Mental Health and Long-Term Disability: Are You Covered?

Mental Health Issues | Tim Louis & Company Law in Vancouver
In the not so distant past, employers viewed mental health issues as temporary and less serious than other physical injuries. At the time, having a mental health disability resulting from a traumatic event was not seen as a legitimate reason to be approved for disability — only physical injuries were considered to be applicable for disability claims. Sadly, psychological or emotional related claims were not seen as harmful to the quality of life.

Today, with more awareness and education about the damaging effects mental health issues can have on individuals and their ability to work and lead a normal, healthy life, mental health is now discussed more and has been proven to be a frequent and substantial issue among Canadians. Each year, thousands of British Columbians miss work due to a mental health-related disability.

Long-term Disability & Mental Health Through Your Employer

As an employee who is covered by a disability insurance policy at work, you as a policyholder/employee have the right to submit a claim for benefits following a lengthy injury or illness. This claim submission will also include diagnosed with mental health conditions. Depending on the type of policy, you may have additional resources available to you where you can receive further assistance on steps to access mental health services, counsellors, and or educational materials where employees can have access to preventative measure guidance.

Time Limits on Recovering

It is important to note that you are not entitled to long-term disability benefits when you begin to experience mental health issues. Just like any other injuries, you must have experienced your disability for 2 years in which you were unable to sustain employment. However, there are some insurance policies that cover claimants under short-disability insurance, so it is important to clearly understand your policy.

No two policies are alike. Be warned that there are numerous insurers that will do all they can to avoid paying out to the applicant. In some cases, even when there is a valid policy in place, insurers will still do what they can to keep from paying out. This is when you need a qualified, trusted long-term disability lawyer who can represent you to fight back. Below are the most common reasons why mental health disability claims can be denied:

  • You have not completed the required details or have not been responsive to the insurer to ensure applications or documentation is updated to fulfill your policy.
  • Failing to seek treatment for mental illness can have numerous consequences for your disability claim. The insurance company may conclude that you refused to take the steps necessary to support your mental illness claim.
  • Your chosen medical professional has not documented your treatment. Insurance companies can deny an application even if your doctor has provided you with a thorough physical examination – if there is not thorough documentation, it is highly likely that your application could be denied.
  • Your doctor may not be providing you with the adequate care you require. An insurance company may deny a claim if they feel you need to see another professional who can provide you with better care for your needs.

Contact Your Trusted Long Term Disability Lawyer

A mental health disability can have a lasting impact on one’s quality of life. If you or a loved one has experienced a mental health issue, contact Tim Louis and his compassionate and experienced legal team today by calling 604-732-7678 or email timlouis@timlouislaw.com.