psychologist when reviewing the medical evidence.
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What Symptoms Are Associated With A Generalized Anxiety Disorder
While a mental health diagnosis is specific to each individual, some of the common symptoms of a generalized anxiety disorder include:
- Excessive worry about everyday situation, problems and responsibilities.
- Difficulty controlling their worry.
- Reporting physical symptoms like headaches, stomachaches or other physical pain.
- Experiencing changes in mood, including irritability.
If you believe that you suffer from some of or all the above symptoms, it is important to talk to your medical providers and seek help as soon as possible. Your medical provider may refer you to a mental health specialist to discuss your symptoms or she/her may want to make sure that there is no unrelated physical impairment causing your symptoms. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder is treated by a mental health professional, including medication, therapy or both.
It will be important to work with your medical providers and with your mental health professionals to determine your best treatment options.