Can You Receive Disability for Mental Illness?January 23, 2020
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one out of every five Canadians will experience mental illness during some time in their life. Other studies place that number at closer to 40 percent. What’s more, approximately 17 percent of all Canadians taking time away from work to address mental health challenges. The good news is that disability for mental illness is available. The bad news? These claims are widely misunderstood by employers and frequently denied on bogus grounds. Understanding these claims could go a long way towards getting the benefits you need. An experienced lawyer could also help ensure your claim is treated fairly.
Benefits for Disability for Mental Illness
The first thing to understand about recovering disability for mental illness benefits is that every insurance policy defines mental illness differently. In other words, what qualifies as a disability for one carrier might not for another. Generally speaking, benefits could be available for someone who is unable to maintain employment due to their mental health issues. The insurance company will not simply take your word for it, however. Your doctor will need to provide ample documentation to convince the insurance company that your condition is real. If successful, you could recover short term or even long-term disability benefits.
Short Term Disability for Mental Illness
Short term disability is aptly named. If your employer has coverage, you could receive short term disability for mental illness for up to six months at a time. These benefits are common when your healthcare provider anticipates you will be able to return to work. In some cases, you could receive long term benefits after a period of short-term benefits comes to an end.
Long Term Disability for Mental Illness
Long term disability for mental illness is only available in situations where other benefits have expired. This could include short term disability as well as other benefits like sick leave. Once these other benefits have been exhausted, long term disability could be an option if your doctor believes you are still unable to return to work.
The amount of these benefits varies from one plan to another. In general, long term disability typically pays between 60 and 70 percent of your standard wage. These benefits are usually available for up to two years. After two years, the insurance carrier will push you to find another line of work that you are suited for. If you are unable to work in any capacity due to your illness, you could recover long term benefits permanently.
Common Reasons Claims for Disability for Mental Health Disorders Are Denied
Have you been denied disability for mental illness? You are not alone. Insurance companies have wrongfully denied disability for mental illness claims for years, and this practice is unlikely to stop. While their reasoning can vary, these denials are often based on your efforts to seek mental health treatment.
Insurance companies are quick to deny a claim if they can show you are making no effort to get better. This could involve skipping out on regular visits with your primary care physician. It could also mean you are not regularly seeing a psychiatrist or receiving psychological treatment.
There are other excuses, too. Not only will your insurance company monitor you to ensure you are seeking medical care, but they will also judge the quality of that care. If they believe your mental health care is substandard, they will deny your claim for benefits. This is also the case if your healthcare providers fail to thoroughly document your treatment. Even if the treatment prescribed was appropriate and followed to the letter, substandard documentation could provide the insurance company with the grounds they need to deny the claim.
Have you been denied disability for mental illness previously? If so, an experienced lawyer might be able to help.
Disclaimer: The content of this article is a general guideline made available for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used as legal advice for the reader's specific situation nor in general. By reading our blog and website content, the reader acknowledges the above and understands there is no lawyer-client relationship created between you and Himelfarb Proszanski through this content. To get specific legal advice, we encourage you to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers to clarify the legal aspects of your situation.