Difficult Disability Claims: Battling Bipolar Disorder

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.

This brings us to the second issue that can arise: getting your treating providers to help you establish not only that you suffer from Bipolar Disorder, but that is it disabling you from work.  Many psychologists and psychiatrists are extremely cautious, understandably so, about disclosing mental health records and impressions.  We can help you explain to them the vital nature of their support in your LTD claim or appeal.

And lastly, because people who suffer from Bipolar Disorder are often initially misdiagnosed, and because the condition can have periods of depression, it’s possible for your LTD policy’s limitation on mental and nervous conditions to be triggered. This can mean severely limiting the period of time for which benefits would be payable to you.  This is yet another reason to seek legal guidance with your LTD claim.

Kantor & Kantor can offer you help with your long term disability claim – should you become disabled by Bipolar Disorder.  We can help you gather the appropriate evidence of disability, and help you in obtaining the support of your treating providers.

If you have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and the symptoms (and side effects of the medications to treat it) become disabling, please do not hesitate to contact Kantor & Kantor for a no-cost consultation. We can be reached at (818) 886-2525 or via our online contact form. You don’t pay unless we win your claim, so you have nothing to lose!


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