Whether you were injured on the job, on vacation, or at your home on a typical weekend, if you can no longer perform the duties of your current employment due to severe or lasting injury, you may be entitled to short and/or long term disability benefits. These claims are different from workers compensation claims in that workers compensation covers for accidents that occurred while you were on the clock and short and long term disability don’t necessarily have to be tied to an injury sustained at your place of employment, but still affect your job performance. To qualify for short term disability, you will need to prove that the mental, physical, or psychological injuries you sustained have either greatly reduced or completely eliminated your ability to perform the duties of your job for an extended period of time. These injuries must last for longer than two years or be permanent in order to receive compensation through long term disability.
A severe injury such as loss of limb, spinal trauma, psychological disorder, cancer, stroke, heart attack, or paralysis not only requires a long recovery period, but can also cause additional stress over loss of income during the healing process. These injuries rarely occur at “convenient” times or when a person has enough money saved to pay for all of their medical and living expenses. This is why short and long term disability claims exist. If you are no longer able to perform the tasks of your employment, or perform tasks of a different job at your same level of income, short or long term disability can help you make up for that lost income or provide training opportunities for a different job. To prove you can no longer function at your place of employment at the skill level you held before the accident, you will need expert opinions from specialized doctors who can attest to the impediment of the injuries and how long they expect them to last. You will also need to gather sufficient testimony from your company detailing the duties of the job and how an injury such as the one you sustained would prevent adequate job performance. Unfortunately, many insurance companies either deny coverage based on a technicality or offer much less than what is reasonable. This is where legal counsel can help.
If you were denied coverage, it is important to uncover the reasons why before you attempt another claim. Most claims require you to submit personal information, medical and/or mental health professional diagnoses, income information, an explanation of your typical job duties, why you can no longer perform those duties, and testimony from your employer. There are deadlines for submitting these forms based on the nature of your injury and case, so it’s best to gather all of the information as quickly as you can. A lawyer skilled in personal injury and disability cases can help you gather the necessary paperwork and review and file the claim for you.
The team at MG Law specializes in these types of cases, specifically in Ontario. They understand that funds are especially tight during these stressful times and offer a free initial consultation to review your case. Trustworthiness and comfortability are two values they seek to provide with every client, and they will even go out of their way to meet with you if you are unable to travel due to your injury. It’s hard enough healing from a traumatic injury on your own. A good lawyer on your side can ease the physical and emotional discomfort you will experience through your healing journey by knowing you’re getting the compensation you deserve.
When seeking compensation through a disability claim, you will file with either your employer’s disability insurance provider or a private insurance provider that you have obtained a personal policy through. You may have a severe injury that is preventing you from working, and you filed your paperwork correctly, but the insurance company still denied your claim. This could be due to the fact that your injury is included in a list of unqualified injuries in your policy. You and your lawyer can sue the brokerage firm that sold you or your company the policy if the details and content weren’t properly understood at the time of signing. If you feel you deserve coverage, don’t give up before speaking with a qualified lawyer.
Sometimes victims can be subject to unlawful conduct by an insurance company looking to pay as little as possible in benefits. If you have experienced an unprofessional examination by a physician chosen by the insurance company, harassment, pressure to accept their low offer quickly, or missed payments, contact a lawyer right away. They can help you recover compensation for any pain and suffering these actions may have caused you. Keep in mind, there is typically a wait period of one week before you can collect on short term disability and a wait period of several months for long term disability. These are mandatory qualifying periods to ensure your claims are indeed lasting and severe. The insurance company is lawfully allowed to photograph and take video surveillance of you during this time to verify your claims. The amount you are paid can also be reduced by other forms of compensation you are collecting on such as workers compensation, termination or severance pay, income from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, or any other government disability program.
Short and long term disability cases can be complicated, which is why retaining legal counsel is almost always necessary to ensuring that you’re being compensated fairly. Once you’re ready to file a disability claim, don’t hesitate to call a lawyer to help you through the process. Some people may think if the insurance company denies their claim or discontinues benefits, they are out of luck. When victims don’t understand their rights, they may not see the benefit in obtaining legal counsel or assume lawyers are too expensive. Many times in these cases you can’t afford not to have a lawyer representing you.