Mental Health Disorders That Qualify for DisabilityAugust 28, 2023
You might be asking yourself “What is Mental Health Disorder?”. Is it the same as Mental Illness? And does it qualify for disability in the same way as Mental Illness? Also called Mental Health Conditions, Mental Health Disorders or Mental Illness are terms used interchangably by the Canadian government, healthcare professionals and insurance companies alike.
The good news: there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of mental health disorders that qualify for disability under Canadian law. The bad news: the vast majority of initial claims are delayed, denied or only approved for short-term benefits. Applicants often focus on one or the other of these key questions, namely how to get approved or what mental health disorders qualify for disability?
Support From Your Doctor is Essential
Documentation from your doctor that supports your claim of having a verifiable mental disorder will not always guarantee an approval of benefits. However, without you doctor’s support, there is no chance at all of ever receiving benefits. Having a competent doctor who will back up your claim with reasonable explanations is the first component of a successful disability claim. Of course, all claims must be based on one of the many disorders that can qualify in the first place.
Mental Health Disorders That Qualify for Disability
For the purposes of CPPD (Canada Pension Plan Disability), private insurers, and employer-based insurance, there are many mental health disorders that qualify for disability. It’s impractical to list all the specific names of particular maladies, but a listing of mental health disorder types includes the following:
- General and specialized forms of depression
- Occasionally PTSD in limited cases such as law enforcement or COVID-19 exposure
- Various degrees of eating disorders
- Brain damage
- General and chronic anxiety
- Anxiety caused by Covid-19 (in limited cases)
- Alzheimer’s Disease and related varieties of dementia
- Bipolar disorder
What is a Mental Health Disorder?
Qualifying for benefits is a legal question best addressed by a lawyer. The laws of Canada specifically describe situations in which an individual can obtain compensation for a mental disability. Professional, medical definitions often differ from legal ones, and that is the case with mental health law in Canada. Sometimes, even when your doctor can positively state that you suffer from a serious mental health disorder, an insurance provider might be able to deny your claim.
This sad state of affairs can arise in several ways. One example is when insurers hire their own doctors who disagree with your physician. In other cases, there are different definitions of what constitutes a “mental disorder” under disability law and medical protocol. Anyone who tries to navigate the system and attempt to obtain disability payments without professional legal help is usually headed for a denial of benefits.
What Competent Legal Help Can Do
A lawyer who specializes in Canadian disability applications is uniquely qualified to usher a client through the process. That journey begins with a written document of application to either CPPD, an employer or a private insurance carrier. In every case, you’ll need to have two individuals in your camp for a successful result: your doctor and your lawyer.
A lawyer’s key role consists of several tasks:
- Making sure all paperwork if filled out accurately
- Helping clients answer any written questions from insurance companies
- Seeing to it that every deadline is met
- Keeping the client up to date on all developments throughout the application process
- Acting as the in-court representative for applicants if the case ends up before a judge
People who suffer from mental disorders often face a double problem when it comes to obtaining disability benefits. First, they are involved in a complex legal situation that would lead to significant mental stress for the healthiest of individuals. Second, they have to figure out how to coordinate all the tasks of obtaining benefits within a highly complex legal environment.
That’s why it’s imperative for anyone with a mental disorder to find legal help as quickly as possible. Contact a lawyer who has several years of experience helping clients apply for and successfully receive disability benefits.
Content Updated: Originally published January 09, 2020
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