The key to a successful disability claim is to gather enough evidence to prove that you are in fact disabled. This can be accomplished by staying organized, keeping records of all appointments, and listing any test results or diagnoses on your claim. In the event that you have a mental health condition, it is important to get your diagnosis noted with your doctor. Sharing these details can help you make a case for disability benefits.
Long Term Disability and Mental Illness Claims
The demand for mental health coverage is growing. Approximately one in five Canadians suffer from mental health issues every year and one in two have, or have had, a mental illness by the time they are 40. That translates to millions of individuals who could be affected.
Additionally, there is a prevalence of positive screens for mental health disorders throughout the pandemic. Twenty-one percent of adults were screened positive for mental illnesses such as major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder. Moreover, nearly half of disability claims among younger employees in 2021 were related to mental health issues, according to a new report by RBC Insurance.
There are many types of mental health issues — any of which can cause disability. Knowing which mental health issue you have will provide a foundation to help prove your disability claim.
Long Term Disability and Depression
Depression negatively affects your thoughts, behaviour, feelings, and sense of well-being. Depressive symptoms can be experienced in different combinations and may vary depending on the person. It generally interferes with their social and working life. Here is a list of symptoms you can experience when you are depressed:
- Permeative feelings of sadness, loneliness, and worthlessness (lasting for longer than two weeks)
- Loss of energy
- Inability to focus
- Delayed speech and slowed physical movements
- Unhealthy sleep patterns (excessive sleeping or insomnia)
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in body weight
- Suicidal thoughts
Apart from the above, there are also different types of depression (Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder). To ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis, consult a doctor. The diagnosis process can vary from patient to patient. In some cases, a mental health counsellor or licensed therapist may diagnose depression without the need to see a doctor.
This will help you get a fair claim of long-term disability for depression. It will provide exact details about your symptoms and how they specifically interfere with your ability to perform your duties.
Long Term Disability and Anxiety
There are several types of anxiety disorders. Each form of anxiety is unique and triggers different symptoms. The severity level is also vast, ranging from mild to severe cases. Here are the five major types of anxiety disorders:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
In addition to emotional and cognitive symptoms of anxiety disorders, some people experience physical symptoms. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Panic attacks
All of these can contribute to your disability. To get long-term disability claims for anxiety, you will need to prove that you are unable to work because of it. Contact a mental health professional, preferably experienced in treating your type of anxiety disorder.
Medical evidence is important. Without objective medical evidence from your treating doctor and other medical professionals, you are less likely to be successful in getting a disability claim. In most cases, you will also need proof that you are going through the necessary treatment for your anxiety.
Types of Mental Health Disability Benefits and Claims
There are several kinds of benefits that may help pay for the cost of caring for yourself when living with a mental health disability. From the government, you may be able to get Employment Insurance benefits or Canada Pension Plan disability benefits. There are also different types of benefits that you can receive from your employer. These include health care plans, disability insurance, and sponsored pension.
If you have severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functioning, you may be entitled to the disability tax credit (DTC). It is a non-refundable tax credit that provides financial assistance when you are disabled, as it is a form of tax equity. DTC provides relief for disability costs because these are additional expenses, which are unavoidable, that others don’t have to worry about.
LTD Limitations on Mental and Nervous Conditions
However, despite many people getting diagnosed with mental illnesses, it’s still challenging to be approved for LTD. This is especially true for depression and anxiety, which can be tough to diagnose and even harder to prove. In some cases, the opinion of a physician won’t be enough for insurers to accept your long-term disability claim.
Let’s take Mary as an example. Mary has been a manager for four years. She has been experiencing burnout and anxiety due to the many pressures of her job. She consulted a physician; however, her insurance company only accepts assessments from physiatrists. But, booking an appointment with a physiatrist would take three months. This is one of the barriers that a claimant may face.
Depression and Bipolar Disorder Documentation for LTD Claim
Keep all relevant medical records.
It’s important to have all of your medical records ready in case you need to make a claim. You want the doctor treating you to know what treatment was prescribed, why it was prescribed, what symptoms were not being treated, and any other records that are relevant.
Create a personal journal.
Mood tracking is a good way to get to know your symptoms and record the changes it has made in your life. Record those areas that cause the most problems for you. Add as much detail as possible to your entries and note patterns over time.
Get professional help as soon as possible.
The sooner you get help, it will be easier for you to experience relief. Seek professional help right away.
If you’re suffering because of a mental health condition, schedule an appointment with Diamond & Diamond lawyers to seek compensation and damages.
“If you’re experiencing sudden changes in your general well-being, see your therapist because you might be suffering from a mental health condition.”
– Diamond & Diamond
Diamond & Diamond and Mental Illness Disability Claims
Long-term disability can cover mental health claims. However, it is challenging. The denial of claims for mental health benefits by insurance companies is common. In most cases, the disability claim is contested by a company that wants to settle for less than the person’s actual disability justifies. This is why it is essential to gather all the information you need to make the process easier.
Representing clients with disabilities in insurance claims since 2019, Diamond & Diamond has provided Canadians with the quality legal representation they deserve. Contact