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Is Bipolar Disorder Considered A Disability In Canada

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Ltd Policies And Mental Illness Limitations

Can Bipolar Disorder be a Basis for Disability Benefits?

One thing to keep in mind when filing for long term disability is whether your long term disability insurance policy includes a Mental Illness Limitation.

Policies that contain a Mental Illness Limitation typically limit your benefits to two years if you are disabled due to a psychiatric condition such as depression or anxiety. Of course, each policy is different, so the prescribed maximum period may be shorter or longer depending on the terms of your particular policy.

Some policies with Mental Illness Limitations contain exemptions for certain mental conditions including, occasionally, bipolar disorder. Its important to review your policy closely to see whether your bipolar disorder will fall under the Mental Illness Limitation.

If you are solely disabled due to bipolar disorder and your policy contains a Mental Illness Limitation that does not exempt it, your benefits will most likely stop when the maximum allowable period expires. Unfortunately, the severity of your mental illness will become irrelevant after the maximum allowable period expires.

However, if you can demonstrate that you are disabled due to objective cognitive problems, your benefits may extend beyond limitation period. A neuropsychological evaluation, as discussed earlier, can provide this evidence.

If your policy includes bipolar disorder as an exempted mental condition, you may continue receiving benefits beyond the limited period.

Your Rights Under The Ada

Many people with bipolar disorder are able to maintain a job. Bipolar disorder is one of the many conditions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act . This law is designed to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, job assignments, promotions, pay, firing, benefits, layoffs, and all other employment-related activities.

The ADA only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.

People with bipolar disorder may want to consider that when looking for employment or considering changing jobs.

Your spouse is also protected by the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that “The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee, whether disabled or not, because of the individual’s family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.” For example, if your husband has bipolar disorder, you are protected if he requires emergency hospitalization and you must be away from work without warning because of this. The ADA is administered by the EEOC.

Other employees may not understand the rights a person with bipolar disorder has under the ADA. Often people think of disability only as physical impairment. Everyone should learn how the law applies so they know why accommodations may be required.

Medical Qualifying With A Mental Illness

The SSA conducts a detailed review of your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits. During this review, they try to match your records to a disability listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSAs medical guide that is used to evaluate every disability application.

Disability listings outline the severity level requirements and the specific medical evidence needed to support a claim for benefits. Mental illnesses appear in Section 12.00 and include:

  • 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders you may qualify under this listing if you have a severe phobia, post-traumatic stress, a panic disorder, or another anxiety-related condition.
  • 12.08, Personality Disorders this is the listing under which you may qualify if you have severe, clinical depression.
  • 12.04, Affective Disorders if you have bipolar disorder, your application will be reviewed under this listing.

Extensive medical records are necessary to qualify, including:

  • Information on your diagnosis, ideally from a psychiatrist or psychologist
  • Brain scans or other evidence of physical abnormalities that document an organic cause for symptoms, if applicable
  • Treatment records, documenting medications, therapy, and other management methods used and their effects
  • Thoroughly documented episodes of increased symptoms or periods of decompensation
  • Well documented affects of your symptoms on your everyday abilities or activities of daily living

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The Ability To Thrive On Disability


Reprinted from “Workplace: Transitions” issue of Visions Journal, 2016, 11 , pp. 14-16

My memory is hazy, but that’s part of my mental state. I’ve been in and out of hospital dozens of times with bipolar I, and I received three courses of electroconvulsive therapy , which caused permanent memory impairment.

Over a decade ago, I was doing clerical work. Because I was ill, however, my work performance was poor and I lost my job. Repeated bipolar episodes meant a chaotic work historyI would get a job, do well for a while, then become ill and quit or be fired, or change careers suddenly. My psychiatrist suggested it would be a good idea to apply for disability and stop trying to get jobs I might lose. I agreed that I needed the stability of a pension.

A Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit application took four months to process. During the wait, I couldnt afford my Vancouver rent on only welfare, so I sublet my apartment and moved in with family temporarily. This was a hard choice, and the stress affected all of us poorly. After a suicide attempt, I was hospitalized for two months. Finally, when my CPP application was approved, I was discharged from the hospital and moved back into my apartment. But I still couldn’t afford the rent, and I was too ill with frequent episodes of hypomania to manage money well. When I tried to move in with someone else, I suffered domestic violence. I became homeless.

About the author

What Medical Conditions Qualify For Long

True North Disability Services

Most medical conditions can qualify for long-term disability. However, some long-term disability plans will exclude certain medical conditions.

