Bartolic Law helps clients battling Depression with their long-term disability claims. We have worked with individuals who anticipated making claims, appealed insurers’ denials of claims, and even sued long-term disability insurers over depression-related disability claims. Depression often accompanies other diagnoses, some mental health related, and some not. In one case, our client was an airline worker suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. Symptoms were so severe, the client would often reschedule treatment appointments due to inability to get out of bed. The insurer denied the claim for non-compliance with treatment. We successfully demonstrated to the insurer that the client’s Depression was the cause of missing appointments, which demonstrated the client would not be able to reliably and consistently show up for work.
As often as we handle claims based on Depression, we have also handled claims challenging an insurer’s application of policy limitations that apply for Depression. In one case, our client suffered from severe spinal disorders, and developed Adjustment Disorder in coping with the physical disability. The insurer attempted to limit benefit payments based on a mental health limitation. We were able to demonstrate that the client would meet the policy’s definition of Disabled even without the Depression, which solidified the client’s ability to remain in pay status.
When many people think of disabilities, they might first think of not being able to walk or having chronic pain. However, mental conditions can also be disabling and prevent you from working as you usually would. Depression – also called clinical depression or major depressive disorder – is an example of a potentially debilitating condition that can result in serious mental disabilities. Depression is a mood disorder that results in chronic feelings of sadness and a lack of interest in usual activities or even living life. It can be difficult for those with depression to stay focused or engage in productive activities. Those diagnosed with depression cannot simply “cheer up,” as this is an issue with their brain chemistry and biology.
Instead, people diagnosed with depression are usually prescribed a long-term treatment plan that might include medication and psychotherapy. While this can improve symptoms, some depression patients experience other complications, such as obesity, physical illness or pain, substance abuse disorders, social isolation, anxiety disorders, difficulty with work and relationships, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Many effects and complications of depression make it impossible for someone to regularly report to a job and perform as expected. For this reason, many people seek disability insurance benefits if they cannot work.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)