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Mental Health Disability

There seems to be little doubt that depression and other mental health claims are amongst the fastest growing categories of long-term disability insurance claims. The reason this area is growing is complex. The combination of the fast pace of the modern workplace and an aging population are probably the largest factors in the growth of claims in this area, however, these claims are a reality and they appear to be here to stay, so it is incumbent upon all working in this area to get a better handle on the particular challenges such claims pose.
One study in British Columbia (conducted between 1995-1999) has noted that mental disorders may be surpassing other disorders as the major source of long-term disability among health care workers. Also those individuals with depressive symptoms have increased health care utilization, absenteeism and disability1.

What follows are some areas for consideration and further research and investigation depending on the case you may be involved with. For clues on trends in this area, reference will be made to decisions in other areas that impact on handling of long-term disability claims, such as the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, Human Rights, and Employment law.

Background from the Claimant's Perspective
Barriers to Entitlement Pre-Existing Exclusions
"Under Regular & Continuous Care" and "Usual & Customary Treatment"
WORKPLACE STRESS and How it Relates to Disability Claims
Mental Health Conditions and the WSIB
Human Rights and Mental Health
A Recent Employment Law Case and Depression
Comment on CIBC Class Action re Overtime
Mental Health Disability Claims and Settlement
Concluding Remarks

1 Investigating Trends in Mental Disorders among a Cohort of Health Care Workers, Dufton, JA, Koehoorn M, Cole DC, Hertzman, C., Ibrahim, So, Ostry, A of Department of Health Care & Epidemiology, University of British Columbia, Institute of Work & Health, Toronto, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto.

By David Share
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