Assuming you dont have an excluded condition, then you can qualify for long-term disability benefits if your medical conditions prevents you from doing your regular work. You wont qualify to apply right away. Most long-term disability plans require you to be continuously disabled for a number of weeks before you are eligible to apply. This called the waiting period or elimination period.

The most common length of the waiting period is 17 weeks, but this can be different for each disability plan.

Most long-term disability plans have a two tier requirement for disability. For the first 2 years you can qualify for benefits if your medical condition prevents you from doing your regular work.

However, after 2 years, you can only qualify for long-term disability benefits if your medical conditions prevents you from doing any gainful work .

Following is an example of a long-term disability requirement fround in a group long-term disablity plan. This is only an example and these requirements and wording vary from plan to plan.

An employee is entitled to payment of a long term disability benefit if the employee presents proof of claim acceptable that:

  • the employee became disabled while covered
  • total disability has continued beyond the elimination period
  • the employee has been folloing appropriate treatment for the disability condition

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Work With Our Disability Claim Attorneys

Dont hesitate to appeal a denied claim. The attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates helps people across the country overturn claim denials for bipolar and other mental disorders. In most cases, we will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that no retainer is required, and you dont owe us a fee until we win your case.

Please call our law firm toll free at today to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer to see how we may help you recover benefits under a bipolar disability claim.

About Marc Whitehead

When A Mental Health Condition Becomes A Disability

A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.

Your condition is long term if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.

Normal day-to-day activity is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.

If your mental health condition means you are disabled you can get support at work from your employer.

There are many different types of mental health condition which can lead to a disability, including:

  • dementia

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Disability Tax Credit For Bipolar Disorder And Other Support

There are a variety of treatments available for bipolar disorder. The most common form is medication. However, some forms of bipolar are medication-resistant and are sometimes treated with ECT . This method has well-documented side effects and is generally on the decline. Additionally, in Canada, it is currently possible for those suffering from bipolar disorder to qualify for:

  • MedicationSome of the more common medications for bipolar include lithium, Tegretol, Depakote. Other antidepressants may also be prescribed.
  • Disability Tax Credit for Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed patients may qualify for a disability tax credit. This credit could be used to assist patients with any therapies or medications that may be required.

Bipolar disorder is one that is still being studied and understood by scientists and neurologists. There have been significant advances in neuroscience and our understanding of the brain. Psychopharmacology is a branch of medicine that already has played a large role in the treatment of bipolar disorder and will no doubt do so in the future.

Diagnosing Fasd And Mental Disorders

Social Security Disability: How Bipolar Disorder Can Prevent Employment

People can be diagnosed as having full FAS with a confirmed or unconfirmed history of prenatal alcohol exposure because of the three distinctive features which do not co-occur in other disorders. Using the current Canadian Diagnostic Guidelines, people who have only some of the facial features and significant neurocognitive dysfunction are diagnosed as having partial FAS , and those with no significant facial features but with significant neurocognitive dysfunction are diagnosed as having Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder . For a diagnosis of pFAS or ARND there must be a confirmed history of prenatal alcohol exposure. Obtaining a history of prenatal alcohol exposure can be extremely challenging, especially for adults being evaluated for FASD. In the past, the term Fetal Alcohol Effects was used to describe individuals with pFAS and ARND and appears in the earlier literature.

FASD is the umbrella term used to encompass the range of outcomes caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol it is not a diagnosis. For convenience, the collective term FASD rather than the specific diagnoses is used in the remainder of this article to describe the effects of this disability.

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Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick Can Help You With Your Long

If you have bipolar disorder and find yourself impaired by its effects and unable to work, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits. The attorneys at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick understand the disabling effects a mental health condition can have on your ability to lead a functional life. We can help you through the steps of filing a long-term disability claim.

Whether you are filing an initial claim or appealing a denial of benefits, CCK has the experience to fight for your case. Our attorneys will help you gather the evidence and records you need to prove that your bipolar disorder is stopping you from being able to work effectively, if at all.

We will gather evidence from medical and psychiatric specialists and advise you if we think your case could be strengthened by additional evaluations from outside experts. We also know that your long-term disability claim can be strengthened by witness statements from personal acquaintances like family or coworkers, who likely have witnessed how your bipolar disorder affects your daily life.

We want you to be able to work on managing your health condition without having to deal with the stress of filing or appealing a long-term disability claim. The legal team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick is ready and available to help get you the benefits you deserve. To see if we may be able to assist you with your claim, contact us for a free consultation at 800-544-9144 today.

