Anxiety, Depression and Shift Work

Life on an automotive assembly line could be exhausting. That was especially true for Shelley, who found it difficult to balance the demands of the job with her anxiety and depression. The factory only offered a shift work schedule that changed from week to week, and that made it virtually impossible to settle into any kind of regular routine.

The unpredictability only compounded Shelley’s problems, to the point that her mental health issues started to have a direct impact on her physical well-being. She often lost her appetite and had trouble sleeping, and would have to show up to work feeling tired and groggy and lacking the strength she needed to make it through a shift. 

Everything came to a head when Shelley was 36. Shelley had discussed her mental health with her doctor, and was taking antidepressants to combat her anxiety. Unfortunately, the shift work made the medicine less effective, and the lack of a sleep routine was having a noticeable, negative effect on her performance.

Her doctor advised her to take some time off to get her life back in order, and offered to provide any evidence she would need to support a long-term disability claim. Shelley made the claim to her group benefit provider and submitted a detailed report from her doctor, but was told she did not have enough medical evidence.  The insurance company suggested that she could go to her company therapist, so Shelley did that.  The company therapist did not support her claim, saying that she was fine to work.  The insurance company weighed that second opinion more strongly than that of Shelley’s doctor even though Shelley had only met with the second doctor once and had an extensive treatment history with her current doctor. The insurance company denied her claim.

Shelley was devastated. Her health continued to decline, her EI benefits were finished and so she applied for her provincial disability program which paid less than her EI payments.  She started searching for a job that did not have shift work, but was not having any luck.  Most of the time Shelley watched TV and one day she happened to see an ad for Share Lawyers.  It was like the ad was talking about her and so she called the number.  She felt an overwhelming sense of relief when Share Lawyers agreed to take her case. They assured her that her disability was real and legitimate, and that she was entitled to disability benefits as long as her mental health issues prevented her from doing her job. More importantly, Share Lawyers was connected to a network of trusted mental health professionals that would be able to support her claim and contest the opinion of her employer’s therapist.

For the first time since she left the factory, Shelley is optimistic about the future. She is confident she will get the benefits that she is entitled to receive and that will give her the stability she needs to focus on her health.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We have recently settled cases against Standard Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

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