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How To Get Short Term Disability Approved For Anxiety And Depression

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 40 million people in the United States live with some form of anxiety disorder and more than 17 million adults live with depression. If you have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression that affects your ability to work and earn a living, a short-term disability may be available to provide financial assistance.

At NY Disability, we understand that anybody can be affected by anxiety and depression which makes it difficult to live a normal and productive life. A consultation with a disability lawyer provides you with options about programs available to help ease the financial pressures brought on by disorders that affect your ability to work.

The following information about short-term disability for individuals diagnosed with depression or anxiety may answer some of your questions and provide an incentive to speak with a disability lawyer.

What is a short-term disability?

Some employers offer a short-term disability plan for their employees who cannot continue working because of injuries or illnesses that are not job-related. The plans rely on an insurance policy paid for by employers to pay benefits to employees who qualify for them. New York is among a few states that make short-term disability plans mandatory for workers in the state.

It must be noted that short-term disability benefits may not apply to work-related injuries and illnesses. Workers’ compensation programs in most states provide benefits in the form of payments for medical care and lost wages to workers who are injured or become sick as a result of job-related accidents or conditions.

Whether the short-term disability plan offered by an employer covers anxiety, disability and other specific types of illnesses depends on the terms and coverage contained in the insurance policy or the mandates of the law in your state. State law or the insurance policy also dictate the benefits paid and the duration of coverage.

For example, one plan may provide benefits for 30 days to someone with a qualifying medical condition while a plan offered by another employer may pay benefits for a longer duration. If you live in a state that requires its employers to provide short-term disability coverage, the plans would be generally uniform in the coverage provided unless an employer elects to provide more coverage than the law requires.

Common symptoms associated with anxiety and depression

It may not be possible to identify the cause of someone experiencing depression or anxiety, but there are symptoms to look out for that distinguish anxiety and depression from normal feelings of sadness or concern related to specific events or situations. Some of the common signs that you may have an anxiety disorder include:

  • Cold sweats
  • Loss of social contacts
  • Excessive nervousness
  • Sense of impending doom or panic with no specific cause
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Uncontrollable hand tremors
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleepiness and/or insomnia

Symptoms commonly associated with depression include the following:

  • Uncontrollable anger not associated with a specific cause
  • Changes in eating habits, including binge eating and loss of appetite
  • Rapid, unexplained changes in your weight
  • Unexplained episodes of sadness and feelings of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in normal activities and loss of motivation
  • Thoughts of death, including suicide or causing harm to other people

If you suspect that you may have an anxiety or depression disorder, you should speak with a health care professional specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depression disability. A medical diagnosis is essential in order to get a claim for short-term disability approved for anxiety and/or depression.

Filing a claim for short-term disability

The process to file a claim for short-term disability starts by requesting a claim form from your employer or the plan administrator where you work. To overcome the skepticism that some insurance companies have about claims based on mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, you need a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, therapist or psychologist.

The statement from your mental health professional must include specific reference to how your depression or anxiety disability affects your ability to work. Keep in mind that eligibility for short-term disability is based on the effect of a physical or mental health condition on your ability to function at work.

If your claim for short-term disability is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision through the plan’s appeal process. A disability lawyer at NY Disability can determine the procedure for challenging an adverse decision and provide skilled representation to handle it for you.

Learn more about disability benefits for anxiety and depression

A free consultation with a disability lawyer from NY Disability provides options when anxiety, depression or other disabling medical or mental health condition prevents you from working. Contact us today to speak with one of our disability professionals.