Does My Anxiety Qualify for Long-Term Disability?

Does My Anxiety Qualify for Long-Term Disability?

At some point, nearly everyone experiences symptoms of anxiety. In fact, a small amount of anxiety can be a normal, healthy response to a frightening or stressful situation, like giving a big speech or driving through a blizzard.

Anxiety rises to the level of disability when it begins to have a detrimental impact on your day-to-day life. In those cases, an individual will have debilitating feelings of apprehension, terror, or uneasiness, even in everyday situations without any obvious threat or trigger.

The condition itself can take many different forms. Canada’s Disability Tax Credit for Anxiety Disorders acknowledges six primary categories of anxiety, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder, in addition to phobias like claustrophobia or arachnophobia.

In each case, the disorder inhibits the individual’s ability to navigate the world. Symptoms can vary depending on the condition and can include everything from PTSD flashbacks to sudden panic attacks that can last for ten minutes at a time. The various disorders are not exclusive, and it is common for one individual to experience symptoms from more than one category.

The Disability Tax Credit is relatively straightforward and makes it easier for people with severe anxiety to pay for treatment. Medication, acupuncture, psychotherapy, and physical activities like yoga can all help mitigate the intensity of anxiety symptoms.

However, all of those treatments take time, which will usually pose a challenge to anyone working to pay the bills. For many people, the thought of going without a regular paycheck will only make the anxiety worse, which is why a short or long term disability claim can be beneficial. The claim will provide coverage

Unfortunately, getting that claim recognized can be easier said than done. Anxiety is an invisible disability, which means that there are no objective diagnostic tests in the way that there would be for a broken leg or a disease like Multiple Sclerosis. Many employers and insurance companies view anxiety claims differently and will try to rescind them or deny them on the grounds that the applicant should still be able to perform at work.  

Of course, that is often not the case. Anxiety is a legitimate disability. Every year, mental illness is estimated to cost the Canadian economy $50 billion in lost productivity and is responsible for 70% of the total disability costs in the workplace. People struggling with mental health issues are unable to meet the regular demands of their job and need time off to recover without simultaneously worrying about potential triggers like work and financial stability.

That’s why it’s so important to gather as much supporting evidence as possible when filing a disability claim for anxiety, if only because an exhaustive medical history makes that claim much more difficult to ignore. It can also help to consult with a disability lawyer who can offer expertise about the application process.

The key thing to remember is that anxiety is a valid disability. You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if it’s intruding on other aspects of your life.


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.