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Psychiatric Disability Claims: The Unseen Trauma

The explosive growth in mental and nervous disorder disability claims in the United States is all too familiar to Americans. Depression, PTSD, Anxiety and Bipolar disorder are some of the most common conditions today.

Mental and nervous disorders, including depression and addiction, are similar to other disability insurance claims, because of their effect on a person’s ability to work. However, the medical evidence necessary to establish such a psychiatric disability claim for a private insurance policy or under ERISA is far more stringent than what is required for proving a physical disability. Mental illness is not always easy to diagnose and can be even harder to prove.

Know About The Required Medical Evidence

Above all, an experienced disability attorney needs to know what type of medical evidence must be supplied in order to secure disability benefits for psychiatric disabilities. Lack of precision in these reports can make or break psychiatric disability claims.

Attorney Mike Quiat

An experienced disability attorney also needs to know that personal information, especially concerning psychiatric or emotional disability, should never be given to an insurer unless it is absolutely essential, and, even then, with very clear restrictions. Full, complete and relevant medical information must be provided right from the start of the psychiatric disability claim, but the insurance company should get nothing it’s not entitled to, and should protect the privacy of all such information.

Insurance Companies Are Likely To Deny Psychiatric Disability Claims For Three Main Reasons:

  • Obviously, insurance companies always prefer to deny claims and keep the money they would otherwise have to pay out if they can figure out a way to do so.
  • People under mental pressure are usually easier to push around, and insurance companies are known to sometimes take advantage and bully disability insurance claimants.
  • The “wimp” factor, which applies to all disability claimants, is especially true of those with mental illness.

A competent, aggressive legal advisor is a must to stand between the claimant and the carrier when working with psychiatric disability claims. Such an advocate knows how to cut through the endless paper chase and the many nonsensical insurer reasons for delay or denial of benefits.

Attorney Mike Quiat talking

Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C., is highly experienced in successfully handling psychiatric and mental illness disability claims. We understand the nature of these illnesses and will effectively interact with a treating psychiatrist or psychologist to help prepare a competent and informative claim. We also know how to evaluate a so-called Independent Medical Examination (IME) that has been bought and paid for by the insurance carrier, and we can size up the validity of personality test results, such as the MMPI.

There should be no illusions. Many psychiatric and mental illness disability claims are hotly contested adversarial proceedings, from the moment a claim is filed. The best time to hire a lawyer is before filing a psychiatric disability claim. This helps avoid needless mistakes in dealing with a carrier — mistakes that can be fatal to a claim and have tragic consequences for the claimant and a family’s future. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the area of mental/psychiatric disabilities.

So-called “objective evidence” requirements give insurance company claims processors and administrators huge discretion and latitude in denying claims, especially in psychiatric disability claims cases. Many claimants are forced to cope with arbitrary and capricious denials, just when they are emotionally and medically vulnerable and ill-equipped to cope with adversity.

Adding to this is the growing financial pressure and concern for the future which is caused by a loss of income that disability can bring, and it can become harder and harder to navigate the future without worsening the depression or other psychiatric condition from which a claimant might suffer.

A lawyer representing a client in a psychiatric disability claim must fully understand the nature of the condition and pay attention to the client’s particular needs when dealing with the insurance carrier. Mike Quiat and the rest of the lawyers at Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C., understand that such a lawyer-client relationship requires special attention and handling.

Individual or ERISA disability insurance claimants with psychiatric disabilities are ill-advised to go into an adversarial proceeding with a disability insurance carrier, without an experienced advocate at their side.

Remember, insurance companies fight disability income claims every day. You have only one shot to get it right!

Too Much Is At Stake To Go It Alone. Contact Our New York And New Jersey Disability Attorney.

If you have any doubts about a psychiatric or mental illness disability claim or the claims procedure, call Uscher, Quiat, Uscher & Russo, P.C., now, at 201-781-5645, for a no-cost consultation. We will make sure you are treated fairly and honestly in pursuing your disability benefits.