Does Depression Qualify for Long Term Disability?May 19, 2020
Depression is a common mental disorder. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of long term disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall burden of disease.
According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 70% of disability costs in the workplace are attributed to mental illness. In fact, 1/3rd of short-term disability and long-term disability insurance claims are related to mental health problems.
Depression varies in intensity and often worsens and becomes a serious health condition affecting your ability to function at work in any capacity. Depression can be a stand-alone condition, or it can be the result of a physical injury or illness, like chronic pain. If you’re battling a physical injury or illness, which also causes you to become depressed, it is important to seek medical attention for symptoms of depression.
Depression is a long-term disability. Depression can bring with it sadness, hopelessness, sleeplessness, and depleted energy and motivation, amongst other negative impacts on one’s ability to function at home, socially, and occupationally.
Depression is covered under long-term disability so long as depression is not an excluded medical condition under your long-term disability benefits policy. Most long-term disability policies in Ontario will cover disability arising from depression.
Successful Depression Disability Claims
If your doctor diagnoses you with depression and encourages you to take time off work until you can overcome depression, you may have a strong long-term disability claim.
To have a successful long-term disability claim for depression you have to seek treatment and follow your doctor’s advice. You will need extensive medical records and treatment records supporting your depression long-term disability claim.
If your disability insurer denies your depression disability claim or terminates your disability benefits, it will normally offer you an opportunity to appeal the decision. This is an informal appeal process involving you and your insurance company. This appeal process usually involves the submission of further medical information that your insurance company has not yet reviewed.
In our experience, once a disability insurance company decides to deny your claim or terminate your long-term disability benefits to get it to change its decision on an appeal.
If you are unable to get your insurance company to change its decision to deny your claim or terminate your benefits, and you have supportive medical evidence that you are totally disabled from working, you can start a lawsuit against your long-term disability insurer for long-term disability benefits that have been improperly denied.
There are time limits to start a lawsuit against your long-term disability insurer. So, if you’re in a situation where you have submitted all of your supportive medical evidence and your insurance company refuses to approve your long-term disability application, then you need to consult an experienced disability lawyer who will help you decide on what the next steps should be and ensure that you comply with timelines to start a lawsuit against your insurance company.
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