Disability Policies-Mental Health & Subjective Symptom Limitations

Published on: February 4, 2011 by

Most long term disability insurance companies try to limit benefits to the disabled by writing policies that have a mental health limitation. Usually mental health disability benefits are limited to only a short period of time, typically only 12 to 24 months.  This means that benefits for mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder will only be paid for a limited time period. Many claimants develop depression secondary to chronic pain. The insurance company will try to classify the claimant’s impairment as mental, so that benefits will be paid for only 24 months. The insurance company may also try to classify a cognitive problem or side effects from narcotic pain medications as a mental impairment. Therefore it is very important to make sure the insurance carrier does not mischaracterize a claimant’s lifetime physical disability as mental.

Self Reported Symptoms Limitation

Disability insurance companies are always looking for ways to reduce their liability and one way is to continually ask for “objective evidence.” Objective evidence usually refers to diagnostic tests like MRIs or X-rays. Unfortunately, some symptoms, like pain, and some diseases, like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, do not show up on any “objective” tests. These symptoms and diseases are diagnosed by the doctor based on examination and patient report. Examples of these conditions include Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  Non-Exertional Limitations

Non-exertional limitations are also largely self-reported and therefore, ignored for the most part by the insurance company.   Examples include Fatigue, Intellectual & Cognitive Limitations, Headache, Memory Loss and Medication Side Effects. For more information about long term disability insurance issues visit our website at www.DisabilityDenials.com.