Are Psychiatric Patients Protected under the ADA?

mental disorder lawyerThis question comes up from time to time. Many people are aware that the American with Disability Act protects people who are physically disabled from being discriminated against. But it also protects people who are mentally challenged as well.

In fact, psychiatric disorders are the second most frequently cited disability by those filing a discrimination charge. For a person to be declared mentally disabled there needs to be a clear record of treatments and professional diagnosis. After they are legally declared mentally disabled they are protected under the ADA.

Officially a psychiatric disability is one that impairs one or more life activities of the disabled individual. The ADA protects the individual from being discriminated against in anyway and that includes employment.

Some types of discrimination a disabled person may face at work are:

  • Harassment
  • Illegal termination
  • Unfair disciplinary action
  • Unfair accommodations

Psychiatric disabilities covered are:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • schizophrenia
  • bi-polar (manic depression)
  • drug addiction

It is important to start down a well documented legal path to filing for mental disability so that you are covered under the ADA. If your disability prevents you from working, you may also be entitled to government payments.

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