Bipolar Disorder is characterized by periods of extreme euphoria followed by bouts of severe depression (cyclic mania.) A Bipolar diagnosis consists of a combination of several disorders, and may include physical conditions as well (such as chronic pain.) The wide range of severity makes this a commonly misdiagnosed and often denied basis for disability.
Symptoms include persistent hopelessness, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, isolation, fatigue, irritability, decreased or lack of motivation, chronic pain, morbid suicidal ideation, self-loathing and depersonalization.
Bipolar sufferers may display or develop periodic psychotic symptoms as well. Bipolar Disorder can manifest in mild or debilitating form, and may display varying degrees of intensity, making accurate diagnosis and treatment difficult.
Since Bipolar Disorder diagnoses are based on an self-reported experiences and observations by friends and family, then corroborated with clinical evaluation, medical documentation may be inconsistent. It is important the treating physician accurately report incidents, details and patterns to uphold the diagnosis.
Although Bipolar disorder is inconsistent and commonly event-affective, repeat assessments are normally not performed by the physician.
During the cycle, the patient may experience increased intensity of symptoms which are not documented in the physician’s statement, making bipolar disease a commonly denied but certainly valid disabling condition. Given the patient may experience productive phases between debilitating episodes, unique challenges face the insurance application during the review process.
Bipolar disorder is most often considered disabling when the claimant has experienced total inability to function in a work environment. Criteria may include consistent symptomatic manic episodes, depressive syndromes, or a combination of both. If you experience severe limitation of daily activity, inability to react with others in a normal way, or recurring episodes which last for extended periods of time, a Bipolar diagnosis may qualify you for long-term disability benefits. When applying or appealing a bipolar disorder claim, functional capacity, consistent episodes, and extreme reaction to nominal events may be important factors in the final determination of your claim.
If you have been diagnosed with Bipolar and your insurer has denied your claim or requested additional documentation, contact us before taking any additional action. Expert legal advise can help you to avoid costly pitfalls and loopholes, denials and underpayment of your long term disability insurance claim.