BRAUN: Mental health disability claims on the rise

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“The process of making a claim for a mental health disability is a very complicated process that people can attempt on their own,” Kotak said in a recent interview.

“Insurers make navigation difficult and have roadblocks along the way that make it virtually impossible for workers to get claims approved.”

In his business, there was a 50% increase in the year to June 2020 in the number of people seeking help with mental health claims.

“Depression and anxiety are commonly referred to as invisible illnesses,” Kotak said. “You can’t see them on an MRI. ”

This gives an insurance company the ability to deny a claim; even a doctor’s diagnosis can be dismissed as being based on a patient’s subjective complaints.

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“The insurance company can say there is no objective evidence, although a dialogue with the patient is often how doctors make a diagnosis.”

People feel lost when their request is denied, he said.

“They or their employer have a premium to cover such a rainy day, so they’re in shock. Dealing with insurance companies can only add to the stress.

“Many are leaving.”

There’s an internal appeal process, Kotak said, but it’s often only the left hand that judges the right.

“The vast majority of cases are rejected again.”

At this point, some people have been sorting out the situation for months. They are not getting any better. They can’t work.

“It doesn’t hurt to seek legal advice,” Kotak said.

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