If you sustain an injury or illness that results in a long-term disability, you may not be able to return to work or earn a living wage. In this scenario, you can seek financial benefits to replace your lost wages through one or more programs, such as the Canada Pension Plan (CPP). It is important to avoid making a critical error when filing a disability claim, however, as this could lead to your claim being denied. Here are five common mistakes to avoid.
1. Timing Your Claim Incorrectly
As soon as you develop a mental or physical condition that will most likely last a long time (or is terminal) and prevents you from working regularly, send in your disability claim forms. Do not delay the application process, as you may unknowingly miss a deadline or give an insurance company a reason to deny your claim.
It is equally important, however, not to request CPP disability benefits while you are still working full time. Almost all of these claims are denied, as the claimant must be incapable of working. There is a mandatory four-month waiting period to qualify for CPP disability. During this period, you may be eligible for Employment Insurance sickness benefits to help you cover a gap in income.
2. Making Mistakes on the Application
The CPP disability benefits application process requires certain forms, paperwork and documentation. If you rush through this paperwork or try to skip steps to save time, you could make a mistake that jeopardizes your ability to receive benefits. The CPP may deny your application if it contains a mistake – or even accuse you of making a material misrepresentation of fact if you give inaccurate information. For the best chance of claim approval, provide full, complete and entirely accurate information. Most claims require not only the application forms but also additional documentation to support your claim.
3. Accepting a Claim Denial Without a Fight
A high percentage of CPP disability claims get rejected on the first try. A rejection should be viewed as a bump in the road, not the end of your journey. Do not give up and walk away from your disability claim if your first attempt fails. Instead, contact a lawyer who can help. A long-term disability lawyer in Ottawa can determine the reason for the rejection. Then, your lawyer can attempt to resolve a denial, such as through an appeal or lawsuit. You have two years from the date that you were first denied disability benefits to file a legal claim for financial compensation.
4. Taking Advice From the Wrong Sources
Listening to the wrong people during the claims process is a mistake that could cost you thousands of dollars. The people you ask for help might have your best interests at heart, but that doesn’t mean they are the right source of information for your disability benefits claim in Ottawa.
Asking your doctor about disability benefits, for example, may give you incorrect information or bad advice, as your doctor is a medical professional, not a legal representative. Rather than asking your physician or friends for disability claim assistance, go to a qualified and licensed lawyer who has handled long-term disability claims before.
5. Failing to Work With a Representative
Your future could be hanging in the balance as someone with a long-term disability. Don’t trust anyone with your disability claim other than a licensed legal representative. A lawyer can help you take on a major insurance company and fight for the disability benefits that you need and deserve. From taking over conversations with an insurance company to making sure that you are getting the necessary medical care that you need for a long-term disability, the right lawyer can transform your legal experience and help you enjoy a brighter future.
For more information about how a long-term disability lawyer can help, contact SG Injury Law in Ottawa at (613) 704) 5543 for a free consultation.