Can You Get Disability for Mental Illness in Canada?
Yes, you may qualify for long term disability insurance benefits in Ontario based on a diagnosed mental health condition. In fact, about one in three disability claims in Canada are based on a diagnosed mental illness, according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
In addition to possibly qualifying for disability benefits, those who want to keep working despite their diagnosis may find it easier to do so. Under the law, workplaces must accommodate any disabilities caused by a documented mental health condition to the point of undue hardship, according to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits and Your Mental Health
If you have long term disability group coverage or a personal policy, you may be able to file a claim and qualify for benefits based on your medical records, mental health condition diagnosis, and other proof. To get approved, you may need to prove that you cannot work in your own occupation, at least initially. This centers on being able to complete the tasks required of your own position.
While LTD benefits do cover mental illness, these cases may be much more difficult to navigate and prove and to provide the necessary evidence to support ongoing disability benefits for mental illness.
If you build a strong case and get approved for LTD benefits, you will need to wait for the elimination period described by your policy to pass. You may qualify for short term disability during this time.
There May Be Other Options for Disability Income in Canada
While you fight to try to obtain the disability benefits possibly due to you based on your LTD policy, there may be other options you could apply for to ensure you have a continued income. These may include:
- Employment Insurance or Sickness Benefits, a Government of Canada program that offers up to 15 weeks of paid leave
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability Benefits, which may pay benefits if your mental illness is prolonged and severe, preventing you from working in any occupation
If you later get approved for LTD benefits through your group or private disability insurance carrier, they will offset any additional benefits you receive from these other programs. You may be able to receive between 50 and 85 percent of the total take-home pay you earned from working through a combination of these programs.
Fight a Denial of LTD Benefits Based on Your Documented Mental Illness
There are still serious stigmas surrounding mental health concerns in many workplaces and insurance companies in Ontario, and they may make it more difficult to get approval for the disability benefits you need if you cannot work your job because of your mental illness. If your LTD insurance carrier denied your claim for benefits, you may have the right to challenge this decision.
An Ontario disability lawyer may be able to help you file an internal appeal or pursue other actions to recover compensation for the benefits you deserve based on your medical condition and your disability policy.
If your claim based on a diagnosed mental health condition was denied, the Limitations Act of 2002, S.O. 2002, Chapter 24 only gives you a short time to take legal action. You could lose the right to do so if you miss the deadline. Filing an appeal may not extend the deadline beyond the second anniversary of the date on your denial notice.
Talk to a Disability Lawyer About Your Claim Denial
If your mental illness prevents you from handling the tasks required of you at work, you may qualify to get disability based on your mental illness diagnosis and other factors. If you already applied for benefits and received a denial, you may have options for fighting the denial and possibly recovering compensation for the benefits you missed.
A disability lawyer from Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to help you understand your options and take action on your behalf. We serve clients in Toronto and the surrounding areas of Ontario. If your mental health condition prevents you from leaving the area near your home, we may come to you for your consultation.
Call Preszler Injury Lawyers now at 1-800-JUSTICE to learn more or to get started today.