Worker’s Actions Promoting Her Book Undercut Depression Claim


A clerical worker filed a claim for short-term disability on the grounds that she suffered from a major depressive disorder and ADHD. The claim was granted for a fixed period but the insurer refused to extend the benefits because the worker’s actions undercut her claim that she couldn’t work. An arbitrator agreed. Although the worker’s doctor claimed that she was depressed, had low energy and no motivation, the worker spent her time on disability attending promotional events for a book she’d published. Pictures from these events showed a smiling, seemingly happy worker. And on her blog, the worker described these events and other activities with “enthusiasm and joy.” So the arbitrator concluded that the worker’s activities showed she could continue to work as a clerk and didn’t prove a total disability that rendered her unable to perform her job [Howe Sound Pulp and Paper v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers’ Union of Canada, Local 1119, [2012] CanLII 26926 (BC LA), May 11, 2012].