• Quote of the Day
    "The voice of negativity says, 'Get real'. The voice of possibility says 'Get started'."
    Donna Satchell, posted by littlerabbit

David Baxter

Mar 26, 2004
Disadvantages and Advantages of being on Disability
by Jennifer Riley
Saturday, October 1, 2011

Disability and the Duty to Accommodate in the Canadian Workplace :acrobat: takes a very thorough look at the legalities of Canadian employees with disabilities and the responsibilities of employers in such circumstances with many real-life case examples. It’s quite long, but worth looking through, especially if you have specific concerns. Mental health disabilities are discussed beginning on page 54
and contains some interesting cases. (I didn’t see a publication date, but I expect it is quite a few years out of date).

The Here To Help website offers a more brief description of legalities.

Advantages (you don't neccesarily have to be on disability to access these resources):
  • social programs to help with returning to work which may include some financing of education
  • cost of living slightly offset by bus pass ($45/yr) or driving program as well as subsidised medication costs (also talk to your psychiatrist about Plan G which covers some psychiatric drugs)
  • check with your city to see if they offer a free pass to community cenres (Vancouver does. It is called the LAC - Leisure
  • Access Card and gives you access to pools, gyms, ice rinks and sometimes discounts on classes)
  • time to heal
  • fewer daily stresses
  • may allow for a career change
  • time to get to know and discover new and interesting things about yourself and develop new skills
  • develop new social circles
  • time to give back to the community by volunteering
  • understand and have greater empathy for people in similar situations
  • programs such as free cooking classes offered by Community Mental Health Teams
  • increases social isolation
  • loss of purpose/incentive (I’m using the term generally here. Even if you don’t particularly like your job, having an established routine can be beneficial. It’s important to find new, healthy ways to fill your time)
  • decreased income which may affect other areas of health such as nutrition and environmental living conditions if you must move somewhere with cheaper rent
  • may be some stigma or gossip upon returning to work
  • may be negative judgments from others regarding your disability
  • stressful dealings with the government regarding the validity of your illness
  • difficulty transitioning back into a working lifestyle which may cause symptoms to recur (it’s important to have support for this transition)
It is important to have a good working relationship with your psychiatrist. Without their support, and filling out pages of forms, you will not be eligible for disability benefits. And, of course, a discourse on your current health status and abilities, especially if you think it has affected your ability to work, is very important.

Remember, the application process takes time. If you are concerned about your condition and think you might require disability assistance, start talking to your doctor sooner rather than later so you don’t end up worsening your condition in a job you can’t do or in a financially stressful situation if you have to leave work before the paperwork goes through.

BCCPD Help Sheet 2 has information on eligibility and application requirements. Remember, you can (and should) appeal if your application is denied the first time around.


Apr 23, 2008
I got accept the first time around but I still need to work to help pay my bills. Hopefully in the next 2 years I wil be able to go on full disability pension.

Disadvantages people treat you differently when your on a pension. Also if you have mental illness. My sister made a comment on the fact I have to go to Ottawa to see my DR. I told her the ones in town only give you 10 minutes of their time where in Ottawa I get around 40 minutes. She says as long as he is helping you because you don't want to see him for the rest of you life. She more or less he should fix my problem quickly so it goes away.

My sister has a thing about people who have mental illness and medication. I told her I am trying deal with work problems where people treat me like crap because I am disable. Her answer was don't worry about what other people say and don't let them get to you.

But she doesn't realize it is not always so easy. I have been emotional sensitive all my life and the way my depression is right now it is definitely not easy.

Later I will read the part on page 54 about mental illness. Right now I am in pain due to a back injury at work last week and the hell they put me through today when I wanted to open a WSIB claim for my back and elbow injury.

Thanks for the great posts :):)


Forum Supporter
Aug 5, 2004
In the US, there are still stringent asset limits for Social Security Income (SSI) (as opposed to SSDI that does not have asset limits):

The stringent asset limits associated with SSI undermine this potential benefit. To be eligible, applicants cannot have assets that exceed $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for married couples. These limits have not been updated in 40 years, thus pushing beneficiaries deeper into poverty every year...

The ableist myth of self-sufficiency undergirds the stated rationale for asset limits to restrict eligibility. A quick scan of public assistance program websites underscores how ubiquitous this myth is. For instance, the U.S. Department Health and Human Services’ landing page for TANF states that one of the program’s core goals is “to end the dependency of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage.” This framing positions autonomy as normative and valuable, and “dependency” as harmful and deviant. For disabled people, such framing carries real-life consequences. It stigmatizes people with disabilities as lazy, deceitful, or unworthy for seeking out the support needed to navigate environments that are inaccessible and ableist. Furthermore, the denigration of “dependency” as a moral failing has historically been used to marginalize people of color, women, and, especially, those at the intersection of these two identities.
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