Many of our clients suffer from depression as a result of their disabling physical conditions or they may have other disabling psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder. It is important to be aware that most disability policies cut-off disability benefits after 24 months of benefits if the disabling medical condition is considered a psychiatric condition otherwise known as a “mental impairment.” Each policy contains different language on this issue. For instance, the Prudential policy provides
What Disabilities Have a Limited Pay period Under Your Plan?
Disabilities which, as determined by Prudential, are due in whole or part to Mental illness also have a limited pay period during your lifetime.
The limited pay period for self-reported symptoms and mental illness combined is 24 months during your lifetime.
Mental illness means a psychiatric or psychological condition regardless of cause. Mental illness includes but is not limited to schizophrenia, depression, manic depressive or bipolar illness, anxiety, somatization, substance related disorders and/or adjustment disorders or other conditions. These conditions are usually treated by a mental health provider…using psychotherapy or psychotropic drugs.
In the case of Deal v. Prudential:
Deal saw a host of medical professionals for both physical and psychological conditions out of a knee injury and associated pain.
Diagnosed with Moderate Major Depressive Order Two psychologists reports indicating Deal’s disability caused, at least in part, by mental disorders The Court concluded–“Prudential has not shown that the mental disorder benefit limitation applies.”