Can Short-Term Disability Help With Mental Health Conditions?

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can I get short term disability for mental health


When you’re struggling with your mental health and finding it hard to do your job, it can be tough. But there’s help available through something called short-term disability. It’s okay to ask for support when you need it. In this article, we’ll talk about how short-term disability can help people with mental health issues. We’ll explain what you need to do to qualify and how to apply for it. If your claim gets denied, we’ll also discuss what you can do next.

These topics will covered in this blog:

When should one pursue short-term disability benefits?

When grappling with mental health challenges, maintaining motivation and concentration can be difficult. You may struggle with organizing thoughts or managing stress, hindering your ability to perform effectively at work. Continuing to work under these conditions could exacerbate your condition and potentially jeopardize your job if essential duties cannot be fulfilled.

If your mental health is impeding your work performance, it may be prudent to explore short-term disability options. Since insurance policies vary, consulting your employer’s plan documents is necessary to ascertain available benefits. We’ll delve into that shortly.

There’s no need to feel ashamed about reaching out for support. If you’re grappling with a significant mental health challenge, seeking help is a courageous step. Life presents obstacles for all of us, and it’s natural to struggle at times. The past year has been particularly taxing for many, and it’s entirely understandable if you’re finding it tough to cope, just like countless others.

Is Mental Health Eligible for Short-Term Disability?

Assess Your Eligibility

Before taking any further steps, be sure to reach out to your Human Resources department to confirm if your employer offers short-term disability coverage. It’s crucial to note that not all employers include short-term disability insurance in their benefits package.

To qualify for short-term disability benefits, you need to fulfill specific criteria regarding working hours and have a qualifying condition outlined in your policy. Mental health coverage may vary, so reviewing your plan documents is essential to determine eligibility.

Once you’ve confirmed your employer provides this benefit and that mental health conditions are covered by the policy, you can proceed with initiating the claims process.

Collect Your Supporting Documents

Documentation is necessary to demonstrate how your mental health condition hinders your ability to carry out crucial job responsibilities. Consult your company’s HR department or the claims administrator from your insurance provider for guidance on the specific documentation needed.

You’ll usually need to complete three distinct forms, which consist of:

  • An Employee Statement to be filled out by you
  • An Employer Statement required from your company
  • An Attending Physician Statement to be completed by your doctor

Note If you consult multiple doctors for your condition, each one will need to complete an Attending Physician Statement. Similarly, if you have multiple therapists or both a therapist and a psychiatrist, each of them should fill out a form.

Submit Your Forms to the Claims Administrator

Upon completion of your forms, you’ll usually submit them to your claims administrator. However, always double-check any instructions provided on the forms themselves to ensure proper submission.

What is the Timeline for Receiving Short-Term Disability Benefits?

Receiving short-term disability benefits can vary in timing depending on factors such as your condition and the efficiency of your claims administrator. In most cases, after submitting your claim, you can anticipate receiving benefits within a window of one to 14 days.

Typically, benefits are expected to commence within a span of one to fourteen days after the submission of a claim.

Nevertheless, several factors, including the medical condition’s severity, claim intricacy, and the procedures of the claims administrator, can influence this timeline. Maintaining communication with the claims administrator is vital for obtaining an accurate estimate of when benefits will be disbursed.

Dealing with a Denied Claim for Short-Term Disability

Common Limitations Found in Insurance Policies

For instance, certain disability policies might exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. If your mental health condition is pre-existing or ongoing, it may not be covered under your disability insurance.

Upon denial of your short-term disability claim, you will receive a denial letter via mail. This correspondence will outline the reasons for the denial and provide specific details regarding the decision. Additionally, it will include instructions on how to proceed with appealing the decision.

You’re entitled to appeal

In the event of a denial of your short-term disability claim, you have the right to appeal, but it’s crucial to act swiftly. Upon receipt of the denial letter, you must file an appeal within 180 days.

When submitting your appeal, ensure to provide ample information to support your case. If your initial submission lacked complete medical records, include comprehensive and updated medical evidence.

Additionally, consider including a personal statement outlining how your mental health issue affects your work capability. Letters of support from friends or family members can also bolster your appeal.

Streamlining the Claims Process: Tips for Efficiency

Navigating the disability claim process can be intricate, particularly when contending with a significant mental health condition. Engaging an adept attorney can greatly alleviate this burden.

At Roy Law Group, we specialize in advocating for clients against disability insurance providers. Our adept and empathetic attorneys are poised to assist you at every juncture of the short-term disability claim procedure.

Having legal representation significantly heightens the likelihood of a successful claim outcome. Roy Law Group is dedicated to simplifying this process, allowing you to prioritize your health and welfare.

Start your mental health treatment today

Mental health in our lives, it’s crucial to have the necessary support and tools for its management. Short-term disability insurance serves as a valuable resource for individuals facing mental health challenges that impact their work. Understanding your policy, legal entitlements, and the claims procedure is key to accessing these vital benefits. Seeking assistance is a sign of resilience, not weakness, and prioritizing your mental well-being is essential for both personal fulfillment and professional success.

If you or someone you know is grappling with mental health issues, reach  Buckhead Behavioral Health. We’re here to assist you in reclaiming your life and forging a new, fulfilling path forward.


In this blog, we’ve learned that short-term disability can provide valuable support for individuals struggling with mental health conditions that impact their ability to work effectively. We’ve explored the steps involved in assessing eligibility, collecting necessary documentation, and submitting a claim for benefits. Additionally, we’ve discussed common limitations in insurance policies and the importance of appealing a denied claim within the designated timeframe. Seeking legal representation, like that offered by Roy Law Group, can streamline the claims process and improve the chances of a successful outcome. Remember, reaching out for help is a courageous step, and there’s no need to feel ashamed.


Q1. Can mental stress be considered a short-term disability?

A1. Short-term disability typically covers behavioral health issues like anxiety, depression, and stress. However, navigating the claims process for these conditions can be challenging.

Q2. When does mental illness become a disability?

A2. According to the ADA, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. If a mental health condition meets this criteria, individuals are entitled to workplace rights under the ADA.

Q3. Is poor mental health considered a disability?

A3. According to the Equality Act 2010, someone with poor mental health may be considered disabled if it substantially affects their life, such as difficulty focusing on tasks or prolonged impairment lasting at least 12 months.

Q4. What is the distinction between mental illness and disability?

A4. Mental illness can often be temporary, triggered by events like loss or anxiety, whereas a disability, such as an intellectual disability, is typically permanent with no cure.

Q5. Is anxiety classified as a short-term illness?

A5. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is diagnosed when extreme worry persists for six months or longer. While milder cases may not significantly impact daily activities, severe cases can profoundly affect one’s life.

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