Ottawa Long Term Disability Lawyers
Did you purchase a long term disability insurance policy to protect yourself in the event that you became unable to work? Have you run into an issue in getting your claim for benefits approved? If so, you may need the legal help of an experienced long term disability lawyer in Ottawa.
Your insurance policy may have been in place to protect you, but getting the insurance company to provide you with the benefits that are rightfully yours may prove to be more challenging than you thought.
Discuss your circumstances with a respected Ottawa long term disability lawyer at SG Injury Law today to find out how to access the financial support you need when you need it most. You can reach us through our online contact form.
Long Term Disability Resources
- What Are Long Term Disability Benefits?
- Am I Eligible for LTD Benefits?
- How Long Do LTD Benefits Last?
- Why Was My Claim Denied?
- Get Help with a Denial in Ottawa
How Our Ottawa LTD Lawyers Can Help
Don’t give up if the insurance company says you are not entitled to long term disability benefits for any of the reasons listed above or for any other reason.
- We are familiar with the insurance industry and insurance company tactics. Our Ottawa long term disability lawyers have previously represented insurance companies and are familiar with insurance company methods. We have handled LTD claims across Ontario in cities such as Ottawa, Kingston, Brockville, Cornwall and Pembroke, to name a few.
- We will help you fight for your rights and hold the disability insurance company accountable if it denies your legitimate claim for benefits.
We will help get your benefits reinstated or negotiate a lump sum settlement of past and future benefits. We have specific experience handling claims against insurers such as Sun Life, Manulife, Canada Life, Manulife, RBC, Desjardins and Great West Life, among others.
- Our long term disability lawyers offer free no-obligation consultation and in most cases there are never any fees charged unless and until you win or settle your claim.
- If you or someone you love has been denied their rightful benefits, contact us to discuss how we can help obtain the compensation that is owed by the insurance company.
What are LTD or Long Term Disability Benefits?
Long term disability (LTD) benefits are benefits that Canadians can collect when they are diagnosed with a disability that prevents them from being able to continue earning a living for an extended period of time.
If you are injured or otherwise impaired and can no longer work, there are government funded plans that can help replace your loss of income. However, these public plans may be difficult to qualify for or may only be of short duration. To fill the gap, many employees in Ottawa and across Eastern Ontario have access to short term (STD) and long term disability insurance (LTD) coverage. Sometimes this insurance coverage is provided as a group benefit through employment. Other times, individuals may obtain LTD coverage privately.
Every policy is different, and you will have had the opportunity to purchase the amount you needed when you signed up for your long term disability insurance policy. In most cases, the amount of benefits that you can collect will be between 50% and 70% of your gross weekly earnings. However, there may be instances where there is a monthly maximum allowed, especially in instances of high wage earners.
Many long term disability insurance policies also have adjustment clauses that allow the benefit amount to increase annually. To find out what your specific LTD benefits should consist of, review the details of your policy with your long term disability lawyer in Ottawa.
How Do You Qualify for Ottawa Long Term Disability Benefits?
To meet the eligibility requirements of your long term disability insurance policy, you will need to find out what the specific terms are of your policy. For many policies, there are several criteria that need to be met, such as:
- Having a qualifying disability
- Exhausting any sick time, paid time off, and vacation time
- Exhausting any short term disability benefits
- Your insurance policy must be in good standing
There may also be specific waiting times to be aware of as well, including the amount of time you need to wait after being diagnosed with a disability or the amount of time that the policy has been active before you can seek benefits.
The best way to find out whether you met the eligibility requirements of your LTD policy is to speak with your long term disability lawyer in Ottawa about the specific details of your disability and policy.
How Long Can You Collect LTD Benefits in Ottawa?
Every person’s long term disability insurance policy is different, and may therefore have varying terms that are set for how long you can continue to collect LTD benefits. The type of disability you are coping with, and it’s classification with the insurance company will play a significant role in determining how long you will be able to receive LTD benefits.
For example, if you have been diagnosed as “totally disabled”, you might qualify for long term disability benefits for up to two years before your disability is reevaluated. At that point, your circumstances may change depending on your level of impairment and your expected medical improvement.
Generally, long term disability benefits can be collected until a claimant is well enough to return to work, or until they reach the age of 65.
Long Term Disability Benefits Refusals
Often, even though insurance premiums are paid, insurance companies still deny valid claims for long term disability benefits. The insurance company might come up with a variety of reasons for denying or cutting off your benefits. As long term disability lawyers assisting clients with claims in Ottawa, some of the reasons we frequently see for a termination or denial of an LTD claim include:
1) You do not meet the qualifying time requirements to claim benefits.
LTD policies usually contain notice provisions. Many times people do not assume they will be impaired over the long run and do not immediately apply for STD or LTD benefits. If you wait too long, the insurer may argue that you are in violation of a notice provision and that they have been prejudiced by the delay.
2) Your impairment does not meet the technical definition of disability, according to the insurance company adjuster.
Although you may not be able to work due to your impairment, the insurer may argue that your impairments are subjective. They may say that an illness such as fibromyalgia or depression cannot be objectively verified and therefore does not meet the disability test.
3) The insurance company “medical partner” has reviewed the file and determined you do not meet the medical test of disability.
Many insurance companies have consultants who are on the insurance company’s payroll or are paid significant sums of money by insurers to provide opinions on claims. It is not unusual to see “experts” like this who do not even practice medicine in terms of actually treating patients; they solely earn income by providing insurers with opinions. Given this lack of independence it is not surprising when these consultants provide an opinion that you do not meet the disability test.
4) The test for impairment has changed after two years and you are no longer eligible for benefits.
Many LTD policies provide that for the first two years after becoming impaired, you are entitled to benefits if you cannot return to the job you held at the time you became disabled. However, at two years, the test changes for most policies. The new test is usually a variation of whether you are impaired from performing the essential tasks of any occupation for which you are reasonably suited based on your training, education and experience. In other words, if the insurance company comes up with some other job they say you can do, then they use this as an excuse to cut off your benefits.
An insurer may say something like “Based on our Functionabilty Assessment and Labour Force review, we believe you are qualified to perform any of the following occupations: 1) parking lot attendant, 2) telemarketer or 3) retail sales person. As such, you are no longer considered disabled and your benefit is terminated.”
5) The insurance company says you have not had appropriate treatment.
Most LTD insurance policies contain a requirement that you are continually in treatment or under the ongoing care of a physician. Some policies may even say that you need to be in treatment that the insurance company considers reasonable. Therefore, if your family doctor has prescribed a particular form of therapy and your insurance company adjuster believes another form of treatment would be more reasonable, this can be used as a reason to terminate your benefits.
6) You gave false medical information or made misrepresentations when applying for benefits.
If your long term disability insurance company finds out that you have made misrepresentations regarding your medical health or any other material matter, they can use this as a reason to refuse your claim.
Your LTD lawyer in Ottawa will go over your denial letter with you in detail. In many cases, we may be able to provide the insurance company with the additional documentation, records, or other necessary information they need to approve your claim. However, if the insurance company remains rigid in their decision to deny your claim despite our appeal, we may need to bring your case to court to secure the benefits that you are entitled to.
Get Help From a Long Term Disability Lawyer in Ottawa
You should not have to fight with the insurance company to obtain the benefits that you already paid for. Show the insurance company you mean business when you retain the legal services of an Ottawa long term disability lawyer at SG Injury Law.
Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free claim reviews to people dealing with disabling conditions across Ottawa and surrounding cities. Take advantage of this opportunity when you fill out our convenient contact form or call our office at (613) 518-2416.