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Toronto Disability Lawyer
Whether your disability is expected to be short- or long-term, you deserve all the benefits your policy offers. Get your claim approved for maximum benefits with the help of a disability lawyer in Toronto.
Disability insurance is supposed to be there for you when a disability prevents you from working and earning an income. Unfortunately, thousands of Canadians have their disability benefits denied every year, often for reasons that either don’t make sense or just aren’t valid.
Getting a denial overturned and maximizing your disability benefits is absolutely critical for your future wellbeing. Without the necessary benefits, you’ll still be unable to work and likely won’t have any way to pay the bills and ensure your continued standard of living.
A Toronto disability lawyer from the Blackacre Law, PC can help you bring your disability claim to a successful conclusion. With over fifteen years of experience, we know how to challenge a disability denial, and we know how to give our clients the best chance at getting the most from their policy.
Short-Term Disability vs. Long-Term Disability
When an injury or disability is going to prevent you from working, it’s important to know what type of claim you need to file. In general, disability claims fall under short term and long term.
Short-term disability (STD) claims cover temporary disabilities that you’re expected to recover from in the near future, usually within about four months to one year. In many cases, these types of claims are paid by employers directly, but it’s likely that an insurer will still be involved and advising your employer about whether they should recognize your claim.
Here’s an example of when you would file a short-term disability claim: You pay for short-term disability insurance because you always wanted to be sure you were protected in case of an accident. You’re a construction worker and you fell from a great height and broke your leg. You’re otherwise in good health, and the doctor believes you have a great chance of a complete recovery and full use of your leg again.
You would file the claim to cover you financially while your leg is healing. You would get back to work as soon as your doctor cleared you to do so.
Long-term disability (LTD) claims, on the other hand, are filed when a disability is expected to last longer than one year. The disability might even be permanent, in which case the disability policy should continue to pay until you reach an age specified in the contract, usually the retirement age of sixty-five.
Here’s an example of when you would file a long-term disability claim: Your employer offers long-term disability, and you signed up because you wanted to protect your family if you were ever injured and unable to work. You’re a roofer, and you fell off a roof and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Your doctor says your balance, coordination, and cognition have been seriously affected.
The doctor advises you that you can no longer work. You would need to file a claim to obtain long-term benefits to provide for yourself and your family.
Finally, critical illness claims are filed when someone experiences a sudden and serious ailment, such as a heart attack, cancer, or a stroke, which will prevent the individual from working for a time. These policies often force the person to go through a “survival period” before the insurer will honour the claim.
Reasons for Disability Claim Denials
When it comes to commercial insurance companies, it’s important to keep in mind that their goal is making money . . . and that’s pretty much it. In a perfect world, insurers would be there to help people get back on their feet when they become disabled, but the truth is that the insurance company will try to maximize their profit margins by denying every claim they can—including yours.
If your disability claim has been denied, a Toronto disability claim lawyer from our firm will be able to help you appeal the denial and give you the best chance for ultimately receiving the benefits you’re entitled to.
Listed below are just a few of the reasons insurers commonly use to justify denied claims:
- Technical errors on the disability claim form
- Insurer misinterpreted something in your medical documentation
- Insurer claims you misrepresented your medical history when first applying for a policy
- Insurer claims that because you can perform an activity (e.g., swimming), you must not actually be disabled
Another way that insurers avoid paying out on disability claims is unique to LTD policies. Most long-term policies have two different phases of coverage. In the first phase, you’re eligible for benefits if your disability prevents you from working in your current job. This phase is usually allowed for two years.
In the second phase, you can only continue to receive benefits if your disability prevents you from working in any job—not just your own. Therefore, if you could conceivably get another job, the insurer will stop paying your disability benefits. It’s not uncommon for insurers to unfairly claim this and shut off someone’s benefits.
Proving Your Disabled Condition
Whatever the insurer’s reason for your disability claim denial or revocation of your benefits, a Toronto disability lawyer from our firm can help you prove the truth of your condition. This is easier done in some cases than in others, however.
If your disability is physical, such as a damaged knee or some form of paralysis, we’ll help you arrange the proper medical evaluation so that you can prove your disability to the insurer. In some cases, they might be misinterpreting something in your medical documentation, in which case our lawyers can help sort this out.
Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and mental disabilities can be more difficult to prove, however. These conditions don’t have visible symptoms, so it’s easy for insurers to claim that they believe you’re either faking it or that “it’s in your head.”
Fortunately, modern medical science disagrees with insurers on these points. Much like with physical disabilities, your disability lawyer will help you get the medical evaluation you need to prove your diagnosis and its impact on your life.
What Benefits Do Disability Insurance Policies Pay?
The exact benefits you could be eligible for will depend on your specific disability policy. Generally speaking, the primary benefit is the cash benefit you receive to replace your income while you’re unable to work. This is typically a specified percentage of your normal income, although there might also be a capped amount.
If you have an LTD policy, it might also cover some of the cost of rehabilitation services so you can get back to work quicker.
Whatever the benefits included in your policy, our disability lawyers in Toronto can help you get everything you’re entitled to.
Toronto Disability FAQ
Filing a disability claim can be very difficult, and handling a denial can be even more so. You’re sure to have questions. When you contact a Toronto disability claim lawyer from our office, we will answer any questions you have during a free case review.
We’ve also gone into some of the concerns clients frequently bring up during the initial consultation to give you a jumpstart on understanding the process of recovering your disability benefits. See below.
How can I help my lawyer prove my disability?
Documentation and evidence are the keys to proving your disability. If you believe you qualify to obtain disability benefits, whether short- or long-term, you will need medical documentation of your injury. The more documentation you collect, the better your chances will be of avoiding an insurance denial.
You should also ask your doctor to verify in writing that his or her opinion is that you can’t work for a time. The doctor should also specify when it’s believed you’ll be able to return to work, if ever.
Why do disability insurers deny cases?
If you’ve never filed an insurance claim of any kind, you may be shocked to discover that insurers aren’t really your buddies. They care about the profits of their businesses and nothing more. The reason they deny cases is because they make more money when they pay out on fewer claims.
Instead of actively trying to work with you to help you obtain the benefits you need—and have been paying for each month in the form of monthly premiums—they will aggressively work against you. What you need to understand most is that they are looking for reasons to deny your claim. Try not to give them any reasons to do so.
What happens if my Toronto disability claim is denied?
No one wants a claim denial. It’s stressful and it’s a hassle—not to mention you’re left in dire financial straits if you aren’t receiving work wages due to your injury. If your claim was denied, you may need to lawyer up to fight the denial. Your lawyer can either file an appeal or sue the insurance company, depending on your situation.
How long does it take for a disability claim in Toronto to be approved?
The time frame will vary for many reasons, but generally, it can take a few weeks up to a full year. You can make your claim process move more quickly by carefully completing the paperwork, visiting the doctor and gathering medical documentation, and providing the evidence the insurer requests in a timely manner.
Connect with a Disability Lawyer in Toronto
Whether you’ve had your claim denied or your benefits revoked, the Blackacre Law, PC can help you take on the insurance company and prove your disability. We’ve helped disabled residents from all over Ontario get the short- and long-term disability benefits they’re rightfully entitled to.
It all starts with a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Toronto disability lawyer. Arrange a time for yours by calling us at 647-556-5888, or simply complete the contact form found at the bottom of this page.