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Long Term Disability Coverage

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Long Term Disability Coverage

 
Many of us have long term disability (LTD) coverage available through our work or private insurance plans. When the time comes to use this coverage, you may find yourself unfairly denied your rightful LTD.
 
You may not even realize you have LTD until you need it. It’s usually bundled with short term disability coverage, which covers the beginning of a longer leave. Your coverage usually covers your lost income due to an injury or sickness that prevents you from working. It’s important to know your policy. An illness that is exempted under one policy may be included under another.
 
A policy will often state that you have to be "totally disabled” in order to claim your benefit. There’s no uniform definition of the term, which is where disputes with insurance companies can arise. This can be especially challenging for people who are on LTD because of a mood disorder.
 
Typically LTD plans pay your benefit for up to two years if you can show that you cannot do your job. After that point, you may be required to show evidence that you cannot do any job you’re reasonably suited for if you are to continue receiving benefits. If you’re young, your insurance company may be wary of paying benefits for the rest of your life and, as a result, attempt to cut you off when the requirements for coverage change.
 

Who Needs Long Term Disability?

 
According to Statistics Canada, 3.8 million Canadians were in some way limited by a disability in 2012, a full 13.7% of the adult population. One quarter of those with disabilities are classified as having a severe disability.
 

The Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefit

 
If you’ve sustained a long-term disability or illness that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for the CPP Disability Benefit. To be eligible, you must be under the age of 65, have a severe and prolonged disability, have contributed to CPP for a minimum amount the previous year and contributed for a minimum number of years.
 
Apply for your benefits as soon as you become unable to work due to disability or a terminal medical condition. Terminally ill patients who have completed and submitted their applications will have them reviewed within 48 hours. Others have to wait longer for their claim to be investigated.
 

Why You Should Hire a Long Term Disability Lawyer

 
When you’re up against a large insurer with years of experience and resources you can’t match, you need a long-term disability lawyer to help you level the playing field. After all, the insurer isn’t an independent and unbiased corporation, but rather has a vested interest in minimizing or denying your claim.
 
If your coverage is denied, it could be because of surveillance evidence gathered that refutes your claim. Even an act as simple as reaching down for your morning paper may be enough for an insurance company to deny your LTD. A video of you bending over while waiting on LTD because of a back injury ignores the pain you may suffer later.
 
A long term disability lawyer can also protect you from releasing credit information that may damage your claim later or signing other documents that might be used against you.

Long Term Disability Coverage

Long-Term Disability Benefits in Canada

 

When applying for long-term disability benefits, the process can become extremely stressful, as you have to provide your carrier with evidence to make sure that your claim is accepted. A long-term disability lawyer will make sure that you provide your carrier with all of the appropriate evidence needed and will save you from releasing credit information that could damage your claim.

 

Insurance companies have years of experience and it can be difficult to handle your long-term disability claims on your own. A lawyer, with just as much experience, will make sure that your claim has the best chance of being approved.

 

What to Do Before You Receive Your Long-Term Disability Benefits

 

When waiting for your benefits during the qualifying period, there are many different things that you should be doing to give yourself the best chance of being approved. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

 

Keep Documents

 

You should keep any documents that you have relating to your long-term disability benefits claim. This includes: notes of telephone conversations, medical reports, correspondence with your carrier, etc. You should also be keeping all documents that relate to any attempt to return to work, paycheck stubs and records of any income you receive from other sources.

 

Keep Records of Your Conversations

 

Whenever you have a phone call, personal conversation or meeting with your carrier or employer, you should make notes of:

 

  • The date and time you spoke with them
  • Who you were speaking with
  • What you talked about
  • Any direction that was given
  • The answers to questions that were asked
  • Any agreements 

 

 

 

 

Keep a Diary

 

During this process, it can help to track major events in a diary. This way, you can keep record of everything that has happened and include dates and details for your long-term disability application, medical and health status, meetings, phone calls and work-related events.

 

These are only a few tips that will help to keep you organized throughout the qualifying period, so that you are keeping records for everything and can provide the information if it is ever requested of you. A lawyer will also be able to keep you organized during this process and give you more advice about best practices when awaiting the approval of your long-term disability claim.

 

Sources: https://www.ona.org/documents/File/faq/FactsAndTipsAboutLTD.pdf