Bipolar Disorder, a brain based disorder, causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, as well as the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks (National Institute of Mental Health). Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental illness that affects a great many Americans every year. Kantor & Kantor has worked with many clients who suffer with Bipolar Disorder, and such clients are often affected in a way that is life altering and debilitating. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these clients to face many obstacles and complications when making a claim for long term disability benefits (LTD) for Bipolar Disorder.
Why are these Long Term Disability claims so difficult?
The first issue that can arise is difficulty in proving that you are disabled (under the terms of your long term disability policy’s definition of disabled). While you and your doctor both know that you are no longer able to work, meeting a policy definition of disability takes more than just that knowledge. Unlike a back condition or an autoimmune disease, which can be shown through objective measures, objectively establishing that you have disabling Bipolar Disorder can be tricky. Typically, the diagnosis is made by a therapeutic psychologist. The condition is then treated medically by a prescribing psychiatrist, as well as through therapy with a clinical psychologist. Thus, there really is no lab test or other objective measure to prove you have the condition. Your treating providers’ diagnosis, based on their examination and treatment of you, is the objective proof – but you must have their help in getting that information to your LTD carrier.