[VIDEO] Rehab and the Difficulties of Disability Benefits for Addiction

[VIDEO] Rehab and the Difficulties of Disability Benefits for Addiction

When applying for disability benefits because of an addiction, there are specific hurdles to overcome. One of the most difficult is also one of the most necessary parts of the application process – being in a rehabilitation program. 

Participating in a formal rehabilitation program or staying in a rehabilitation facility is something most if not all insurance companies consider mandatory to qualify for disability. The issue is that they’re not always available and consistently have long waiting lists. These wait times, particularly for long-term treatment programs, pose many problems for addicts seeking help and put them in very real danger. 

There’s also a discussion of access in the financial sense. Private rehabilitation centers can be expensive, which alienates a large group of people who require them. Private in-patient rehab can cost tens of thousands of dollars in Canada and outpatient programs can cost hundreds of dollars per day for a minimum-one-month program. The right program may also be out of province, which only adds extra travel costs, and none of this even begins to factor in the loss of wages for the time spent in rehabilitation. 

Then we have public rehabilitation facilities to consider, where the issue of cost – minus lost wages – is largely accounted for. Public rehabilitation facilities in Canada are covered by our government’s universal health care, meaning that all Canadians have access to these services should they need them. However, as a result, there can be long wait times when looking at public-sector rehab, substantially longer than private-sector programs. 

What’s more, formal rehabilitation programs aren’t always the right fit for recovering addicts. Sometimes community or group programs, more commonly known as 12-step programs, are sufficient to help someone through their addiction. Regular therapy and updates with your physician may also be enough for certain people. While formal rehab can be more successful for some, it isn’t the only option. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t consider this when applying for disability benefits. 

All of this stands in the way of getting approved for your benefits in order to work on your recovery. “Oftentimes,” says Samantha Share, one of our associate lawyers, “the minute [the insurance company] sees addiction in the doctor’s note and the client is not in rehab, it’s an automatic denial.” 

But don’t despair, because a denied claim is not always the end of the road. “It’s something that Share Lawyers has been successful in fighting,” adds David Share, “getting a good settlement for clients with addiction.”  


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.