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Depression in the workplace – a huge challenge

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Depression and anxiety are among the most challenging disability claims we handle, often even tougher than Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Not only does depression raise a red flag for claims adjusters, benefits are severely limited under most disability policies. Two years is usually the length of time that benefits will be paid under the “mental/nervous” category. This is a multi-edged sword for sufferers, and one we have battled often.

Accordingly to a survey conducted by Employers Health, self-described as an employer coalition, 23% of respondents indicated they had been diagnosed with depression in their lifetime, and 40 percent of those reported taking time off from work – about 10 days per year.

Yet more than half – 58% – did not tell their employer that they suffered from depression, with nearly half of that group feeling that their jobs would be at risk if their employer knew they were depressed.

In other words, the stigma associated with mental health issues like depression continues to this day. The report also references studies that demonstrate that when employers provide employees with the tools needed to address and manage the impact of depression, they do better.

Depression is a serious mental health illness, and many people do get better when they receive professional treatment, whether that treatment includes therapy or drugs or a combination of both. Telling your employer that you have been diagnosed with depression is very different than telling your boss that you have a broken arm or a disease. It’s unfortunate, but true. If you are depressed and are considering filing a disability claim, it is important to understand the limitations of your policy, the impact that other illnesses may have on your claim, and how to best manage the filing process.

If you have questions about a disability claim for depression, please call our office at 877-LTD-CLAIM (877-583-2524) and learn how we can help.

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Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.

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