Disability Claims for Mental Illness - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Friday, 11 August 2017

Disability Claims for Mental Illness

#AskKevinButler

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the extent to which mental illness is affecting workers in the country is shocking. Each week, more than 500,000 people are unable to work because they suffer from some form of mental illness. The cost of mental illness, according to the report, is a staggering $50 billion throughout the country. Looking at the problem from a local perspective, does not improve the picture.

The city of Toronto alone spent $44 million on long-term disability payments in a single year, which is a 50 percent jump over what it was spending only five years before. While mental health experts agree that treatment is available to help people suffering from mental illness to recover, one in five people suffer from mental health and addiction problems in any given year, and one out of every two Canadians report suffering from mental illness at some point in their life by the time they are 40 years of age.

Mental disorders and disability claims

Mental illness can affect every aspect of a person’s life, but it is an illness that few people afflicted by it feel comfortable discussing with others. Included among the many forms of mental health disorders leading to short- and long-term disability are the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

These disorders can, either alone or in combination, affect an individual’s ability to work. Unlike a physical illness or injury which can be seen, the fact a co-worker or employee is suffering from a mental disorder can go unrecognized making it difficult for others to reach out to help.

Ontario Human Rights Code

Someone suffering from mental health disabilities in Ontario is protected by the Human Rights Code against discrimination and harassment in the following areas:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Facilities and services
  • Contracts
  • Union membership
  • Trade and professional association membership

Under the code, a person suffering from depression or other mental health disorder cannot be denied promotions, fired or not hired because of the disorder. Employers are obligation to accommodate the needs of workers suffering from mental health disabilities except where to do so would be an undue hardship.

Disability claims for mental illness

Individuals suffering from a mental disability severe enough to keep them from working may qualify for benefits under the Canada Pension Plan. The plan offers monthly benefits for individuals with long-term physical or mental disabilities.

The difficulty many people have with disability claims is the process by which insurance companies manage them. The use of independent doctors by insurance companies to review the findings of the physician actually treating the patient frequently results in claim denials or benefit terminations where the reviewing doctor disagrees about the long-term nature or the severity of the disability.

Claims can also be denied on the basis of inadequate medical support for the claim. People who are ashamed or embarrassed by their disability might not seek professional help right away. This could result in a lack of documentation of the illness or of the nature of the disability.

Knowledgeable personal injury lawyers

If you suffer from a mental disorder that has made it impossible for you to work, you do not have to be ashamed to seek the help you need to obtain disability benefits. The compassionate personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond are ready to help. They have years of experiencehandling all types of claims. Don’t delay, contact our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now about your claim. Consultations are free, and we have offices located throughout Ontario.

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