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I’ve gone over and over the criteria for successfully acquiring life insurance if you have bipolar disorder, really any mood disorder, the same criteria posted our bipolar life insurance site.

1. Someone who has not been hospitalized for bipolar disorder other than for diagnosis?
2. Someone who has not attempted suicide or had bouts with suicidal ideations?
3. Someone who is compliant with their treatment, both medications and regular followups?
4. Someone who is leading a stable family life or social life?
5. Someone who is exhibiting a stable work life?
6. Someone who is not on disability for bipolar and does not have issues with drinking or drugs? If there’s a problem here, then the answers to 3, 4 and 5 are no.
7. Better rates are available when control is maintained without anti psychotic drugs.

Emphasis today on the issue of disability and how that plays into the whole underwriting process. Underwriters are looking for compliance, control and stability. Stability and control in the context of bipolar disorder, in the minds of the best underwriters we have on our side, are reflected in a person’s ability function and maintain a stable job and family situation in real life.

Being on disability for bipolar is a big asterisk next to stability and control. The thought process is that if you can’t function in society and hold down a job, as in being on disability (as opposed to unemployed which can hardly be held against anyone right now), just how well controlled is your disorder?

And remember also that, in the mind of the underwriter and the company, they are accessing your need to replace lost income of which there is very little when you are on disability. Also, in the case of social security disability, at least part of your disability income carries on past death to your surviving spouse.

Bottom line. When it comes to mood disorders you can’t be on disability or be applying for disability for the disorder (having your cake) and claim good control and stability in order to get life insurance (eating it too!).