Disability lawyers see fewer accidents but more mental health claims during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Behind the scenes of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s another equally concerning, silent pandemic. In Canada, mental health is the leading cause of disability, and 50% of Canadians say their mental health has worsened since the beginning of the pandemic. Job loss, anxiety and fear related to the virus, financial uncertainty, isolation, and other public health safety measures and restrictions are all contributing factors. More Canadians are filing mental health disability claims during Covid as pre-existing conditions worsen and new ones arise.
Signs and symptoms of worsening mental health
Some causes and triggers of mental illness include stress, financial difficulties, abuse, chronic medical conditions, traumatic events, and more. Numerous biological, psychological, and environmental factors contribute to the development and worsening of mental health disorders. Even if you feel that you live a very privileged and generally ‘good’ life, you can still struggle with your mental health. Some people filing mental health claims during Covid may even be experiencing these symptoms for the first time – you’re not alone.
Signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Significant loss of energy and motivation
- Troubles sleeping or sleeping too much
- Feelings of sadness that lasts longer than two weeks
- Extreme mood changes
- Inability to complete simple daily tasks (i.e., showering, brushing teeth, household chores)
- Unusual changes in appetite or unwarranted weight gain/loss
- Overwhelming feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- And more
Who are the most vulnerable?
Everyone has mental health and can find themselves suffering from the impacts of Covid-19. However, some populations are significantly more vulnerable and more likely to file mental health disability claims during Covid:
Those who’ve lost their jobs due to lockdowns, closures, and restrictions
- Parents with children at home
- Those struggling financially or concerned about their finances
- Racialized and Indigenous individuals
- Essential workers
- Teens and young adults
- Covid-19 survivors
- Those with pre-existing mental health conditions or other disabilities
It’s completely normal to feel anxious and uncertain during these times. For some, these new or worsening feelings may become unbearable or overwhelming. It can be intimidating to seek the necessary help and support. Still, mental health is just as important as physical health.
Filing mental health disability claims during Covid
A mental health condition becomes debilitating once it starts affecting a person’s ability to perform routine tasks and responsibilities. A mental health disorder can make it challenging to perform the duties of your job, and this can have a significant impact financially and emotionally. To file mental health disability claims during Covid (or any time), you must be officially diagnosed by a medical professional. Your doctor will need to confirm that your mental health prevents you from working for a significant period.
Unfortunately, proving a mental health condition to insurance companies can be tricky and more challenging to prove. Unlike physical injuries and disabilities, there’s less objective evidence for mental illness. However, just because it may be more difficult to make mental health claims during Covid doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If your disability claim is denied, a lawyer may be able to help you appeal the decision and recover benefits.