Mental Health and Disability 102: Short Term Disability

Here is the short and sweet version of what short term disability means and how it works.

The first step to get on disability is to call the mental health services number on the back of your Concordia Plan Services healthcare card. It is CIGNA Behavioral Health. These are the people that give you prior authorization to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist On my card the number is 1-866-726-5267.

One of the big questions is: who determines whether you are disabled? A good question. You actually make the call to apply for disability, but it is your doctors that recommend you for disability. Finally, there is supposed to be a group of doctors who impartially determine whether you qualify for short term disability. They have two weeks to make that determination. It is helpful in this process (and they’ll give you all the addresses, etc…) to have numerous witnesses lined up. These should include as many of the following as possible:

  • Physician
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist/Counselor
  • Circuit Counselor or some other district rep
  • Spouse
  • Congregational President and/or Head Elder
  • Anyone else who can speak intelligently as to your medical condition.

This obviously requires more organizing that I wish. Frankly, it’s asking a lot at the exact time when you may have no energy or mental ability to handle it. You need someone to help you with this. It may be your spouse. It may be your counselor. It may be your circuit counselor. But someone else needs to help you get through it. That will bring us to our next topic: who do you tell and why?

Be at peace, friends. Our Lord is coming soon to release us from the bonds of sin and darkness which so beset us.


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