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Does long-term disability insurance cover mental illnesses?

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Our mental health can have a large impact on our overall health and wellness, and it is critical to recognize that mental illnesses affect more people than many might think.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that roughly one in five adults have a mental illness. They are so common, and yet they affect each person very differently. Some mental illnesses can be a significant interference and disruption in an individual’s life.

This might leave you wondering: is it possible to recover long-term disability benefits?

The short answer?

The short answer is yes – long-term disability benefits governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cover mental illnesses. Long-term disability benefits cover several mental illnesses, including but not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorders
  • General anxiety disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Of course, like any other condition, the mental illness must have a serious impact on your daily life and interfere with your work for you to recover benefits.

However, actually getting coverage for a mental illness is often incredibly complex. It depends on the coverage Wisconsin employees have, as well as the severity of their mental illness and symptoms.

Why is it hard to get coverage?

There are a few reasons it is difficult to obtain coverage, including:

  • It is difficult to prove that a mental illness meets the definition of a disability;
  • Symptoms are often invisible, which makes providing medical evidence complicated; and
  • Because of this, insurers are often hesitant to provide coverage. And even if they do offer coverage, it is often limited to two years.

Mental illnesses can be just as debilitating as a physical disability. That is why it is critical to consult an experienced long-term disability insurance attorney to get the benefits and coverage you deserve. Contact the attorneys at Alan C. Olson & Associates to learn more about your options.

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Alan C. Olson & Associates | 2880 S Moorland Rd | New Berlin, WI 53151
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