Depression and Long-term Disability Claims

Depression and Long-term Disability Claims

Everyone experiences occasional moments of sadness. However, persistent feelings of despair or disinterest in daily activities may indicate depression. This serious and pervasive mental health condition requires professional attention and support for effective management and recovery.

Depression is one of Canada’s primary causes of disability, representing the largest share of disability claims among mental health disorders. As mental health awareness has increased, so too have depression-related disability claims, notably for long-term disability. Unfortunately, not all claims are honoured despite the significant burden that depression imposes.

This article explores depression’s complexities as a basis for long-term disability claims, the challenges faced by claimants during the claims process and how a Toronto disability lawyer can assist in claims denial cases.

The Complexities of Depression

Depression is a complex mood disorder impacting around 16 million people globally. Over two million Canadians struggle with the disease each day, making it one of the most common mental health disorders. 

The condition is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, despair and lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities. These feelings can last for prolonged periods or seasons. Those affected may also experience changes in appetite or sleep, fatigue, trouble focusing and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Depression can be debilitating, even leading to prolonged work absences that jeopardize a person’s income and financial stability. 

Treatment often combines psychotherapy, medication and lifestyle changes, which can be financially burdensome for the depressed person. That said, early recognition and intervention are crucial for effective management and improved quality of life. Despite its prevalence, depression remains widely misunderstood and stigmatized, often leading to underdiagnosis and undertreatment.

Depression is challenging to diagnose due to its diverse and often subtle symptoms, which vary among individuals. Symptoms may also overlap with other mental or physical health conditions, complicating diagnosis. If you think you might be depressed, it’s wise to seek a medical professional’s opinion. 

Depression and Long-Term Disability Claims 

This condition can be debilitating. As such, numerous national and provincial government programs and private insurers offer long-term disability or financial assistance for those unable to work due to long-term depression. 

To access these benefits, individuals must meet the eligibility criteria set out by the insurers or relevant government agencies. This process involves a claims process that can be simplified with the help of a Toronto disability lawyer

The Claims Process

While claims proceedings for insurers and government programs vary, they typically involve submitting an application and supporting documentation. The insurers or government agencies review the application, assess the evidence and then make an evaluation. The documents required include:

  • medical evidence indicating depression and severity from a licensed healthcare professional 
  • proof of work interference
  • treatment history
  • medication regimes 
  • therapeutic interventions 
  • evidence of adherence to the guidelines set by insurers

Potential Challenges to Your Claim

The disability claims process can be daunting. Applicants must provide extensive documentation, including medical records and detailed reports supporting their claims through their employer or sometimes directly to them. Delays in assessments or decisions are common and can result in financial strain and emotional distress for those affected. 

Although depression can affect job performance, many insurers still deny legitimate depression-based claims. Especially when depression is triggered by a challenging or stressful work environment, claims will be denied if they are solely related to one’s workplace. Denied claims often require lengthy appeals processes and perhaps litigation through the assistance of experienced Toronto disability lawyers.

How a Toronto Disability Lawyer Can Help with Your Claim Denial

If your depression-based disability claim is denied, disability lawyers offer invaluable assistance. With their legal skill set, they can navigate the appeals process, gather additional evidence and represent you in hearings or negotiations with insurers. That increases the likelihood of overturning the denial and securing your rightful benefits. You can focus on recovery while a compassionate and expert legal counsel fights for you. 

Are You Having Trouble with Your Disability Claim?

If you’re struggling with depression and are facing obstacles in your long-term disability claim, contact Lecker & Associates. Our experienced and qualified Toronto disability lawyers can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf. 

Please contact our office at 416 223 5391 or fill out our online form which is secure and confidential. You will be given a free Assessment and, if it is appropriate and beneficial to you, our staff will arrange for a consultation with one of our staff Disability Lawyers at no charge to you.