If you have applied for long-term disability benefits and your claim has been denied or terminated, you may be wondering what options you have. You may have questions. We try to answer some of those questions in this blog post.
Any type of illness or injury that prevents you from being able to work may qualify for long-term disability. We say may because it depends on the wording of your policy and whether there are any exclusions in your policy for certain conditions. Every policy is different. A lawyer can review your policy and advise you if you are unsure whether your medical condition qualifies.
Assuming there are no exclusions or restrictions on your policy, then potentially any type of illness or injury will qualify – injuries from car accidents, fractures, cancer, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder – these are just some of the examples of the types of injuries and illnesses which may qualify for long term disability if you are unable to work.
2. Do you offer free consultations?
Yes, we offer free consultations on all cases, in English or French. We can discuss with you by phone, by video conference or in-person (when public health restrictions allow) at our office, at the hospital or in your home.
3. The insurance company says I have the right to appeal. Should I proceed with an appeal before speaking with a lawyer?
We recommend that you not undertake an internal appeal of your case directly with the insurance company. We can discuss the reasons with you during your initial consultation and, if you decide to proceed with the appeal, we will give you some information about how to go about doing so.
4. What is the limitation period to start a lawsuit for the denial or termination of my long-term disability benefits?
In almost every case, the limitation to start a lawsuit against the insurance company is 2 years, from the date your claim is denied or your benefits are terminated. Because disability benefits provide you with income replacement in the event of disability and because there may be a shorter limitation period in some cases, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after the denial or termination of your claim.
5. Will I have to go to trial?
Starting a lawsuit means there is always a possibility that your case will go to trial; however, the reality is that most cases settle before trial. Rest assured that if your case does go to trial, we will help you understand the process and provide you with all the information you need to prepare for trial. We will ensure that we have the appropriate medical witnesses to testify and advance your claim at trial.
6. How much will it cost to hire a lawyer to help me with my disability claim?
Most lawyers who regularly handle disability claims do their work on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay anything for legal costs unless and until your case is settled or you win at trial. Some lawyers will ask you to pay for some of the costs (such as disbursements) upfront. In almost all cases, our firm will not ask you to fund disbursements or pay any costs upfront. You will pay only after your case has settled or we have won at trial.
7. What questions should I ask a lawyer I am considering hiring?
Some questions you should ask any lawyer you are looking to hire to represent you in your disability claim include:
8. Should I hire a lawyer from Toronto or a local lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer to represent you in your disability claim is a very important decision. Your case is very personal to you and so the relationship with your lawyer, while a professional one, will also have very personal aspects to it. It is important that you feel comfortable with the lawyer representing you and that you have confidence in that person’s ability to handle your case.
Many Toronto lawyers advertise that they handle disability claims in Ottawa, or even throughout the Province of Ontario. There is nothing wrong with this type of advertising and there is nothing wrong with lawyers representing clients across the province. However, there may be advantages to hiring a local lawyer. Our firm practices in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. We know the judicial system here and we are familiar with local court practices. We know many of the medical practitioners here and can help you understand and navigate the services you might require locally. We can easily meet with you in person (when public health restrictions allow). We know that Eastern Ontario clients outside of the City of Ottawa also require representation and often live in communities underserviced by law firms. We handle cases for clients in all areas of Eastern Ontario that we can easily drive to – Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Brockville, Arnprior, Renfrew, Pembroke, Kingston and Bancroft, and all areas in between.
Some Toronto firms will advertise that they have offices in Ottawa. That may mean having an actual office where they can meet clients in person, or it may be an address used for mailing and marketing purposes. If being able to meet your lawyer in person is important to you, make sure you know the situation upfront. Video technology for meetings is a great innovation and has allowed us to continue to provide our clients with the best possible representation during the pandemic. We will continue to use technology where it is helpful to our clients, but we also look forward to being able to meet with our clients in person again soon.
Having access to long term disability benefits, either through a group policy at work or through a private policy you have purchased individually, provides you with peace of mind in the event of disability – peace of mind that you will still have an income benefit that will allow you to continue paying your bills and providing for yourself and your family. When you are unable to work and your claim for disability benefits is denied or terminated, you may feel uncertain about your future and stressed about paying your bills.
Allow us to help alleviate some of that stress and uncertainty by providing you with the answers you are looking for. Call, email or text us today. And for more information about disability benefits, please have a look at our previous blogs on this topic:
Making a Claim for Long-Term Disability Benefits: https://www.burntucker.com/blog/post/making-a-claim-for-long-term-disability-benefits
Denied Long-Term Disability Benefits: When Can You Start a Lawsuit? https://www.burntucker.com/blog/post/denied-long-term-disability-benefits-when-can-you
CPP Disability and LTD Insurance Benefits: https://www.burntucker.com/blog/post/cpp-disability-and-ltd-insurance-benefits
By Laurie Tucker of Burn Tucker Lachaîne Personal Injury Lawyers
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For those who would qualify, they should consider applying for CPP disability benefits, even in cases where an LTD or other insurer might have the right to deduct the CPP disability payments.Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.