Addiction & Long-Term Disability: Are You Covered for Benefits?
Addiction resulting from prescription medication, gambling, or other substances, can be mentally and physically debilitating. While some individuals can walk into a casino and gamble a few times a year, others can become chronically addicted. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental health, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness or addiction problem in any given year.
Now More Widely Understood, Addiction is No Longer Considered a Choice
Unlike the United States, Canada views addiction as a disease. Human rights legislation protects individuals on the grounds of disability and includes those who suffer from drug and alcohol dependency.
If You Struggle With Addiction, You May Qualify for Long-Term Disability Benefits
Whether or not you qualify for long-term disability benefits from an insurance carrier depends on your employer’s group insurance policy. Specific requirements must be adhered to concerning rehabilitation and or treatment programs to qualify. It is important to distinguish between addiction regarding legal substances (alcohol, cannabis, prescribed medication) and illegal substances (cocaine, meth, heroin).
You can count on the team at Tim Louis Law to thoroughly review your private or group insurance policy to ensure that your rights are protected — providing you with peace of mind that in turn allows you to focus on treatment.
Insurance Companies Routinely Deny Claimants with Substance Abuse Issues
Insurers do not always make it easy to claim disability benefits since many companies do not consider addiction a disability. A qualified long-term disability lawyer can help. Your lawyer will challenge the insurer’s decision on your behalf, as many individuals do not realize that substance abuse is considered a disability in Canada.
Medical Evidence is Integral
Medical documentation as evidence is integral for any disability claim. The claimant must show that their addiction has inhibited their ability to function. The medical evidence must also meet private or group policy standards that dictate the criteria for eligibility.
Addiction treatment is almost always long-term as relapse is common if undergoing short-term treatment.
Typical treatment options are as follows:
- Medication if required
- Mental health evaluation
- Treatment for any mental health conditions if necessary
- Follow-up care for relapse prevention
Gambling as an Addiction
Just as serious of a condition as other more common addictions, compulsive gambling is on the rise in Canada and just as destructive. Gambling addiction leads to a range of personal and social harms such as depression, bankruptcy, anxiety, suicide, and abuse. Unfortunately, in Canada, compulsive gambling may not qualify as a disability.
Compliance Is Key
Compliance is key with regards to disability benefit eligibility. The individual seeking insurance benefits must proactively participate in treatment and/or rehabilitation programs to continue to receive compensation. Failure to do so will result in being disqualified or denied the claim.
Most policies have time limitations that can be difficult to interpret. If your application for disability benefits has been denied by an insurer, do not give up hope. We strongly encourage you to obtain legal advice from a trusted and experienced long term disability lawyer to discuss your dispute case to help navigate your way to a fair and equitable resolution of your claim.
Contact an Experienced & Empathetic Long-Term Disability Lawyer
If you are suffering from an addiction and unsure if you qualify for long-term disability benefits through an insurer, our trusted and compassionate team at Tim Louis and Company will protect your rights so you can focus on treatment and recovery. Reach out to us by calling 604-732-7678 or email email@example.com for a free consultation, and we will provide you with the best possible options.