When many people hear the word “disability” they immediately imagine an individual that has a physical condition that substantially impairs one or more major activities in their life, including the act of employment. However, as an experienced disability lawyer in Alabama, we know that physical disabilities aren't the only that fall under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Disabilities related to mental illnesses are also protected under the ADA, and it's very important to know this as mental health issues are largely misunderstood in our society, creating many opportunities for unintentional discrimination as well as the malicious variety.
If you or someone you love is disabled because of a mental health issue, it's imperative that you become educated on the topic so that you have a full understanding of your rights.
If you feel that you or someone you love has been discriminated against because of a mental health issue, please don't hesitate to contact the disability lawyers at The Martin Law Group in Tuscaloosa. We have many years of experience, fighting on behalf of our clients to get them the benefits guaranteed by law.
What Mental Illnesses Qualify For Disability?
The Social Security Administration has set forth a comprehensive list of mental disorders and disabilities that are covered under the ADA and therefore qualify for disability benefits. These disorders include
- Depression-related illnesses
- Anxiety-related disorders
- Psychotic disorders
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual development disorder
- Low IQ
It's important to remember that even if your exact disorder isn't found on the list of covered mental health issues, you may still be eligible for benefits. The baseline for coverage is evidence that it's not possible for a mentally ill person to perform an unskilled job because of emotional, psychiatric, or brain related problems.
How To Know If You've Been Discriminated Against Because Of Mental Disability
There are many different situations that may would qualify as discrimination against a mentally disabled person. While we can't explore them all in this article, we can discuss some of the most common examples encountered by our disability lawyers in Tuscaloosa.
Denial Of Reasonable Accommodations At Work
This is a form of discrimination that our lawyers have encountered time and again in Alabama. Under the ADA, persons with mental health disabilities are entitled to make request for reasonable accommodations that will allow them to continue to perform their job. These include a flexible work schedule or start time, written directions and task lists, regular written or verbal feedback, a private space to rest during break times, and reduced noise or distractions in the work area. Refusal to address these reasonable requests is a form of discrimination and if you've experienced this, you should contact our disability lawyers in Tuscaloosa right away.
Denial Of Benefits
As we've discussed at length, mental health illnesses absolutely qualify an individual for both short- and long-term Social Security benefits. However, because mental health illnesses aren't as “obvious” as physical disorders, there have been instances where claims are denied. This is unacceptable and The Martin Law Group is here to help.
Contact our experienced ERISA disability lawyers for help in claiming what's rightfully yours.