Long term disability application


My daughter is studying to be a large animal veterinary. In her business class they were told if they have depression they will not be able to apply for long term disability. She had never been hospitalized, regularly sees her family doctor and psychiatrist and follows her treatment.
Was that profs comment accurate? I don’t believe it can be. She needs long term disability to protect her for other claims that could arise due to her field but not related to depression at all.
I hate that a prof would make a statement like that without giving all the correct facts.
Please let me know what you know about this.


Not true. For life insurance she may have some issues. Most Ltd policies have a year exclusion for pre-exsisting illness and such.


How long is the course?

Maybe the prof knows the policy.


The course is 4 Years. He just made that statement and moved on. I do not believe he truly knows as wouldn’t there be a huge problem in other professions if people who had depression could not get LTD.


To quote the Mental Health Commission of Canada “Mental health problems and illnesses are the number one cause of disability in Canada, estimated to account for nearly 30 per cent of disability claims and 70 per cent of the total costs.” The prof has done the class a great service when he raised the topic of depression and long term disability insurance coverage.

Your daughter will need long term disability insurance for all types of illnesses and injuries, including chronic mental illnesses like depression. She will also need a very good extended medical insurance plan to cover drugs, etc. Right now, it sounds like your daughter is doing very well, and is receiving excellent regular care from her GP and psychiatrist. Congratulations on guiding and supporting her so well into veterinary medicine!

At this time, your daughter might not qualify for long term disability policy coverage that requires “evidence of good health” or medical underwriting due to her current mental health treatment and history. Individual policies, affinity policies and some group employee policies require medical underwriting before the policy/coverage is “issued.” An individual LTD policy is a policy issued in her name that she applies for herself and continues as long as she pays her premiums. An Affinity policy is typically an alumni or association (i.e. Veterinarian association) policy which offers optional coverage to its members. Most people who have LTD are covered under a group policy with their employer. Group LTD policies and individual/affinity LTD insurance policies are very different. You generally don’t need to qualify medically for employer group LTD coverage up to a monthly coverage limit, although if you claim LTD benefits within your first year of employment due to a condition that was treated during the months prior to your employment, the claim may be disqualified. The details of each group policy are different, but the concepts are generally the same for all groups.

Given your daughter’s mental health history, she may want to consider the benefits available when she selects her first employment situation.


Thank you Joanne. The info you provided is very helpful.


Oh, you’re talking about LTD insurance after she graduates?
I was thinking it was insurance through the school during the course.
I was thinking if the course was 1 year and there was a 1 year exclusion…


I have had the opportunity to represent and consult on disability clams for veterinarians. It is actually a profession with a high disability rate, at least form our experience. What the professor is saying may be partially true depending on the type of policy your daughter gets. Normally vets get individual policies (as opposed to group coverage by an employer). An individual policy just means she goes to a broker and buys it herself and it gos with her no matter where she works, or if she changes jobs. She should absolutely try to get an individual policy even if the place she is working offers group coverage.

Under individual disability policies, they can exclude conditions like depression, and the most certainly would in her situation. For example, I had a high cholesterol test once, so they excluded all heart conditions on my disability policy. However, some insurer will still sell her a policy to cover other causes of disability.

As an aside, being a vet is very stressful work so make sure you daughter takes extra care to monitor this and to not work her self to the point of a complete mental breakdown — which is what many many people do.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.


Thank you for the info. Very helpful.