Chronic pain can significantly impact a person’s ability to work by affecting their physical and mental well-being. Pain that persists for an extended period may lead to decreased mobility and function, making it difficult for individuals to move around or perform tasks that require strength, flexibility, or fine motor skills. Furthermore, chronic pain can disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in fatigue and reduced cognitive function, which can impair decision-making and concentration at work.
The constant discomfort may also contribute to emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression, which can further hinder productivity and overall performance. Additionally, people with chronic pain might require frequent medical appointments or need to take breaks to manage their symptoms, leading to increased absenteeism and reduced working hours. The cumulative effect of these factors can make it challenging for individuals with chronic pain to maintain their job responsibilities and may eventually lead to an inability to work.
If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain that is interrupting your ability to work, you are not alone. The chronic pain disability lawyers at Lalande Disability Lawyers understand that chronic pain can seriously affect a person’s daily activities, quality of life, social environment and more importantly, can cause permanent work disability. Since 1984 we have represented disability claimants all over Ontario who suffer from chronic pain and have been denied long-term disability benefits. Call us today at 1-844-434-7224 for your FREE CONSULTATION or alternatively, send us a message through our website. If you have been wrongfully denied or cut off your long-term disability benefits, our chronic pain disability lawyers can help.
Chronic pain is a complex and multifaceted condition characterized by persistent or recurrent pain that lasts for an extended period, typically three to six months or more. It can arise from a wide range of causes, including injuries, surgeries, illnesses, and diseases, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and nerve damage. In some cases, chronic pain may develop without a clear underlying cause, making it particularly challenging to diagnose and treat. Unlike acute pain, which serves as a protective mechanism and typically resolves once the underlying issue has healed, chronic pain often persists beyond the expected healing time and can negatively impact an individual’s quality of life.
The experience of chronic pain is highly subjective and can vary greatly from person to person, ranging from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. It can manifest in various forms, such as aching, burning, shooting, or throbbing sensations. Chronic pain can affect multiple areas of the body, from muscles and joints to nerves and organs, and may be localized or widespread. Due to its persistent nature, chronic pain can lead to physical and psychological complications, including sleep disturbances, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
Managing chronic pain often requires a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that involves a combination of medical treatments, physical therapy, psychological support, and lifestyle modifications. Medical interventions may include medications, such as analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antidepressants, as well as more invasive treatments like nerve blocks and spinal cord stimulation. Physical therapy and exercise can help improve strength, flexibility, and overall function, while psychological support, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, can assist in developing coping strategies and addressing the emotional impact of chronic pain. Additionally, patients may benefit from complementary and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and biofeedback, which can provide additional pain relief and improve overall well-being.
Chronic pain can present as the long-lasting disability of any number of different body parts and systems, as a result of injury or illness.
Orthopedic injuries – these injuries are the result of damage to muscles or bone structures and often do not completely heal and/or may leave scarring. Individuals often do not return to the same level of physical ability that they had been at prior to the injury and are left with chronic pain. These injuries include
Car Accident Injuries – Serious car accidents can lead to chronic pain due to the severe and traumatic nature of the injuries sustained. Some of the most serious injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), fractures, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries.
High-impact collisions can damage the spinal cord and cause nerve damage, leading to chronic pain and potential paralysis.
TBIs, ranging from concussions to more severe injuries, can result in chronic headaches or migraines. Whiplash, a common injury in rear-end collisions, can cause chronic neck pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility due to damaged soft tissues, joints, and nerves in the neck.
Fractures and dislocations, particularly in the spine, limbs, and joints, may contribute to chronic pain if they do not heal correctly or if nerve damage occurs around the injury site.
Additionally, internal injuries and soft tissue damage, such as organ damage or sprains and strains, can lead to long-lasting pain and discomfort if complications arise during the healing process.
The severity and location of these injuries, combined with factors such as the individual’s age, overall health, and effectiveness of the treatment plan, can contribute to the development of chronic pain following a car accident. Early and appropriate intervention, including medical care, physical therapy, and pain management strategies, can help minimize the risk of chronic pain and improve long-term outcomes for car accident victims.
Slip and fall Injuries – hundreds of people slip and fall on any given day, and even more so when the ground is wet or icy during the winter. Just over 1.5 million people have reported falls every year in Canada, making it one of the most common injuries in the country and a common cause of injury leading to chronic pain. Examples of slip and fall injuries include:
Illness or Sickness – If recovery from injury is challenging, dealing with illness or disease can be longer and more trying. Feelings of discomfort and chronic pain often begin long before a proper diagnosis can be confirmed. Many cases of illness and disease will go on for years without any sign of improvement. Even with noticeable recovery, the person may experience chronic pain and not have full body function for many years. Countless illnesses, diseases and disorders result in longstanding disability and chronic pain, including:
Serious chronic pain can significantly affect a person’s ability to work. It can impact both their physical and mental well-being, making it difficult for them to perform their job responsibilities effectively. Chronic pain can lead to decreased mobility, strength, and flexibility, which can hinder a person’s ability to perform physically demanding tasks or maintain proper posture for long periods. Additionally, persistent pain can disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in fatigue and reduced cognitive function, impairing concentration, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities.
The constant discomfort may also contribute to emotional distress, such as anxiety and depression, which can further hinder productivity and overall performance. In some cases, individuals with chronic pain may require frequent medical appointments or need to take breaks to manage their symptoms, leading to increased absenteeism and reduced working hours. In more severe cases, chronic pain can eventually lead to an inability to work, necessitating long-term disability leave or early retirement. The impact of chronic pain on a person’s ability to work will vary depending on the severity of the pain, the nature of the job, and the individual’s capacity to manage and cope with their symptoms.
