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 substance. Symptoms include mood changes as well as ritualistic behaviours despite their adverse effects. The Ontario Human Rights Commission considers addiction a disability and the Supreme Court has ruled that addicts cannot be denied benefits. This is due to the qualities shared by both addiction and disease, such as mental impairment and the crossover between other disabilities and addiction.

Is Addiction a Disability?

Because it does not always manifest physically, addiction’s relative invisibility can make it hard to categorize as a legitimate disability. For this reason, it is often stigmatised as a series of bad decisions. Addiction can be enough of a reason to receive disability benefits, but when it includes symptoms such as anxiety and depression, sleep problems, headaches, chronic pain and other conditions which interfere with daily functioning, it adds to the strength of the claim. It is however a general requirement for the claimant to be engaging in a treatment program to qualify for benefits.

National Addiction and Mental Health Resources

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health reports that 1 in 5 Canadians experiences mental health or addiction problems in any given year, with 1 in 2 experiencing mental illness by the time they reach 40. Share Lawyers has compiled a list of National Addiction and Mental Health Resources available to all Canadians, which ensure that we are not alone and that there is help available even when it may not feel that way.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. 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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