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Addiction: Round Up

Addiction: Round Up

At Share Lawyers we represent a large number of clients who have addictions – including drug, alcohol, food, sex and gambling – and have been denied benefits. Here we include three blogs that provide information on this particular illness. We explain how addiction can be categorised as a disability and how addicts can access benefits, as well as providing a list of national addiction and mental health resources. Addiction and Access to Disability Benefits Addiction is defined by the lack of control over one’s behaviour and/or use of a psychoactive...
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The Lawyer

The Lawyer

Law School was stressful, but it never could have prepared Rob for the things he would encounter in the real world. He took a job with a powerful downtown law firm after passing the Bar, and while office hours were technically supposed to be 9 to 5, there was no way to get through the workload in that amount of time. Fourteen-hour work days became the norm. When his supervisor caught him sleeping under my desk, he told Rob he was impressed with his ambition.   The constant pressure took a toll. After one year, Rob hit his breaking point. A major depressive episode knocked...
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Sex Addiction: Resources for Those Who Are Suffering

Sex Addiction: Resources for Those Who Are Suffering

Our culture’s understanding of addiction has changed drastically over the last century – even over the last decade. While discussions surrounding alcoholism and drug addiction have become more mainstream and universally examined, the same can’t be said for all forms of addiction. Our common conception of sex addiction is far from fully understood. Much like many forms of substance abuse, sex addicts become dependant on the chemical release that occurs during certain sexual encounters. This dependency has the potential to cause extensive damage to their lives and the...
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Mary Goes Round Takes an Honest Look at Alcoholism and Addiction

Mary Goes Round Takes an Honest Look at Alcoholism and Addiction

We frequently see addiction portrayed in cinema. From the devastating portrayal of alcoholism in Leaving Las Vegas (1995) and sex addiction in Shame (2011) to subtler, possibly light-hearted depictions of behavioural addictions to porn with Don Jon (2013), and everything in between. But a recent Canadian film, Mary Goes Round (2017), takes a close look at alcoholism, and the stigma that surrounds it. The film is about it’s titular character, Mary, played by Aya Cash. Mary is an alcoholic. But she can’t quite admit it yet. Living in Toronto, she parties hard at night, and...
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A Day In The Life of a Gambling Addiction

A Day In The Life of a Gambling Addiction

Gambling is a common behavioural addiction. Approximately 5% of Canadians who gamble are referred to as problem gamblers, a term that implies their gambling habits have shifted from an innocuous hobby into the realm of serious consequences and self-destructive habits. Gambling can start as young as 15, as high school students are anywhere from 2 to 4 times more likely than any other age group to start gambling. Share Lawyers spoke with Bruce, a problem gambler in recovery, about when his addiction began, how difficult life became at its worst, and how he regained control...
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How Canadians Consume: Alcohol vs. Cannabis

How Canadians Consume: Alcohol vs. Cannabis

These days, alcohol and cannabis have been making Canadian headlines constantly. With Ontario Premier Doug Ford announcement of a “buck a beer” and with cannabis being legalized across the country, conversations about drug and alcohol use are more prevalent than ever. How much are Canadians really consuming? How will this change with new legislation? Let’s take a closer look at statistics over the last few years. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction has published some fascinating research on Canadian drug trends. What they have found is that, unsurprisingly,...
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Successful Disability Claim for Gambling Addiction

Successful Disability Claim for Gambling Addiction

Though addiction is recognized as an illness, it is not always treated as such. A gambling addiction can become a disabling condition that can necessitate participation in a treatment program, yet even those who actively seek help can be denied the insurance benefits needed to take the time to get well. Henry, a 45-year-old writer and newspaper reporter from Calgary, enjoyed a two-decade career as a reporter for his local community newspaper. But as the industry started to falter, he noticed his pay and his hours being cut back, until he was laid off entirely in 2014....
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LTD Claims Gone Wrong – Presentation at Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB)

LTD Claims Gone Wrong – Presentation at Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (C...

In May 2018, I had the opportunity to speak at a conference sponsored by the Canadian Group Insurance Brokers (CGIB).  The talk focused on LTD claims gone wrong from the perspective of insurance professionals who sell Group Insurance Benefits to employers.  The discussion was a lively interactive exchange of questions and answers from the insurance professionals in the audience. If you have Group Insurance Benefits at your workplace, and, in particular, disability benefits, these are the people that employers deal with to put such benefit programs into place.  While there...