ERISA • Employment Law

Disability Claims for Lasting Mental Health Issues Stemming from COVID-19

05 Jun 2020

When many people think of the long-term health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they might first think of respiratory damage and other physical scarring. However, many people might come away from this crisis with significant mental scarring, as well. This is especially true for many healthcare providers and frontline medical workers.

Imagine working as a nurse in an intensive care unit of a busy hospital in Philadelphia. With hundreds of people being confirmed with positive COVID-19 tests daily since March, the number of people being admitted to the hospital regularly increased, many of whom are ICU patients. The hospital is short-staffed, so you are working long hours caring for people while knowing there is no proven treatment or cure. You watch many patients pass away as you feel helpless. You also see many coworkers get sick – and possibly die – as you fear each day of getting fatally sick yourself, possibly due to a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The above is a realistic description of what many people in major cities are facing as they go to work each day. While there is little time to attend to your mental health during this crisis and the extreme pressure you face, you might be one of the many healthcare workers who comes away from the pandemic with PTSD, chronic depression, and other debilitating mental health conditions. 

In addition to frontline workers, health experts expect many others to suffer mental health issues as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Business owners
  • People who lost their jobs
  • People quarantined alone
  • People who suffered the tragic loss of loved ones

For many people, simply reporting to work will be too much to handle due to serious and lasting mental trauma. 

Disability Claims for Mental Illness

Many short and long-term disability policies cover certain types of mental illness. However, making a partial or total disability claim for mental conditions can be an uphill battle – while you are already dealing with plenty of stress and struggle. Insurance companies also might soon be receiving a mountain of disability claims for a variety of reasons, which can result in the wrongful denial of many claims.

If you believe you might be eligible for disability benefits due to a mental illness, you must ensure that you file a timely claim that includes all of the necessary information and supporting documentation. An experienced Philadelphia disability attorney can advise you on what you need, including:

  • Medical records
  • Proper visits to your psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Medication logs
  • A summary of your symptoms, which can include fatigue, loss of sleep, inability to focus, irrational fears, trigger events, suicidal thoughts, and more. 

Contact a Philadelphia Disability Attorney for Help Today

If you believe you need to file a disability claim due to mental illness, or you need to appeal a denied disability claim, you should not wait to seek the right legal assistance from a Philadelphia disability claims lawyer. The Garner Firm is ready to help, so please contact us today. 

Experienced Counsel

Mr. Garner is an ERISA employee benefits and employment attorney with over a decade of experience. The laws governing employee benefits, the employment relationship, and the workplace are complex.

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