Lonely woman looking out window in camper van.  stock photo

Arisara_Tongdonnoi / iStock.com

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults live with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And as of 2020, there were an estimated 14.2 million adults in the US living with a serious mental illness, defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder that results in serious functional impairment.

See our list: The 100 Most Influential Money Experts
Find out: This credit score mistake could be costing Americans millions

If you are dealing with a mental health issue, it can prevent you from being able to work. And if so, can you rely on disability insurance to cover your lost income? You can – here’s what you need to know.

Bonus offer: Open a new Citi Priority account by 1/9/23 and earn up to $2,000 in bonus cash after completing required activities.

Mental health issues covered by disability insurance

We often think of disability insurance as a means of protecting our income in the event of an unexpected physical illness, but it also covers mental health issues in some cases. According to the Social Security Administration’s Disability Benefits Center, the following mental health disorders qualify as disabling conditions:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Drug addiction
  • Distinction
  • Memory loss
  • Mood disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Organic mental disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Many private disability insurance providers also recognize the same illnesses as grounds for a claim. However, other mental health issues may qualify you for disability benefits.

“There really isn’t a set list of mental health issues that are covered by disability insurance,” said Colin Nabity, CEO and co-founder of Breeze, an online provider of disability and critical illness insurance. “Instead, it’s more about whether the issue affects your ability to work and earn a wage. This could be anything – depression, anxiety, mood disorders or panic attacks.”

Free samples: Get free samples by mail. You tell us what you think. No catch, no credit card required! Choose your free samples from PINCHme now.

Not only is it possible to qualify for disability insurance because of a mental health problem, it’s also quite common.

“According to LIMRA, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are the fifth most common reason for long-term disability insurance claims and the fourth most common reason for short-term disability claims,” ​​Nabity said. “Disability insurance is very often used to help protect your finances against mental health struggles.”

How to claim disability benefits based on a mental health issue

The qualifications for a mental health disability claim are largely the same as for a physical claim.

“You will likely need to show a medical diagnosis from a professional,” Nabity said. “If you’re dealing with a mental health struggle and it’s affecting your ability to work and it’s medically diagnosed, it’s likely to be covered by disability insurance pending other factors.”

Insurance providers recognize that mental health issues can be just as debilitating as an illness or injury, so it’s no longer difficult to make a claim just because the issue can’t be detected with the naked eye.

Bonus offer: Bank of America $100 bonus offer for new online checking accounts. See page for details.

“Police officers and carriers are taking the necessary steps to ensure that mental health issues are covered by disability insurance,” Nabity said.

How disability insurance protects your income in the event of a mental health problem

Given the prevalence of mental illness in the US, you may want to consider getting disability insurance to protect your financial well-being if you become unable to work.

“In the event that you are unable to work due to a qualifying mental health problem, disability insurance replaces a portion of your regular income – usually up to 60% – for a period of time that can be weeks , months, years or even until retirement age,” said Nabity. “This benefit money can be used anywhere from mortgage and credit card payments to baby formula and groceries. So if you suffer from a qualifying mental health problem and you can’t work or earn an income, your disability insurance benefit can be used to pay for things instead of turning to credit card debt, personal loans or a nest egg the pension you have built for the future.”

“Disability insurance can provide an excellent financial safety net if injury, illness or mental health issues prevent you from working,” he continued. “Mental health issues are on the rise in the U.S. and most workers are not offered paid time off, so disability insurance can really provide peace of mind that your finances will remain intact if you need time away from work for to take care of what matters most.”

More from GOBankingRates

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” ​​as a celebrity news expert.

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *