4 Steps to Apply for your Disability Insurance Benefits


Watch this video for helpful tips on how to apply for long term disability benefits



Whether you have long term disability or short term disability coverage through your employer or as a self-employed individual, it’s essential to understand some of the most basic principles of that coverage. You must keep in mind at all times that your insurance company is not your friend. They intend to find evidence that your claim is not valid. They will minimize as much as possible the amounts they pay out to claimants in order to save money.

Disability claims will only be paid under the following circumstances

  • You cannot do your own job because of a medical condition

  • You are employed or are actively at work at the time you become disabled

  • You are under the care and treatment of a licensed doctor or accredited health care practitioner

  • You are under appropriate care and treatment to continue receiving benefits

  • In most cases you complete a claim form within a prescribed period of time (often 30 days) of the date you became disabled. If you fail to do this it may cause your claim to be denied

The 4 steps to apply for long term disability benefits and short term disability benefits

Step One: Get the proper forms to file your claim
You can get these forms through your employer, HR representative, or even through your insurance provider (though some don’t clearly offer these). In some cases it can take time to receive the forms, so request the forms early and often - your disability claim likely has a time limit that you need to apply within.

Step Two: Make sure that the treating doctor confirms your disability according to the requirements set forth by your policy

Be honest with your doctors when discussing your symptoms, your need to be off work, and your long term disability claim, and take (and keep) notes of all conversations with your doctor that relate to your claim.

Step Three: Review all of the answers given on your long term disability claim before submitting to ensure everything is completely true

Remember, providing detailed and complete information positions you for the most favourable result. Even if you think it won’t matter, make every effort to submit a complete and accurate application. Here again, having the help and support of a friend or family member can be a great help. Together you can double-check everything to make sure your submission is top-notch.

Step Four: After you have sent in the application, check in with your insurance company to make sure they have received it

This is where you will discover if your insurance company is dealing straight with you, or if the games are beginning. For example, it’s not uncommon for the insurer to request that you fax in the same long term disability claim document several times.

This may be a clue that you are going to be denied your disability benefits. As shocking as it may be to hear this, insurance companies often make their policyholders jump through these hoops because they know that a lot of people will give up rather than continue chasing. Many people applying are managing disabling symptoms - they have their health to worry about and do not have much fight left in them. So, after chasing the insurer for a while, they simply do not have the energy to continue. That’s what the insurers want. They want you to abandon the fight.

Make sure that every time you call you have the name of the last representative you spoke to, the time and date you called, and any answers they gave you. In some cases, they may even provide you with a document reference number. Always write that number down. Keep detailed notes about every call. When the call took place, who you spoke to, what they said.

Even if you’ve filled out the forms perfectly and provided all the information they’ve asked for, you may still be denied your disability benefit claim. We are not saying this to discourage you. We want to alert you to what may be ahead. If your claim is turned down, please contact us to set up a free consultation in order to see if we can help you secure your benefits.

If you are considering applying for long term disability benefits but aren’t ready to talk to our long term disability lawyers, you can learn more on our Applying for Disability Benefits page.

Questions? Contact the long term disability insurance lawyers at Share Lawyers. Our 35+ years of experience in long term disability (LTD) law can help you win your case against Canada Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and other insurance companies. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless you win your case. Join us on Facebook and become a Top Fan for a chance to win each month.


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