Depression and long-term disability: Does it qualify?

With the global pandemic approaching a year, issues of poor mental health and depression are becoming more prevalent during the era of COVID-19. People are losing their jobs, their business and in some cases, even their homes. The thought alone is heart-wrenching enough. However, the idea of going through these issues when you’re recovering from a serious injury, illness or disease, is overwhelming too.

Many Canadians need to know whether they are entitled to any benefits when experiencing a mental health crisis. In this blog, we’ll speak about major disability benefit providers in Canada, the challenges of eligibility for a long-term disability claim, and the types of disability benefits available for depression.

How easy is it to secure depression benefits?

Firstly, it’s true that all disability benefit providers in Canada recognize depression as a disability. It’s a condition that can qualify for benefits. However, a diagnosis alone won’t qualify you. Ultimately, proving that depression or a mental health issue is keeping you from work can be difficult. Most providers focus on the severity of your symptoms and will consider previous, present and future medical treatment plans. They will also scrutinize how your symptoms affect your work and how hard you tried to keep working.

Keeping your documents in order and recording all necessary paperwork to assist your claim can go a long way in recovering long-term disability benefits. Nevertheless, a lot of individuals fear speaking out against their employer because they feel they will get fired – especially for depression. However, Canada’s human rights laws state that employers have a duty to help employees with medical conditions that affect their ability to work.

Challenges of eligibility for a long-term disability claim

With that in mind, we’ll walk you through some of the typical challenges that can arise when you’re trying to become eligible for a long-term disability claim. Remember, it is largely your responsibility to have medical records, to be in the care of a doctor and to participate in recommended treatment. Still, issues with insurance companies can typically occur. Some common ones include:

1. Inaccessible health records

Being able to access your medical records, as mentioned, is critical to successfully processing your long-term disability claim. If you’re somehow unable to get accurate, up-to-date records from your doctor and/or medical professional, insurance companies will either delay making a decision on your claim or they could flat out deny your claim or appeal based on a lack of evidence. At De Rose Lawyers, we advise our clients to make copies of all documents received and keep a log of dates in which they’ve visited their care provider.

2. Adequate employment options

It’s not uncommon for an insurance company to deny a disability claim or stop payments of benefits because they feel that you should be able to find work. Insurance companies can outsource rehabilitation experts or occupational therapists to determine if you’re capable of going back to work. They can also encourage you to go back to work on a part-time, or gradual basis. At times and in specific cases, we advise our clients to do that, even if unsuccessful. Saying you tried is better than saying you did nothing.

Moreover, another hurdle arises in situations where people are being laid off and have no job to return to. Lack of opportunity isn’t likely to help you become eligible for long-term disability or depression benefits. Again, this is where your doctor and medical records will come into play. Performing some sort of activity until a final diagnosis is reached can be beneficial in the final outcome of your claim.

3. Attending treatment sessions

In our experience, accessibility issues and transportation costs are one of the main reasons that clients are unable to meet their treatment goals. Even still, some offer videoconferences. Do your best to find medical professionals that offer more than in-person sessions — especially during COVID-19.

What types of depression benefits are available?

If you’re unable to work due to depression or disability, there are several types of depression benefits available.

  • Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Veterans Affairs Canada
  • Provincial Disability Benefits
  • Disability Tax Credit
  • CPP Disability
  • Workers’ Compensation

Contact De Rose Lawyers today

Ultimately, De Rose Lawyers will fight for your rights when you’ve suffered a personal injury that led to depression and chronic pain. If your insurance company has denied your claim, we can help. For a consultation about your options and next steps, call us at 1-855-337-6731 today.