Psychiatric Disability and Psychological Disability Claims
Psychiatric and psychological disabilities such as: depression; mood/anxiety disorder; and, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are serious conditions that can prevent individuals from working. Acknowledging and addressing a disability may seem like an intimidating task as it may require a wide variety of support and treatment, but it is vital to take care of yourself for the sake of both you and your family. For some individuals, counselling, treatment, and medication may help to resolve or manage their condition relatively quickly, allowing them to achieve normal functionality and return to work. However, due to the unique circumstances of each individual some may still not be able to return to work as they require longer treatment and further medication to help them recover.
In Canadian society, mental illness or disabilities are often hidden, but nonetheless they are still prevalent and it is important that those who need care can receive it. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, on any given week, at least 500,000 employed Canadians are unable to work due to mental illness, including approximately 355,000 disability cases due to mental and/or behavioural disorders. With mental health increasingly factoring into disability claims, the insurance companies have responded by enforcing more rigid standards when assessing any mental disability claim. Due to the nature of psychiatric and psychological disability claims it is hard to medically document their impact on a person`s life and as a result insurance companies deny claims due to a lack of ‘evidence’ of a disability.
If your condition is so severe that you are unable to return to work then it is important that you take the necessary action to ensure that you receive the care you need. A prominent concern is having sufficient financial resources in order to treat your condition and get better as well as to cover the expenses of everyday life. Treatment such as cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy, counselling and medication for nervousness, sleep disorders, and depression can be very expensive especially over a long period of time. If insurance companies deny or terminate your benefits this may leave you with the financial burden of having to pay for treatment yourself.
It is important to find a lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to handle psychiatric or psychological disability claims. The existence of a mental illness cannot be proven with an x-ray or blood test; therefore, you need a lawyer who is familiar with understanding medical diagnoses and treatments of mental illness. In addition, your lawyer must be able to understand the emotional strain the disability itself and the legal process can put on you and your family.
An advocate should provide the knowledge and advice required so that a claimant can receive the benefits they need and are entitled to by law. If an insurer denies a claimant’s benefits an advocate should be able to provide the support necessary to help restore the client’s peace of mind.