If you have a disabling condition and can no longer work, you may have considered going on short or long term disability leave. You may have access to these benefits either through your employer or through a privately-purchased policy of your own. Though applying for disability benefits, and being approved by the insurance company, is not easy, it is incredibly worthwhile to your physical and mental health to take the time away from work that you need in order to rest and recover.
Submitting your application is the first step. You must submit a thorough and complete application. It is worth the time and effort to do this very carefully. You want to stack the odds in your favour. If your claim does not succeed, this post will prepare you for what is next.
Start with the Right Mindset
Because we have worked with so many people who faced the challenges you now face, we can share an observation about the best possible attitude to adopt.
“Expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.”
Typical outcomes newly disabled people encounter when applying for disability benefits:
- Accepted right away
- Accepted after some administrative delays
- Accepted for short term disability but denied for long term disability
- Accepted for short term and long term disability and then cut off for a variety of reasons including change of definition, insufficient medical information, failure to be under medical care, etc.
- Turned down for short or long term disability and then a long and frustrating battle with the insurer, ultimately unsuccessful
- Turned down, hired a lawyer, insurance company would not budge
- Turned down, hired an experienced disability lawyer, fought a successful battle with appropriate benefits finally secured
Your Claim May Be Accepted Right Away
Again, your claim may be accepted right away. We suggest you approach with that assumption and do all you can to facilitate the insurance company coming to the right decision. But always keep in mind that the insurance company may treat you the way they have treated many thousands of other qualified Canadian policy holders.
The best case scenario is that you will get a quick approval. The worst scenario is that you will be turned down and will not succeed in forcing the insurer to play fair. Even if you are turned down, with the right legal help, the insurance companies will be forced to finally reach a fair settlement of your claim.
So, again, hope for the best, but be prepared for what may come. And, again, take care of yourself, get all the help you need and preserve your strength for healing.
Being Disabled Can Be Stressful and Emotionally Draining
Coping with the decision to stop working along with your physical or mental disability is an emotional roller coaster. Counsellors who work with people suffering from depression triggered by a disability diagnosis suggest keeping a journal. Closely observing your thoughts
and feelings will help you maintain the emotional balance you need to ride out this storm in your life.
Looking for the silver lining in all things promotes a positive outlook – and you will need it when you begin this journey. And because you face so much uncertainty, having the support of trusted friends and loved ones can be invaluable.
If you'd like even more information about applying for long term disability benefits, please visit this page on our website and download our Applying for Long Term Disability Guide at the bottom of the page.
Still have questions? Contact the Ottawa 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.