Every year, people across the country are affected by SAD. Since March 2020, Canadians have also had to cope with the additional stress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health has an incredible impact on one’s ability to work and could cause an employee to make a short term disability claim or long term disability claim.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD is a type of depression related to seasonal changes which typically occur in the fall and winter months when the days are shorter and there is less daylight. Although the exact cause remains unknown, it is believed that this decrease in natural light may cause a disruption in a person’s “biological clock” (controls sleep-wake patterns) and disturbs neurotransmitters such as serotonin, known for its impact on mood.

What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors for Developing SAD?

SAD ranges in severity and can be incredibly draining to an individual. According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), approximately one-third of the population develop a worsening mood in the fall/winter, and between 3 to 5% of Canadians suffer from SAD.  

Although SAD often goes undiagnosed and depression symptoms range, some common symptoms may include: 

  • Feeling of anxiety, depression, sadness, hopelessness, and guilt lasting most of the day or for long periods of time
  • Losing interest in activities that bring you joy
  • Oversleeping or trouble sleeping
  • Low energy, feeling fatigued, irritable
  • Changes in appetite and weight

How does COVID-19 impact SAD?

Considering the combination of the lack of light during this time of year, and the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around the globe, there are concerns that there will be a culmination of mental health issues. Canadians are inside more this year due to all the restrictions and are less likely to wake up on time in the morning, factors which may increase SAD. Many people have also lost the structure and routine in their daily lives, which can increase depressive symptoms. A recent study from CAMH found significantly higher rates of anxiety in women and individuals with children as a result of the pandemic.

Mental health professionals are concerned about how hard seasonal depression could hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We may see an increase in more severe symptoms for those that suffer from SAD and an increase in people experiencing SAD for the first time.

Has Your Disability Claim Been Denied?

SAD and poor mental health, in general, has the potential to become yet another challenge for employers and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health issues can impact your ability to work, including energy levels, and your ability to sleep and concentrate. As with other types of psychological illnesses, employees with SAD and are unable to work may apply for short term or long-term disability benefits. This assumes you have those benefits available to you.

Your short term disability (STD) or long term disability (LTD) claim could be denied at any point in the application process. Although some people appeal a denial, these appeals are often rejected. Beginning a legal claim is the better alternative as it creates more pressure on the insurance company. It is very important to seek experienced legal advice if your STD or LTD claim has been denied.  

Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability Claim Lawyer

Tony Lafazanis, a disability insurance lawyer GTA, has represented clients for over 35 years in all kinds of claims. He has the qualifications and experience to settle your claim, often with a lump sum tax-free settlement. Please contact Tony Lafazanis, Short Term Disability Claim and Long Term Disability Claim Lawyer at your earliest convenience for a free initial consultation.

Hiring Tony Lafazanis is risk free. There is no legal bill to pay, if there is no settlement