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5 Key Mistakes in a Long-Term Disability Claim

5 Key Mistakes in a Long-Term Disability Claim

Are you navigating through a long-term disability claim at the moment? Ensuring you receive the highest financial compensation possible is challenging, with potential errors possibly leading to a loss of thousands in benefits. We aim to simplify this procedure for you by highlighting five expensive mistakes commonly made during the filing of long-term disability claims, accompanied by advice on sidestepping them. Prevent these blunders from inhibiting your access to the full range of entitlements available to you. Continue reading to discover what these mistakes are.

1. Not Hiring a Lawyer that Specializes in Disability Claims

Hiring a lawyer for a disability claim who does not specialize in disability litigation can be likened to having a dermatologist deliver a baby or engaging an electrician to fix a sink. While a dermatologist is indeed a qualified medical professional, their expertise is not in obstetrics, making them ill-equipped to handle the nuances and potential complications of childbirth. Similarly, an electrician, although skilled in their field, lacks the specific knowledge and tools required to effectively and efficiently address plumbing issues. In the legal realm, a lawyer without specialization in disability litigation may not be familiar with the intricacies of disability laws, the specific processes involved in filing and defending disability claims, the complex medical legal opinions which are often required and the strategies needed to successfully navigate and win such cases. This lack of specialized knowledge and experience can lead to missteps, oversights, and ultimately, a less favorable outcome for the client. Engaging a lawyer who specializes in disability litigation ensures that you have an advocate who is well-versed and experienced in the field, significantly increasing your chances of a successful claim.

2. Not Hiring a Disability Lawyer

Did you know that most disability claimants that we meet were quite unaware that they were entitled to hire their own disability lawyer? Most disability claimants only find out that they are entitled to their own representation after a substantial amount of research or after talking to others who have been in the same situation. Many disability claimants who’s disability benefits are wrongly terminated simply listen to the disability insurance company, file an internal appeal – only to be rejected again! It is important to know that if you or a loved one has been denied long-term disability benefits you are entitled to your own legal representation to fight to help you get your long-term disability benefits back on track.

3. Not Seeing a Doctor or Getting Treatment

Long-term Disability policies in Canada typically have provisions requiring claimants to actively participate in and adhere to medically necessary and appropriate treatment programs in order to mitigate their disability. Adherence to your doctor’s prescribed medical advice and treatment recommendations is often mandatory, as it not only demonstrates your commitment to recovery but is also crucial for continued eligibility for benefits. Non-compliance with these requirements can lead to severe consequences, including the termination of your disability benefits. It is important for you to understand your specific policy’s terms and conditions, as provisions and requirements may vary between different insurance companies and policies.

4. Not applying for CPP Disability

If you are totally disabled and unable to work then you should apply for CPP Disability Benefits. The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Disability is a federal assistance program providing financial support to people unable to work due to severe and prolonged disabilities. Eligible applicants, who have contributed sufficiently to the CPP, can receive a monthly taxable benefit. The benefit is not based on the disability type but on its impact on the individual’s function and ability to maintain regular employment. Understanding the eligibility requirements and application process is crucial for those seeking support from this program designed for severe and prolonged disabilities. There are 2 reasons for this.

The first is that every single disability policy in Canada mandates certain offsets – with CPP Disability being one of them. In other words – when you pass the two year change of definition your disability insurer will start pressuring you to apply for CPP disability. Why? Because they get the offset ( in other words, they get to deduct your CPP disability from the amount that they will be paying you. The other reason is that if you settle a disability claim for a lump sum – the LTD carrier will get credit for your future LTD payments.

5. Not Realizing that it’s also about your Overall Function

When assessing whether a claimant qualifies for total disability under the “any occupation” definition, courts have unequivocally declared that the evaluation is subjective. This means that the claimant’s background and personal characteristics are integral factors to be considered in the determination process. This means that whether you meet the test of “total disability” is not strictly grounded on objective medical evidence or inflexible criteria. Rather, the evaluation considers the claimant’s unique personal circumstances, encompassing their education, skills, experience, and age—essentially, their entire life’s context.

This approach acknowledges that disability is not merely a matter of medical diagnoses or conditions. It also encompasses how these medical issues impact the individual’s life and capacity to work. For instance, two individuals with identical medical diagnoses may exhibit different functionality levels due to their distinct life circumstances. In essence, this perspective examines the claimant’s overall functionality.

This holistic approach ensures that the court understands the depth and breadth of the claimant’s disability, providing a fair and thorough assessment before making a decision on the long-term disability claim. The goal is to acknowledge the multifaceted impact of disabilities on individuals’ lives, considering not just their ability to work but also their capacity to navigate various aspects of life.

Have you been Denied Long-Term Disability? Call us Now.

If your disability benefits have been wrongfully terminated or denied it’s important that you seek advice from a qualified long-term disability lawyer without any delay. Lalande Disability Lawyers are a boutique law firm based in Hamilton that service Nationwide. Our Disability Lawyers have been helping disability claimants since 1984 and have recovered tens of millions in wrongfully denied long-term disability benefits for individuals suffering from chronic illness or injury at all stages of long-term disability claims.

Contact us today no matter where you are in Canada by calling us at 1-844-4-DISABILITY. Alternatively you can email us confidentially and our intake specialist will help you set up an appointment in-person, by phone or by virtual video conference. Our Ontario Disability Lawyers are based in Hamilton, Ontario and serve disability claimants all across Canada.



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