Chronic pain can affect a person’s ability to work for several reasons, including:
Physical limitations: Chronic pain can lead to decreased mobility, strength, and flexibility, making it difficult for individuals to perform physically demanding tasks or maintain proper posture for extended periods.
Cognitive impairment: Persistent pain can disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue, which can impair concentration, decision-making, and problem-solving abilities, making it challenging for individuals to carry out their job responsibilities effectively.
Emotional distress: The constant discomfort of chronic pain can contribute to anxiety, depression, and irritability, which can further hinder productivity and overall performance at work.
Absenteeism and reduced working hours: People with chronic pain might require frequent medical appointments or need to take breaks to manage their symptoms, leading to increased absenteeism and reduced working hours, affecting their job performance and stability.
Reduced stamina and endurance: Chronic pain can diminish a person’s overall energy levels, making it difficult for them to maintain the stamina and endurance needed for a full workday or to cope with the demands of their job.
Difficulty adapting to job demands: Chronic pain can make it challenging for individuals to adapt to changes in their work environment, such as new tasks, responsibilities, or equipment, as the pain may limit their ability to learn and apply new skills.
Increased risk of workplace accidents: Chronic pain can affect a person’s coordination, balance, and reaction time, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace.
Social isolation: People with chronic pain may feel misunderstood or unsupported by their colleagues or supervisors, leading to social isolation, which can further impact their ability to work effectively.
Reduced self-esteem and motivation: Chronic pain can negatively impact a person’s self-esteem and motivation, making it difficult for them to feel confident and engaged in their work.
The impact of chronic pain on a person’s ability to work will vary depending on the severity of the pain, the nature of the job, and the individual’s capacity to manage and cope with their symptoms.
The answer is that – it depends.
Chronic pain can have detrimental effects on a person’s ability to make a living. The end result for many is to lean on their long-term disability carrier for wage replacement while they can’t work.
Chronic pain can no doubt be disabling – and if the pain prevents you from performing the substantial duties of your own job then yes, you may be able to qualify for disability benefits.
It’s important to understand that for the first two years of disability – most disability insurance policies state that a claimant must be unable to perform the substantial duties of his or her own employment in order to qualify for a monthly long-term disability payment.
After two years, the test changes – a claimant at this point must be unable to perform the duties of any occupation for which he is suited by way of education, training and experience. Therefore if, after the two year mark, you are able to satisfy the “any occupation” disability test, you may then qualify to receive long term disability benefits so long as you are disabled, to a maximum age of 65 years (in most cases).
Often times disability adjusters do not properly understand that chronic pain, whether caused by illness or injury, can be real and debilitating. Instead, disability claims adjusters often choose to believe that the claimant is not struggling with variant pain levels and choose to make their own assumptions about his or her ability to maintain full-time regular employment – despite what their doctors say. Why is this?
Chronic pain is known as the “invisible illness” and it characterized by subjective nature. Unlike conditions with clear medical imaging, chronic pain doesn’t always present obvious, objective evidence that can show a person is suffering. This lack of visible markers can lead to skepticism and a higher rate of denied claims, as adjusters must rely on medical evaluations and the claimant’s descriptions – and unfortunately – are not often believed.
Consequently, many individuals suffering from chronic pain find themselves in a distressing battle to prove the legitimacy of their condition, often feeling invalidated and frustrated by a system that seems predisposed to doubt their experiences.
If your disability insurance claim has been denied, your insurance company may suggest that you appeal the decision using their internal appeals process. You of course can, but we recommend that you do not.
But this approach often doesn’t work and causes unnecessary delays in receiving your benefits. Rather than going through the same insurance company that denied your claim in the first place, contact our long-term disability lawyers today.
Our team can provide you with FREE information to help you make an informed decision about how to handle your chronic pain disability benefits denial.
If you have been denied long-term disability benefit claims for your chronic pain, your best option is to contact an experienced chronic pain disability lawyer. The right lawyer will be able to look into your situation and review all of the relevant evidence, including medical reports, employment documents and insurance policies. We will be able to work with you to build a convincing case for your disability and can represent you in court if necessary. We are here to protect your rights so you can move forward with your recovery without added financial stress. Since 2003, our lawyers have helped claimants at all stages of disability claims.
Our chronic pain lawyers understand that chronic pain can be difficult to discuss. We are here to help you secure the disability benefits that you need and deserve so that you can focus on your recovery without added financial strain.
There are several ways to book your free consultation with our Long-Term Disability Lawyers:
In most cases, yes, so long as you satisfy the definition of total disability as it is set out in your long-term disability policy.
In most cases, total disability means that for the first two years of long-term disability, you must be unable to complete the regular or substantial duties of your own job – which is often called the “own occupation” test. After two years, you must be unable to satisfy the duties of any occupation for which you may be qualified by way of your education, training or experience – which is often called the “any occupation” test.
In most cases, you can qualify for long-term disability benefits if you suffer from chronic pain, so long-as you meet the definition of “total disability” within your disability insurance policy.
In Ontario, you can qualify for disability benefits if you are following a proper treatment plan and you satisfy the requirements of the definition of a “total disability” within the meaning of your disability insurance policy.
If the symptoms of your chronic pain prevent you from engaging or completing the substantial duties of your employment and you meet the definition of “total disability” within your disability insurance policy you can qualify.
Yes, talking to a disability lawyer about your case should always be free. At Lalande Disability Lawyers, we never charge anyone to talk to us about their case. We understand that another bill is the last thing you need while suffering and being cut-off disability.