What if I cannot work because the pandemic is affecting my mental health?

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty for individuals across our country.  For many, the fear of contracting and transmitting the coronavirus and the struggles with self-isolation have led to severe anxiety, depression and other forms of psychological harm.  Several of our clients have reached out to us already with these growing concerns.  So, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

You may be asking yourself:

Will I get the coronavirus? If so, how serious will it be?

Will I be able to get the right treatment for the coronavirus?  How about for my other health issues?

Will all my family and friends remain safe?

Will this impact my work or job prospects?

Is my job safe?

If your constant worries about the coronavirus are making it more difficult for you to focus on work or function at work, there are many things you can do.

Apply for disability benefits

As a disability lawyer, it’s my job to tell you to consider applying for disability benefits.  If the above situation or concerns describe you and you feel you are unable to work, you may have a very valid claim for benefits.

Many of you have access to disability insurance through work, or even purchased insurance privately.  Make sure you have coverage for disability benefits.  Most of you do if you have paid monthly premiums.  If you are not sure, check with your employer or HR representative.  They can also provide you with the forms that you need to apply.

Do not hesitate to apply for benefits.  This is precisely what disability insurance is for and precisely why you have been paying premiums.  Insurers have been collecting millions in premiums and making record profits for decades.  Now is the time these insurers should step up and help people like you who have been impacted by the coronavirus.  This is an unprecedented time, but it does not mean you should suffer from the psychological injuries and harm this pandemic has caused by being forced to work while you are unwell.

It is important to know: if you are approved, you will not be forced to work while your mental health is impacted.  Instead, you will be paid a monthly benefit amount in accordance with your insurance policy.

If after applying, your insurer refuses to pay you benefits or gives you any hassles along the way, make sure to contact us right away to find out exactly what your rights are.

Get your doctor’s help

Your mental health is extremely important during this challenging time.  Get the help you need if your anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns are impacting you, your daily life or your ability to work.  Ask yourself:

Have I talked to my doctor?

Have I considered speaking with someone, even a family member or a friend?

Have I asked my employer if they have any support programs, such as an Employee Assistance Program which offers free counselling?

Have I looked at my benefits? Do my benefits cover counselling or any psychological treatment?

It is critical to seek medical treatment for any issue that is preventing you from working.  This will help your health and well being, and at the same time support your disability claim to your insurer.

Seek other financial support

If you have sick days, you may wish to use them during this time.

There are also government-funded social supports that can provide financial support if you find yourself unable to work because of the Coronavirus and/or your mental health.

A simple web search will help you find more information about these options.

I have other questions, who should I talk to?

Call (604) 682-0717 for a 100% free consultation.  Regardless of where you are in the process, we are happy to talk with you and answer your questions, free of charge.