Depression and anxiety are on the rise among Canadians, reaching heights we haven’t seen since the pandemic. As a result, people claiming depression long-term disability is similarly growing more common among Canadians; not only are these people suffering from a potentially debilitating mental illness, but too often they are denied the benefits they need to sustain them financially while they are unable to work.
Unfortunately, the Canada Pension Plan disability benefits program (also known as CPPD benefits) has been found to deny about 60% – but upon appeal, about half of applicants were successful in receiving benefits they were formerly denied. But more often than not, CPPD benefits, even if approved, is not enough to cover basic needs. Insurance companies are not required to disclose their benefit denial rates, but we can assume that disability insurance claims are likely to have roughly similar denial rates.
Working with a long-term disability lawyer in Toronto can help with both your initial claim as well as the appeals process if you were initially denied, ensuring you receive the compensation you were entitled to – and that applies disability for depression.
We’ll now clarify depression disability and the options available to you by answering your common questions – starting with the most important one: can I get disability for depression and anxiety?
Can I Get Disability for Depression and Anxiety?
As an experienced long-term disability lawyer in Toronto, I’ve heard “can I get disability for depression and anxiety” too many times to count over the years.
The simple fact is that mental illness is an illness – not too dissimilar from a broken bone or concussion or a chronic disease. Mental illness is a disability. If it impairs your ability to work, you are entitled to benefits.
Disability benefits for depression are necessary to help people make ends meet while they begin to treat their illness. If you are facing a mental illness and have questions regarding depression long-term disability or have had your depression disability claim denied, please reach out for a free long-term disability lawyer free consultation.
Disability for Depression FAQ – Symptoms of Depression
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, seek out medical attention first and foremost. Depression is a potentially life-threatening illness that requires medical treatment in many cases.
If you’re struggling with depression and anxiety or just depression and the illness interferes with your ability to complete your normal job duties, with or without a formal diagnosis, then you can claim disability benefits for depression. Your long-term disability lawyer will walk you through the application process free of charge.
Some common symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and similar experiences
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling tense and restless
- Feeling enervated
- Outbursts of anger or frustration over seemingly minor issues
- Feelings of anxiety and agitation
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that formerly made you feel joyful, happy, etc.
- Inability to sleep or excessing sleeping
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Gain in appetite and weight gain
- Feeling slow-footed or slow-minded
- Feeling unworthy, guilty, or obsessing over past failures
- Suicidal thoughts
The list above is by no means exhaustive; again, please, if experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, the best move is to consult with a medical professional. Remember that major depression impacts over one in 20 adults in Canada; you’re not alone and help is available.
The next step is to find a suitable income replacement while you address your illness and get treatment. In that case, you can seek out disability benefits for depression and our long-term disability lawyers in Toronto can help.
Depression Disability in Canada – Does Depression Count as Disability in Canada?
The Canadian CPP does offer depression disability benefits to people that are eligible.
But as mentioned above, these claims tend to be over-denied. That means that upon first appraisal, the Government of Canada does tend to deny disability claims. But on appeal, most claims are then granted. Which means that you should not give up after a claim denial, and instead reach out to a long-term disability lawyer so they can make your case.
Is Depression Considered a Disability in Ontario?
You can make a disability claim for depression in Ontario as well, as the provincial laws don’t preclude nor contravene the federal mandates regarding disability depression.
Why Disability Benefits for Depression Are Commonly Denied
Now that we understand that you can apply for benefits if you suffer from depression, the next step is preparing your case to ensure that it has the best chance of success upon first applying.
One issue with depression as a case for disability is that, while it irrefutably can impact your ability to work or function in your day-to-day activities (work and otherwise), mental health issues do not always physically manifest.
Reasons that you may have your first claim for depression denied include:
- You did not seek medical attention fast enough or wasn’t appropriate
- Upon examination of evidence or surveillance, information contradicts your diagnosis
- You “seem” or “look” fine, or you said or “behaved” in a manner that indicated you may be fine
How to Improve Your Chances of a Successful Long-Term Disability Claim for Depression
Seek Medical Attention When Symptoms First Appear
Not only is this good practice for your health but can also play a role in the strength of your disability application. Long-term disability benefits can be denied if you took too long to seek out medical attention, so it’s best to see your doctor to talk about your symptoms and keep a record. Even better if you’re able to have your doctor keep notes regarding your symptoms.
When you make your claim, evidence (including medical evidence) may be needed to help decide your case, making seeking early medical attention potentially invaluable.
Maintain Records of Your Symptoms
As mentioned, medical records detailing your experience with depression can help you make your case when seeking benefits.
That said, while medical records and notes are highly important, having your own documentation regarding your feelings is also important. If you can maintain a journal of your moods and other symptoms this can be helpful for both your medical professional when they determine best treatment options as well as potentially helpful when making your disability claim.
Need Support with Your Depression Long-Term Disability Claim? Unified LLP Is Here to Help
If you’re struggling with mental illness and depression, the last thing you need is the additional stress of fighting to access the financial benefits you need to support you or your loved ones during treatment.
Unified LLP is a long-term disability law firm in Toronto dedicated to helping our clients access the benefits they are entitled to. Even if your first claim was denied we can help you prepare your application or prepare your appeal to ensure that you maximize its potential for success.
Get a disability lawyer free consultation with us so we can better assess your case and begin building your claim if we move forward. Get in touch with us today and get access to the benefits you are rightly owed.