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Burnout and long-term disability

Workers across Ontario are facing employment challenges that most would have never expected. And as stressful as the job market already is, it can be even more overwhelming to navigate if you suffer from a severe and long-term disability.

In some cases, extended periods of physical and mental anxiety due to work actually cause or contribute to serious health problems. This could be the situation for workers struggling with burnout.

What is burnout?

Workers in some occupations experience immense exhaustion due to high-stakes performance requirements, long hours or exposure to dangerous conditions.

Over time, this environment can take a devastating toll on a person’s mental and physical health. They can become cynical, careless and anxious.

Further, according to the Mayo Clinic, a person suffering from job-related burnout can have several different symptoms of this condition, including:

  • Depression
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of becoming sick
  • Heart disease

Without addressing the work or expectations causing the burnout, these and other serious symptoms can persist and become worse over time.

Is burnout disabling?

Although job burnout can affect workers in several severe ways, it likely would not be considered disabling in the context of disability benefits.

That said, it is possible for burnout to cause or contribute to conditions that do prevent a worker from performing his or her current job or a similar job. If this sounds like your situation, depending on your insurance, your condition could meet the definition of disability.

Seeking support for burnout

If you are experiencing mental or physical exhaustion due to your job, it is crucial that you seek support. Such support can include therapy, medical care, job accommodations or a new job altogether. These options can help you cope with stress and treat your symptoms.

Unfortunately, in some cases, burnout and the illnesses it exacerbates or causes makes it impossible for a person to continue working. And being unable to work and collect an income can only make things more stressful. In these situations, it can be critical to examine the options for pursuing disability benefits to help you through this difficult time.

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