Social Security Should Grant Disability Benefits For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder To Those Who Have The Symptoms And Limitations Listed In Its Listing For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Depression is a common complaint made by individuals trying to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. Depression can cause symptoms of poor concentration, low energy, problems sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. If you have bipolar disorder , you may have depression mixed with periods of manic behavior with rapid speech.

To receive disability benefits, you will need to show proof of more than just a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder. You will need to present evidence that your depression or bipolar disorder is so severe that you are unable to work or function well. According to Social Security statistics, about two-thirds of applicants who apply for disability on the basis of major clinical depression or bipolar disorder end up getting approved .

Following is a list of important issues the Social Security Administration will consider when evaluating your claim, and tips for how you can increase your chances of obtaining benefits.

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What Is Considered Appropriate Treatment For Bipolar Disorder

When evaluating your bipolar disorder long term disability claim, the insurance company will want to see youre receiving appropriate treatment. Even if your claim is approved, they will still require proof of ongoing treatment for your condition. The insurance company can easily use non-compliance and lack of appropriate care as a reason to deny or terminate your bipolar disorder long term disability claim.

To demonstrate appropriate treatment, your treatment team should include specialists such as a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Treatment options may include:

Again, it is important to follow your doctors recommendation. Your insurance company will want to see you are in treatment and doing everything in your power to improve your symptoms.

Can I Receive Disability Benefits For Bipolar Disorder


August 24, 2019 By Bross & Frankel

Slowly but surely, the stigma around mental illness is being erased. People are more willing to talk about their mental health, which has made it easier and more acceptable for individuals to seek treatment for mental illness.

Despite the many advances in medication and therapy, in some cases, mental health conditions are still disabling. This is sometimes the situation with bipolar disorder. For individuals with this condition, it may be difficult to impossible to hold down a job while managing the symptoms of their illness and receiving treatment. This can be particularly true if you experience periods of remission and relapse, or good days and bad days.

Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 4.4% of American adults at some point in their lives. The majority of people with bipolar disorder are seriously impaired by their condition which may affect their ability to work. As with other mental health conditions, people with bipolar disorder may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration considers bipolar disorder as one of many mental illnesses that may qualify for benefits. A skilled Philadelphia disability benefits attorney can work with individuals with bipolar disorder to analyze their individual situation and put together a strong application.

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Is Bipolar A Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that helps people with disabilities get equal rights at work. Bipolar disorder is considered a disability under the ADA, just like blindness or multiple sclerosis.

You may also qualify for Social Security benefits if you cant work. The Social Security Administration has two programs that provide a monthly income and health insurance to people who cant work because of a disability:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance is for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes.
  • Supplemental Security Income is for people with a limited income.

Read on to learn how the ADA and Social Security might benefit you.

There Are Four Types Of Bipolar Disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder: this type includes manic episodes that last for at least seven days or that are so severe that they require hospitalization. Depressive episodes usually last for at least two weeks.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: this type has both depressive and manic episodes, but with less extreme manic periods.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder: also known as cyclothymia, this type involves numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms and depressive symptoms for at least two years.
  • Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders: this type involves bipolar symptoms that do not meet the criteria for one of the other diagnoses.
  • Bipolar disorder affects people in different ways. Although medication and psychotherapy can help to control the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it may not completely eliminate them.

    As a California disability benefits attorney can explain, the Social Security Administration maintains a listing of impairments that includes both medical and mental health conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent an individual from working. Bipolar disorder is listed in the SSAs listing of impairments.

    To qualify for SSDI benefits with bipolar disorder, you must submit the following evidence:

  • Medical documentation of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, characterized by at least three of the following symptoms:
  • Pressured speech
  • Distractibility
  • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized or
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    Drugs And Alcohol And Depression

    If you have been diagnosed with drug or alcohol dependency, then you have a major roadblock to obtaining disability benefits for depression or bipolar disorder. An examining psychologist might assume that your symptoms result from drug usage and not from your underlying condition. It is your burden to show the SSA that you would be disabled by your depression bipolar disorder regardless of your use of drugs or alcohol. In these situations, it is helpful to have a period of sobriety in your medical records during which you still have been diagnosed with severe depression or bipolar disorder. Also, you can try to request a statement from your doctor stating that drugs or alcohol are not the cause of your mental condition and that stopping use would not make your condition improve. For more information, read Nolo’s article on how drugs and alcohol can keep you from getting disability.

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