A large percentage of the disability insurance claims that are denied across Canada are claims for mental health conditions. In fact, a large percentage of all disability insurance claims are made by those managing symptoms of mental illness. Mental health issues are connected to the majority of claims based on physical disabilities, and no one seems to be immune from the wide variety of conditions and symptoms encompassed under the term mental illness.
Because mental health issues are so pervasive in society today, it’s important to continue talking about how these invisible disabilities are impacting those managing the symptoms, their friends and family, and especially the rights of those who can no longer work due to new or worsening symptoms.
May 2-8, 2022 is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s 71st annual Mental Health Week. To do our part in continuing to raise awareness in an attempt to decrease stigma, we’re sharing our experience and knowledge around why so many LTD benefit claims for mental health are denied.
Why Are Invisible Disabilities So Often Denied LTD Benefits?
Insurance companies have many typical methods to deny mental health claims. Workplace stress, major depressive episodes, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are a few of the most frequently cited conditions that form the basis for disability insurance claims. But why are these types of claims so difficult?
Often this is because the symptoms are “invisible” - they don’t show up on an x-ray, MRI, or other types of medical tests. These conditions can also be more difficult to treat than many physical conditions. Insurance companies like to focus on the lack of appropriate medical treatment or the failure to obtain any treatment as a reason for an immediate denial. Finding support and treatment for mental health can also be more complicated than it would be for physical disabilities, as some treatment is not covered by health benefits, and there remains an unfortunate stigma around seeking both talk therapy and/or medical treatment.
The fact is that physical and mental conditions, though both disabling, need to be measured in different ways, as they are treated differently by society, the healthcare system, and the insurance companies.
The Claims Process Can Be Frustrating
Many people applying for the long term disability benefits that they deserve are not at their best – they are often managing serious and painful symptoms and are worried about their health and future income. Once an application for long term disability benefits has been submitted, the insurance company will often look for technicalities to make obtaining benefits as difficult as possible.
Even the most thoroughly and accurately prepared applications for disability benefits can be met with a common denial for the reasoning that the information provided is not sufficient to establish entitlement to disability benefits. For those living with the symptoms – this could not be further from the truth.
In addition to this, the insurance companies often ask for forms to be filled out and to additional information to be provided repeatedly, sending you in circles. This is incredibly frustrating when you’re already going through so much.
In the face of repeated requests for more information and the rejection of your claim, contacting an experienced disability claim insurance lawyer may be your only recourse. Insurance companies know that they can take advantage of individual people but will give in more easily when there are lawyers involved.
Please remember that no matter how hard it may seem, support is out there. When it comes to the long term disability benefits that you deserve, our experienced long term disability lawyers can help take on your case.
Associate Lawyer Janice Grevler discusses why mental health claims should meet the insurance company’s definition of disability.
If you have had your claim for long term disability denied,contactthe long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our 35+ years of experience in long term disability (LTD) law can help you win your case against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and other insurance companies. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.